Novice investors often use the terms saving, investing and speculating interchangeably. However, there are significant differences between each of these approaches to wealth accumulation. Savvy investors will understand these distinctions and recognize when one strategy may be preferential to another.
The dictionary defines saving as preservation from danger or destruction. When applied to personal finance, it means the act of putting aside and preserving unspent income, often for future use. For example, you may elect to regularly put aside some of your earnings into a bank account or certificate of deposit (CD) the goal of making a big purchase in the future, whether it be a new car, a family vacation or a down payment on a house. Saving is generally a short-term strategy that offers access to liquidity and protection from negative economic influences. However, that level of safety comes at the price of very meager returns, especially in today’s low-interest-rate environment, for which savings held in a bank are yielding less than 0.50 percent interest.
Making the decision to put money into the equity markets is one that should be made based on quantitative and qualitative facts and with the intention of long-term growth over a period of more than three years. Based on historic evidence, the longer money stays invested (in the stock market, bonds and/or real estate), the better chances it will yield a higher target rate of return than if those dollars had been sitting in a bank account. On the downside, the potential for higher returns in an investment also comes with higher risks of losses. A well-diversified portfolio can help investors balance these short-term risks with their longer-term goals.
Speculating is the act of buying stocks or other investment products on a “hunch” with the hope of receiving a high rate of return. While these short-term gains can be appealing, investors must remember that speculating involves the highest level of risk. Speculators can achieve big wins, but they can also incur even bigger losses.
A successful wealth-accumulation plan may employ each of these strategies. However, the real victory comes from knowing when to proceed with one strategy over the other. The professionals with Provenance Wealth Advisors work with individuals and entrepreneurs to implement tax-efficient investment, financial and estate planning strategies that are designed to meet goals and manage risk tolerance in specific time horizons.
About the Author: Robert Mark Weiss, CFA, is a regional director and financial planner with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. For more information, call (941) 308-1120 or James Financial Services. For more information, call (941) 308-1126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
Posted on September 23, 2021