Are You an Investor or a Speculator?

February 28, 2013

By Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal

To understand why investment is so tricky to discriminate from speculation, it helps to dip into the historical background...

In a brilliant essay published in 2006 in Financial History, the magazine of the Museum of American Finance, money manager Dennis Butler explored the historical backdrop of Graham’s distinction between investment and speculation.

Before the 1920s, an investor was someone who “aimed for secure income, with absolute safety of principal,” explained Butler. “Only bonds…met these requirements.”

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