Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Investors are speculating on Brexit

Did you get the oxymoron on my title?

I was engaged in a conversation recently with a financial advisor, and was asked if I am making bets on Brexit. The advisor said that a lot of investors are speculating on Brexit, and hoping to make a quick win over it.
I was scratching my head. Investors speculate?
Benjamin Graham in his book, 'The Intelligent Investor' defines an investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative. Betting on Brexit does not promise safety of principal. It's like going to casino, betting big or small. Same logic.

The financial advisor goes on to say, all the investors talked to also make decisions the same way. After doing research, the decisions are also made on gut-feel.

By definition, investors invest, and speculators speculate. It is worrying when people start listening to speculators thinking that they are investors. How can it be? The decisions made are based on 'gut-feel' - to me it is like gambling. How can we say someone who makes decision based on gut-feel as an investor, or a speculator as an investor?

Calling a speculator an investor is misleading, and if we listen to speculators thinking they are investors, I think we will be in for a surprise.

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