Commentary: Easy Money

Long Term Investing

Given 06-Mar-21; 15 minutes

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The new Robinhood app turns rational investors into addicted users who turn the stock market into a fool's game by taking foolish, high-risk positions in the hopes of quick profits. Indeed, a few are able to "time" the market, occasionally getting in and out at just the right time. Through social media, these successful investors trumpet their success. But, the trumpet is really only a siren call, luring the incautious to poverty, for, in reality, behind every winner crouches many silent losers—debtors and paupers whose human nature will not permit them to advertise their failures. Stock traders fall on a continuum of passive (that is, investors who diversify their positions among historically-proven investments and holding them long-term), and active "day-traders" (that is, those who obsessively take short-term positions in unproven companies in the hopes of making a quick "kill" not based on value but on timing). The gradually accumulated return-on-investment for passive traders average 4-6%. While day-traders may make the occasional killing, they eventually "lose their shirts" because they are in fact gambling, not basing their equity purchases on value but on fleeting "blue sky." Day-trading, like gambling, is addictive and can lead to abuse of credit (via margin purchasing, credit cards, etc.). Easy riches are a fool's illusion which most often makes the day-trader a loser. The Scriptures warn against rash speculation, encouraging instead steady, plodding effort, all the while trusting God to provide for daily needs (Proverbs 13:11; 21:5).

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