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Old 01-02-2018, 12:59 PM   #16
davew
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Suppose someone had the foresight to purchase (say) $50.00 worth of Bitcoin back in Feb, 2011 or March, 2011...

Fyi, back then a single Bitcoin was selling for approximately one US Dollar.

Right now as I type this, that $50.00 investment would be worth more than $600k.

Would you still characterize that person as a fool?


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only if they did not cash some out - and kept it all until it is worth less than $50 again
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
Suppose someone had the foresight to purchase (say) $50.00 worth of Bitcoin back in Feb, 2011 or March, 2011...

Fyi, back then a single Bitcoin was selling for approximately one US Dollar.

Right now as I type this, that $50.00 investment would be worth more than $600k.

Would you still characterize that person as a fool?


-jp

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It might look like an investment now but it looked more like a "bet" back in 2011. Now it looks like a casino where a player needs to step up from the $5 table to the $10,000 table. There are a lot of rich fools in the world along with a lot of broke geniuses.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:23 PM   #18
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I'd say when Amazon plans on accepting several cryptocurrencies as payment for goods they should no longer be dismissed as "imaginary."

This "fool" has a ROI of nearly 900% for 2017 in cryptos, how'd your investments do?
Amazon is NOT planning to accept crytocurrencies.

I hope that means you've taken your $900 and gotten out. Not that I feel for all of those who will be left holding the bag.

At least I'm in good company:


Should you buy into bitcoin? Here's what top investors say
Kathleen Elkins | @kathleen_elk
11:24 AM ET Thu, 7 Dec 2017


Bitcoin crossed the $16,000 mark Thursday morning, less than two days after topping $12,000 for the first time. The digital currency now has a market value of more than $272 billion.

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are embracing the digital currency, including Fundstrat's Tom Lee and value investor Bill Miller, who is running a fund with nearly a third of its assets in bitcoin.

One Dutch family even bet all they have on bitcoin.

Should you be buying into bitcoin too? Here's what top investors have to say:

Jamie Dimon: Bitcoin is a 'fraud'

The cryptocurrency "is a fraud," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. "It's just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed."

He added, at a separate conference organized by Barclay, "It's worse than tulip bulbs. It won't end well."

Michael Novogratz: Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are 'going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes'

"I think this [crypto] is going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes by a long shot," the former Fortress hedge fund manager said at a CoinDesk bitcoin conference.

"To be fair, this is a bubble and there's a lot of fraud mixed in. We look at tons of projects. And some get funded, and they literally look like Ponzi's. There's a lot of froth and fraud in something that's exciting as this."

Novogratz's remarks came right after he gave an aggressive projection for bitcoin: It "could be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. It easily could," he said on CNBC's "Fast Money." And he saw big things for other cryptocurrencies too: "Ethereum, which I think just touched $500 or is getting close, could be triple where it is as well."

Mark Cuban: Only invest if you're prepared to lose your money


According to billionaire Mark Cuban, it's OK to invest up to 10 percent of your savings in high-risk investments, including bitcoin and ethereum. You've just "got to pretend you've already lost your money," he told Vanity Fair, adding that it's like throwing "the Hail Mary."

Jim Cramer: Bitcoin is like 'Monopoly money'

Bitcoin is a pure gamble, said CNBC's Jim Cramer on "Squawk Box": "It's kind of like Monopoly money. Obviously, there's people who use it. If you ever say anything bad about it, there's like this bitcoin mafia that comes after you. But it is an oddity that has nothing to do with us" as investors.

"It's just pure gambling at this point," the market expert continued. "I mean, if you want to gamble, go to Vegas. Vegas is fabulous."

Howard Marks: It's a 'pyramid scheme'

"In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it," the respected value investor and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital wrote in an investor letter.

Tony Robbins: Investing in bitcoin is 'like going to Vegas'


The self-made millionaire and best-selling author of "Money: Master the Game" isn't completely sold on the idea yet either.

"I think [bitcoin] is very iffy," Robbins told CNBC's "Fast Money. "I don't have a clue. I look at that as it's like going to Vegas." In other words, only bet what you can afford to lose.

Robbins himself directs a certain amount of money to risky ventures and doesn't rely on them to work out. For those investments, his mentality is, "I know it is just for fun I'm investing, I know I could lose, this is Vegas."

Jack Bogle: Avoid it 'like the plague'

Legendary investor and index fund revolutionary Jack Bogle isn't impressed. He weighed in on the subject at a Council on Foreign Relations event.

"Avoid bitcoin like the plague. Did I make myself clear?" said the Vanguard founder in response to an audience question.

"Bitcoin has no underlying rate of return," Bogle continued. "You know bonds have an interest coupon, stocks have earnings and dividends. There is nothing to support bitcoin except the hope that you will sell it to someone for more than you paid for it."

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Old 01-02-2018, 01:43 PM   #19
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Some of the people on that list of yours are complete idiots...successful, yes, but idiots nonetheless.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:55 PM   #20
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Some of the people on that list of yours are complete idiots...successful, yes, but idiots nonetheless.
Who? Jim Cramer is a little annoying to listen to, but he's never struck me as an idiot.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:02 PM   #21
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Who? Jim Cramer is a little annoying to listen to, but he's never struck me as an idiot.
That's definitely one of them.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:32 PM   #22
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only if they did not cash some out - and kept it all until it is worth less than $50 again
I would agree with you. (Especially with something like Bitcoin.)


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Old 01-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #23
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It might look like an investment now but it looked more like a "bet" back in 2011. Now it looks like a casino where a player needs to step up from the $5 table to the $10,000 table. There are a lot of rich fools in the world along with a lot of broke geniuses.
That raises a really interesting fundamental question... at least a question that's really interesting to me:

What's the difference between an "investment" and a "bet?"

(Is there really a difference?)




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Old 01-02-2018, 02:53 PM   #24
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That raises a really interesting fundamental question... at least a question that's really interesting to me:

What's the difference between an "investment" and a "bet?"

(Is there really a difference?)




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To me an investment is something that already has value or worth, and you invest in it either to hold or hopefully increase in value. Rarely would the investment lose all its value. I suppose their are exceptions to this, like investing in new businesses.

A bet to me is usually an all or nothing proposition. A bet to me is also something that can lose all its value in an extremely short time period (as compared to my exception above, which would take months or years likely to lose).

I'd sure never call gambling in Vegas or on the ponies "investing."

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Old 01-02-2018, 02:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
That raises a really interesting fundamental question... at least a question that's really interesting to me:

What's the difference between an "investment" and a "bet?"

(Is there really a difference?)




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If you are going to 'bet' on the futures market, the maintenance margin now is over $30K / contract
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
That raises a really interesting fundamental question... at least a question that's really interesting to me:

What's the difference between an "investment" and a "bet?"

(Is there really a difference?)




-jp

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Good question. Probably no difference. In my view, betting involves far more risk than investing. The term "investing" is used when someone wants to make their use of money sound sensible and "betting" is used when someone wants to make the use of money sound irrational.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:04 PM   #27
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Good question. Probably no difference. In my view, betting involves far more risk than investing. The term "investing" is used when someone wants to make their use of money sound sensible and "betting" is used when someone wants to make the use of money sound irrational.
I don't think those who are admitting reality such as the lottery, poker, and slot machines being gambling is doing so to make anyone sound irrational. It is what it is.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:33 PM   #28
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It's all gambling. Some bets (investments) are sounder (ie. LESS RISKY) than others, but it's all gambling, because there are no guaranteed returns. There are close to guaranteed returns, like a savings account, but you see what those are paying these days. Hardly worth it.

PLENTY of people have lost EVERYTHING investing...there have been TONS of S&P pit traders (when that existed) who have lost it all. There have been TONS of day traders that have lost it all.

There have been people who "invested" in places like Enron who have lost it all...even pension funds and the like, who were supposedly "safe."

MONEY IS AT RISK in all of these situations...that's gambling.

If there were no risk, there would be no return.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:47 PM   #29
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It's all gambling. Some bets (investments) are sounder (ie. LESS RISKY) than others, but it's all gambling, because there are no guaranteed returns. There are close to guaranteed returns, like a savings account, but you see what those are paying these days. Hardly worth it.

PLENTY of people have lost EVERYTHING investing...there have been TONS of S&P pit traders (when that existed) who have lost it all. There have been TONS of day traders that have lost it all.

There have been people who "invested" in places like Enron who have lost it all...even pension funds and the like, who were supposedly "safe."

MONEY IS AT RISK in all of these situations...that's gambling.

If there were no risk, there would be no return.


A year after I bought my Chicago-area home...I lost the entire 25% down payment that I had submitted, because of the subsequent explosion of the "housing bubble". I kept thinking about how much more fun it would have been to blow that money in Las Vegas.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:13 PM   #30
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It's all gambling. Some bets (investments) are sounder (ie. LESS RISKY) than others, but it's all gambling, because there are no guaranteed returns. There are close to guaranteed returns, like a savings account, but you see what those are paying these days. Hardly worth it.

PLENTY of people have lost EVERYTHING investing...there have been TONS of S&P pit traders (when that existed) who have lost it all. There have been TONS of day traders that have lost it all.

There have been people who "invested" in places like Enron who have lost it all...even pension funds and the like, who were supposedly "safe."

MONEY IS AT RISK in all of these situations...that's gambling.

If there were no risk, there would be no return.
Yes and no. One can say that putting their money in anything but the mattress means they're gambling, but they could even lose the money in the mattress if they're robbed.

I guess we're "gambling" every day with our lives as we drive a car or board a plane or cross a street or eat a cheeseburger.

So we can take it all to the extreme, but we generally know what we're talking about when we talk about investing and gambling and the differences between the two.
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