Disclaimer: I am not a gambler nor do I intend to be. That said...
Five years ago I started buying shares of stock in the company where I worked. It was easy, the company I worked for deducted the allotted amount from my paycheck and bought the stock for me. At the time I was buying one share for anywhere from $40-$50. I quit working for that company nearly a year later and held on to the stock in a separate brokerage account.
In August 2007 I had to sell that stock because Joe and I are poor. I sold the stock at $105 per share. A really good return if you ask me.
Today the company that I used to work for has been absorbed by another company and stockholders were given approximately .94 shares of the new company stock for each 1 share of the old company stock, which makes the original stock (which I fortunately don't own) worth approximately $14.50 a share now.
With all the news of stock market woes, I'm having a hard time differentiating between gambling with dice, for example, and gambling in the stock market.
Why is it considered smart and reasonable to put all of your money in a market that may or may not give you decent returns but a sin to put your money down on cards?
Is it in the definition? I've been reading a bit online and a USA Today Columnist suggests that the definition is the key: that gambling is a game meant for entertainment. But, it's possible that people go to Vegas seeking a return on their "investment"? In fact they go in droves hoping to return home with more money.
Ultimately, the action remains the same. Risking money on a hunch or potential luck of the investor; knowing when to get in and knowing when to get out.
Everything that I have read explaining the sinful nature of gambling can also be easily attributed to investing in the stock market. Help me. What's the difference?