One distinction defined this by the length of time over which the investor expects to realise their investment; or to put it another way, how quickly one expects to make money.
Speculation is high-risk-get-rich-quick territory.
Investing is managed risk over long periods of time where you can acquire wealth slowly.
[ I am an investor by nature, not a speculator.
I am in it for the long haul, and having bought many good shares at fair or bargain prices in the past and presently, I intend to hang onto to them.
My view is that they will move yet higher over time.
Sometimes, the massive and largely unprecedented increase in the share price of my stocks over a short period was not anticipated by me or probably by many others.
So, did I get lucky? Well, yes and no.
It was my view that the share price of these companies would rise further or eventually recover from recent corrections, whilst the past is no way of accurately predicting the future, I felt that it would rise to around a certain price in the medium term.
The difference between my expectations and what happened is that I would have been happy for it to return to that price within five years. As it happened, it did so in less than a few months. ]