Understanding the difference between trading and investing

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Investing for a longer period is less risky than trading. Trading can pose more risks, especially during volatile markets. Many trading accounts offer leverage to traders, which can lead to higher losses if proper risk management is not followed. While investing, there are internal risks of the company you have invested in and external macroeconomic risks that can affect your investment portfolio’s value. One of the benefits of online trading is that it has made transactions faster and cheaper. However, trading is still not as accessible as investing.

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In fact, many a times retail investors aren’t even aware if they are investing or trading a stock. Most of us use the terms trading and investing interchangeably. Ironically, many investors become investors by default; meaning they buy a stock and tend to hold on to it because the price moves against them. That is called holding on hope and is one of the cardinal sins of trading.

So let’s first learn about each of them, and then we will keep them side by side to know the differences. Unlike investors, moat, ROE etc of a business does not matter to traders. Instead, a trader’s main tools are technical charts to identify price patterns. Few indicators a trader looks at are 50 or 200 dma , volumes in a stock to gauge supply and demand or any short-term event coming up related to the stock. Retail investors who want to develop a passive income without devoting much time to the analysis should invest their money.

https://1investing.in/ all the documents or product details carefully before investing. WealthDesk Platform facilitates offering of WealthBaskets by SEBI registered entities, termed as “WealthBasket Curators” on this platform. Investments in WealthBaskets are subject to the Terms of Service. Traders are people who try to make money from short term fluctuations in a stock’s price.

Investing vs Trading: What’s the difference?

The risk involved in trading is higher than in investing. Since 1996, Equitymaster has been the source for honest and credible opinions on investing in India. With solid research and in-depth analysis Equitymaster is dedicated towards making its readers- smarter, more confident and richer every day. Here’s why hundreds of thousands of readers spread across more than 70 countries Trust Equitymaster. Considering all these factors, it makes sense for a retail investor to follow the investing approach. Investing is a fairly easy game as compared to trading.

The stocks mentioned in this article are not recommendations. Please conduct your own research and due diligence before investing. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. Please read the Risk Disclosure documents carefully before investing in Equity Shares, Derivatives, Mutual fund, and/or other instruments traded on the Stock Exchanges. As investments are subject to market risks and price fluctuation risk, there is no assurance or guarantee that the investment objectives shall be achieved.


3) Requires skills and intensive practice to generate good returns. Moat is any advantage the business possesses that prevents competition from entering and taking away market share. A moat can be in the form of a brand , low cost advantage , customer switching costs . The stronger the moat, the longer the business will perform well.

Trading is taking positions on stocks and benefit out of every small price changes.

This strategy can help you generate very high returns in the long term. On the other hand, investing is less risky because you keep buying securities on your way. Moreover, short-term trend changes hardly affect your long-term investments. Most experienced traders take this to their advantage and hedge their positions by investing large sums for the long term and taking smaller short-term trades. Investing is based on a longer horizon of buying and selling shares and other securities.

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Investing is the process of buying an asset in order to benefit from the capital appreciation or interest payments over a longer period of time. Investing is based on the premise of enhancing the returns through the benefits of compounding or reinvesting the profits. The time period for investing is long term and many a time the holding period maybe even decades.

Capital allocation decisions, remuneration taken are some key pointers to look at when evaluating managements. Before getting to that, first let us try and understand what is investing and trading separately and then try and understand the difference between the two. This is to inform that, many instances were reported by general public where fraudsters are cheating general public by misusing our brand name Motilal Oswal. Though we have filed complaint with police for the safety of your money we request you to not fall prey to such fraudsters. You can check about our products and services by visiting our website You can also write to us at , to know more about products and services. The following table helps to understand the difference between investing vs trading.

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However, it requires organizing the actions and keeping both activities distinct. Trading, investing and speculating are three different activities of the stock market. The risk factors, methodologies, profit margins, the fundamental strategy behind them remains different. While one might be suitable for a person and help him gain profits other might not suit him and cause loss. Therefore, the above differentiation could be helpful in determining which mode of earning through the stock suits best for you and yields you better returns as per the convenience. Technical analysis is everyday financial trends such as the company’s performance in numbers based on the uptrends and downtrends in the market every day.

The video below will help you understand the mindset needed to be a successful trader… The video below will help you understand more about investing… Free cashflows is simply operating cashflows minus the capital expenditures for your business. Consistent FCF implies a fundamentally strong business. Working capital position – This will answer the question of how well the business dynamics are and how well is it managed.


Trading in the stock market is more to do with this only. Traders identify an opportunity where they know that within a short period they can make profits. In comparison to investing, trading is assumed to carry a higher risk. This is because short term fluctuations are generally difficult to predict. Trading profits are dependent on your ability to predict short term stock price fluctuations.

Which is better, trading or investing?

A trader will require sophisticated skills in analyzing and reading various market tools like charts, patterns, indicators, etc. An investor, however, will concentrate more on the fundamental aspects of the company like the P/E ratio, year on year profits, forecasts, etc. Trading involves a lot of activity and constant tracking of price movements. A trader normally has to be fully involved with the happenings of a stock market on a daily basis.

Trading is a method that involves buying and selling stocks and other financial instruments like futures & options, ETFs, etc. for a short period. A trader will buy and sell shares frequently by analyzing the technical charts of a stock. This involves understanding short-term patterns along with various support and resistance levels to enter and exit the positions. The stock market and the options market are where a trader would usually trade.

  • This involves understanding short-term patterns along with various support and resistance levels to enter and exit the positions.
  • The information mentioned herein above is only for consumption by the client and such material should not be redistributed.
  • If you miss the right time, then it might lead to a loss.
  • In a nutshell, these 3 types of users in the stock market differ from each other on the basis of approach, the risk involved, time period, and their behavior.
  • He keeps a watch on the sentiments of his consumers every day.

Pay 20% upfront margin of the transaction value to trade in cash market segment.

The above differentiation will help you in determining whether you should trade, invest, or speculate to achieve your financial goals. When it comes to wealth creation, investing and trading are the two ways to make money in the stock market. However, investing and trading are very different styles of wealth creation or earning profits in the equity market.

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Speculating is entering into a transaction with the aim to earn high returns depending on tips, rumors, news, individual behaviour, and market sentiments. The risk involved in speculating is highest among the three methods, due to which this method is suitable for a person who is aggressive and a risk-taker. It may provide you with high returns but the chances of failure are also highest among all the three methods. On the other hand, while investing, your focus will be holding the investments for long durations. Therefore, you will not redeem within 1 year of investing. As a result, when you do redeem, the returns will be classified as Long Term Capital Gains .

While investing requires understanding the company’s financial strength and entering it. Trading requires high market skills, real-time analysis, and identifying the stock price movement in a fraction of a second to execute. Investment and trading can be differentiated based on the time horizon.

Trading requires regular analysis to identify the narrowest mispricings and market changes. Less effort is required in keeping track of your investments once you have invested. InvestingTradingInvesting focuses on creating wealth over the long term by minimizing the risk. As you know, Market capitalization for a company, which is most commonly referred to as market cap, is equal to…

How to buy and sell stocks?

Furthermore, if the what is bad data and its side effects you have invested in is fundamentally strong, the daily market fluctuations will have zero to no impact on your investment portfolio. But he will keep a watch on the other four stocks as well. Then he comes to know that Infosys has given a good return of 40% and now he feels that out of the five companies tech Mahindra is more valuable. He will sell the Infosys shares and buys Tech Mahindra. For example, the house which you buy for 50 lakhs may become 2 crores in value within the next few years.

Stock trading refers to the process of buying and selling stocks within a short period to make profits. A trade gets completed when a trader buys a certain quantity of stocks at a certain price and then sells those stocks at a price that can be greater or lesser than the buying price. Traders mostly look at holding stocks for the short term. The time horizon can either be months, weeks, days or even few hours. A trader’s job is to predict market or stock movements over short-time periods. A lot of time people mix up trading and investing in the stock markets.

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Trading, on the other hand, is for a short-term horizon. Traders can enter and exit within a few minutes or take on a positional trade for a few days or weeks. Trade Brains is a Stock market analytics and education service platform in India with a mission to simplify stock market investing. As you can see, during these historical market corrections, the SENSEX, which represents the movement of Equity Markets, fell significantly in the short term. However, within a period as short as a year, the markets recovered quite significantly and reached even higher levels within 3 years in every case. If you want to become an investor it’s very easy in terms of deciding which stocks to buy if you know the fundamentals.

  • At the same time, the chance of losing money is also high for traders.
  • But, if you opt to invest, you will need to put in significantly less time and effort and take fewer risks to grow your wealth in the long term.
  • To ‘invest’ in the stock market refers to buying and holding of shares preferably over an extended period of time in order to make long-term profits.
  • This means that if you own shares of a company, then you are a part-owner of the company.

To start with, while investing aims to create wealth over the long term by buying good companies and holding it for a long duration, trading is quite the opposite of it. Trading aims at generating profits by frequently buying and selling stocks. Trading is all about finding the next profitable trade, and so the key is to keep buying and selling. Due to this short holding period and frequent churn, you miss out on the power of compounding.

On the other hand, if you are good with trends and charts, trading makes more sense. So, for most individuals, being an investor is more viable than being a trader. That’s why long-term investing is the recommended course of action if you are a retail investor.

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