Invest: “expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result”
That can be real estate, your own company, stocks, yourself, bonds, whatever.
Now, the main error or problem I’ve seen from people trying to invest in things (including myself) is getting excited at the idea of something and awesome returns and then throwing money at it without fully understanding it.
Otherwise, you are gambling. Not really investing.
The roulette wheel has a 48% chance of giving you 100% return on your “investment” in a span of about 2 minutes – would you call that investing?
Buying a home and sitting on it for 6 months to try to turn it around without making improvements, “because the market looks like it is going up” is gambling. Just gambling on a bigger scale – so not really though of as such.
Gambling does win here and there – including my bad example with the house. People do turn around with profit. But there are far more losers in gambling then there are winner.
Making investments is smart. Just limit your risk by gaining a solid understanding of what you are doing first.
Do the studies & research yourself. Look for the long-term. Make your choices on how things will look down the road. What if it busts? What if this happens? etc…
Here’s a couple quotes from a famous, rich investor (4th richest in world):
“Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
“Our favorite holding period is forever.”
Nothing wrong with gambling a little here or there, but know you are gambling when you are and don’t hit the black-jack table (or something similar) thinking you are doing an investment.
Like-wise, don’t dump your money into the latest new social-media “face-book killer” because your friend said he thought it was a good idea.
And don’t forget to invest in yourself. Learning more. Increasing your ability and earning potential.