Saturday, 14 January 2017
Speculators, Investors and Market Fluctuations
Speculators versus Investors
Mark Twain mentioned the two times in life when one shouldn't speculate: "when you can't afford it, and when you can!".
Speculators buy in the hopes or assumptions that others will want to buy the same asset (be it a painting, a baseball card, or a stock) later.
Investors buy the cash flow the investment returns to its owner. (As such, a painting can never be an investment by this definition!)
Stock Market Bubbles
Bubbles in the stock market form due to faulty logic that first propels speculators to bid up prices followed by the inevitable bursting which destroys the wealth of many.
What determines whether an investor will make money in the market or not?
The answer is his psychological make-up.
If he does his own stock analysis and views the prices offered by Mr. Market as an opportunity to buy low and sell high, he will do fine.
If Mr. Market's offering prices guide the investor's outlook of what the stock price should be, he should get someone else to manage his money!
Most market fluctuations are the result of day-to-day distortions between supply and demand of particular stocks, not of changes in fundamentals.
Investors who take advantage of these distortions by focusing on the fundamentals will be successful.
Those who invest with their emotions are sure to fail in the long-run.