et me respond to some feedback that appeared in a different forum. I don't participate in the other forum, but the person who wrote this e-mailed it to me and invited me to respond. I'm posting my response here, because it might clear up some confusion other people have, too.
That's simply untrue. It completely misrepresents how the stock market works. (See the links below.) Buying stock is an actual investment in a company. When stock value goes up, real jobs are created, company assets increase, and the potential for future profits is also increased. The increased wealth is not merely "on paper."
He further says,
You are turning language on its head and unnecessarily clouding the whole issue. The suggestion that someone who invests in stock at a higher price has "lost" money is absurd. Apply that claim to the buying and selling of real estate and you'll see why it simply doesn't work.
And the "winners" and "losers" in the stock market report are stocks whose value rose (winners) or fell (losers). What I said was not an "attempt to show that the stock market has NO losers." And nowhere did I say there are "no losers in stock trading."
What I said was, "There are no losers when a stock gains value." The point is that in the stock market, the winners' gains do not come at the losers' expense. It's not really a complex point, but it is a significant one. In fact, it touches on the central point of my whole argument, so please don't let it get buried under a mass of unnecessary confusion.
Anyone tempted to comment further in this vein ought to do a little reading about the stock market and how it works. Many fine articles are easily available on line that show why investing in stocks is not a form of "gambling." See for example:
- "The Five Biggest Stock Market Myths," from Investopedia
- "Chapter 1: Replacing Stock Market Myths," from Five-Minute Investing
- "Stock Market Investing Odds: The Odds Are in Your Favor!," from greekshares.com
And here's an article that graphically illustrates the difference between investing in stocks and betting on the stock market: Just Plain Crazy, by Charles Jaffe, The Investor Direct