2/14 Update – A response to a reader; Is trading and speculating a sin?

Do you consider stock trading to be gambling? Do you think gambling is a sin? (I do, but only when i lose). Have you ever made big mistakes?

The thing about gambling is you’re a genius when you’re right and the biggest fool in the world when you’re wrong.

H

Here is my response.

With regards to your concerns over trading and gambling; I often get asked this question. Is trading a sin? Is speculating a sin?

Here is what I have determined, and this takes my understanding of the monetary and financial systems into account. It also incorporates the underpinnings of our social policies as well, and how they are funded. Social benefit recipients, please take note of this conversation.

The short answer is “yes,” but….
Despite what we hear or think, there are no essential differences between the two

The short answer to your question is yes, but we all engage in it, or are benefitting from it in a number of ways.

What is the difference between holding a stock for 10 minutes and hoping to profit, and flipping a piece of real estate? How do we categorize investors who spot real estate opportunities to profitably buy and sell within 24 months? How about if they specifically hold it over the 12-month minimum to benefit by paying less in taxes, since it is now considered long-term cap gains? What is the difference between this type of speculation and one in which we hold for an hour?

Is there a rule in the Bible that states thou shalt not speculate short-term? Of course not. Everything is playing the odds, especially in buying assets; Even those who profess to be Godly will buy gold and silver to speculate under this monetary system hoping to profit from a collapse. What do we hear from the gold shills all time time? We can buy for easy gains as they gamble that the PTB are losing control.

I know I may be rationalizing, and I do understand that on some level, we do gamble. But, I know when to speculate and trade and when to sit on my hands. I think of it as a business and a way to fatten up my cash portion of my personal balance sheet. But the PTB who have shackled us to this monetary system make it a necessity to do so.

Every time we invest; whether we buy stocks, bonds, real estate, PMs, farm land, or cryptos; and regardless of the holding period, we are speculating for gain. Somebody may tell you otherwise and pretend not to be speculating, but he or she will gladly take the gains when they accrue.

We are now a nation of speculators; regardless of our time frame

There are people out there reading this who think I am a hypocrite, but will gladly take their capital gains in gold, owner-occupied real estate, or bitcoin, and pat themselves on the back for making large profits. But these same individuals will look down on day traders with disdain. If they truly wanted to be righteous, perhaps they should kick back their capital gains to the person from whom they initially purchased their assets. I am sure they wouldn’t.

It’s all essentially a gamble. I have two crypto trading accounts and they went up about 20% since Friday. Is it a sin to gain from that? If we impute any morality into the equation, we would have to stop buying everything.

Many traders and speculators do not find it gambling

Okay, do not take this trading stuff personally. Do not attach any emotion or morality to it. If you do, that is a one way ticket to losses. It’s better off to never engage in it. I never feel like a hero or loser. I get frustrated if I deviate from my algorithms and lose; for rarely do I gain if I deviate. That to me is gambling, and if we view it as gambling we are doomed to fail, because the house always wins. It took me 35 years to get to the point where I am at right now. I look at it as if I am just drinking a cup of water from a spring-fed stream.

As for those who benefit from government largess, I have one sobering concept to add here. The government ultimately always wins with all these speculative gains, because while our gains may just be keeping up with inflation, the tax authorities always get their cut. This is why I like real estate; I get to keep more. Regardless, the governing authorities encourage profitable speculation, because these tax jurisdictions increase their tax revenue.

The worst trading mistake I ever made was when I lost about $25k in one trade in early 2001. Now, that may sound catastrophic, but taken in the context of gaining about $500k in day trading profits during that 12-month period, I was able to put it into perspective. My account started out with about $5,000 in 1998.

I look back and consider that initial profit as a Godsend, because it led me down the path to financial and spiritual self-sovereignty. I quit my job in 2001 and began my spiritual journey, which continues today. For the first several years, the road was very arduous and lonely, but without these initial gains, I would still be toiling away on Wall Street in total ignorance of the truth. I would be essentially one of the many billions of lost souls, doomed to perdition.

13 thoughts on “2/14 Update – A response to a reader; Is trading and speculating a sin?”

  1. Getting back to my Bitcoin rant, I just found a couple of articles going off my hunch from my original post above. My seemingly prophetic “green Bitcoin” theory suggests I’m on the right track. I did not see these articles while making my original comment and am truly stunned at these findings.

    With Tesla investing in Bitcoin is it being set up to fail or radically transform? There is an end game that involves big wins for the very few.

    “Whatever bitcoin’s future, we have a responsibility to ensure that it is truly a green one.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/18/bitcoin-emissions-pollution-tesla/

    “The entrance of big corporations into the crypto market could also boost incentives to produce “green bitcoin” using renewable energy, some sustainability experts say. They add that companies could buy carbon credits to compensate too.”
    https://www.autoblog.com/2021/02/13/musk-bitcoin-energy-use/

  2. Interesting this topic came up, as last week I wondered about the same thing regarding bitcoin.

    My conclusion is profiting from bitcoin (or similar) is theft plain and simple. The few that profit from BC only means many more have lost money. Isn’t that a Ponzi scheme? On the contrary investing in a company that produces a product or service and getting paid back is more along the lines of an honest living. The Bible says a man should work if he wants to eat and to me that means producing something useful.

    Bitcoin has no value. I am certainly no financial expert, but to me BC only costs what it does because people say so. It’s not a product or service. BC is burned hydrocarbons that get converted to electricity. Who pays the power bill? Or better yet, who owns the power plant? And when Musk dumps a train car load of dollars into it people take note.

    Another connection I made. What does Musk do? His business model seems to revolve around electricity. Besides the car, isn’t he also big into solar farms, batteries and other electrical generating technology? Isn’t it convenient that to create BC one needs electricity and a lot of it? Will we soon see stories of how Bitcoin is going green crediting Musk with huge solar farms or some other way of generating electricity? But that would first require stories of how the electricity to mine BC is produced.

    1. This I know for sure, Musk is a puppet and only can do what he does, because he gets his financing. Any other company would have already gone down in flames, burning too much cash to get to breakeven. But he is propped up for certain purposes as long as he sticks to his script. Same goes for AMZN. Both firms have rewritten their sectors, but both were chosen with cheap financing to accomplish the task. I recall how Joe Kernan in 2000 would scoff at how AMZN was burning billions in cash and how he couldn’t believe how it was still getting so much money to build out.

      I think we both know. Musk and Bezos are doing the work of their masters, who in turn do the work of their father, the devil

      1. Yes, I completely agree as I made the same observations. Musk and Bezos are gov’t contractors posing as private business. Of course I don’t have proof of that statement but I’m running with it.

        Another interesting point about Musk is the space program. I recall Obama shutting down NASA and the last shuttle flight was on his watch. Then not long after we have this billionaire named Elon Musk sending rockets in the air? Because we had a space program called NASA but that wasn’t good enough. I’ll go out on a limb and say Musk has a lot more liberties than NASA who answers to the US Gov. Don’t forget that lawyers run the country so every move is carefully calculated and perfectly legal.

        1. You got it. Interesting when we see it in a new light. Of course, we can never prove these things, but understanding what we know, we can see things in a way that renders our theories pretty close to the truth.

          Here’s something that I find absolutely amazing; we have not been out of low-Earth orbit since the moon missions of the late 1969 and early 70s. The farthest out we have gone is only about 400 miles. I think there’s a good chance we never even went. Every year that goes by and no human being is allowed to enter outer space convinces me further that the moon landings were probably staged. Now we’re talking 52 years since the Apollo 11 mission.

          But that is for another discussion. It’s just an observation.

          1. Completely agree about the moon landing. And what average Joe or Jane can prove or disprove the official story? I’ll just leave it at that.

        2. Notice that Musk and Bezos are both hand-picked puppets and are both engaging in outer space missions. Both of these people know that we cannot leave and go out of lower Earth orbit, but remain silent because that is what they are ordered to do.

          1. I don’t follow the news in detail but noticed Bezos recently stepped down from Amazon? Just looked up that he is now in the space business. Isn’t that interesting? Because selling goods on a web site is a natural transition for space exploration. The world is truly upside down. Fauci is the president (for a second term), Gates steps down and becomes a medical professional – with the entire African continent as his personal medical laboratory, Musk (and now Bezos) in charge of outer space, Bitcoin is called an “asset” and the result of computer calculations are becoming the new currency. The public doesn’t question this insanity and on the contrary accepts it as progress. Meanwhile I (and others) are dismissed as the crazy conspiracy theorists.

  3. Sorry, I had to update the original title. Of course, gambling is a sin. The title was originally asking if gambling is a sin. The correct title is above.

    1. As a born again Christian I have prayerfully struggled with such questions because they are important.
      To me, many things boil down to the intent of our heart.
      Going to a casino or buying a lottery ticket is quite different than stock investing.
      When you gamble there is capital, staff etc, but there is no group who have initiated capital, labour or a business plan that could produce a viable product or service or profit that is ethical.
      Chance on cards or a slot machine is not the same as investment risk.
      Gambling is covetousness. Hoping for free money by tempting God without study, work or effort on a game of chance is a sin IMO.
      Investing however is Caveat Emptor.
      If Chris believes he can employ his 35 years of work and expertise to realize a profit by investing short term, (the way the world we live in often is now) if his conscience doesn’t condemn him that’s fine IMO.
      This might not be right however or the same as someone else here who for example, is taking unnecessary or uneducated risks.
      What I’m suggesting is that what might be OK for Chris, or perhaps me or you, might be wrong for others IMO.
      The days were we were free of government or market control of our jobs, home values/costs, goods and services etc are all but gone.
      To survive or prosper, we have to do business within this system for now.
      As a Christian I endeavor to do everything legally and ethically because I have faith and trust in the Lord of all.
      Above all, my conscience is my North Star.
      That’s why I say no to some stocks, and yes to others.
      And I don’t gamble.

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