Given the way some investors approach investing it’s obvious why many see the stock market as little more than a casino. Investing in a firm becomes the equivalent of placing all of your chips on red.
Stock investing, on the other hand, should be considered for what it is: becoming a part owner of a firm. You actually own a piece of the company, no matter how little that share may be. As a result, having a long-term owner’s perspective might help you make smarter financial decisions.
Of course, not every investment will pay off, but a recent poll of investors and sports bettors suggests that if you treat investing like gambling, you’ll increase your odds of losing money.
Having a stake in the game
Gambling and investing both demand a specific mindset, as both require taking the risk of losing money in exchange for the possibility of a gain. Nonetheless, despite the identical reasoning involved, bettors and investors approach their favourite pastime with different goals in mind.
BonusFinder.com, an independent casino review portal, recently polled 1,014 investors and sports bettors about their engagement in each activity. They iscovered that, although making a profit was essential to both, it was a secondary factor for sports bettors.
Only 53% of those polled claimed they bet to generate a profit, with the rest betting for the entertainment value. That makes sense: having a stake in the game can make any game more engaging. Horse racing would definitely be far less fun if you couldn’t wager on who would win, place, or show.
The financial results of the two largest bookmakers, FanDuel (owned by Flutter Entertainment) and rival DraftKings, confirm this scenario.
When people quarantined last year and needed something to do some of them spent their time betting on sports.
Last year, Flutter’s income in the United States increased by 101 percent, while DraftKings’ revenue nearly doubled. They control around two-thirds of the online sports betting market, but they only operate in approximately a dozen states. If more states legalize sports betting, expect their business to grow even more.
Bravado in sports betting
Investors, on the other hand, were largely driven by the desire to make money. 71% of those polled stated that they put their money into the stock market for that purpose. Being entertained was not even considered, which could explain why each group’s conclusion differed.
Among the highlights discovered by BonusFinder were:
Sports bettors were more likely than stock investors to assess risk and believe they could make a lot of money.
Sports bettors were also slightly more risky than investors. 58 percent admitted they gambled more than they could afford to lose, compared to 53 percent of investors.
Overall, investors outperformed sports bettors, with 64 percent reporting generally wins while investing. This is compared to 45 percent for those who bet on athletic events.
Legal sports betting is still in its infancy; the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that a federal ban on states enabling wagering on athletic events was unconstitutional. That could explain why, whereas 90% of poll respondents say they have invested in stocks, just 55% have wagered on sports.
Nonetheless, investors were significantly more likely (89 percent) than sports bettors to have also invested in equities (54 percent ).
Investing is the preferable option
While boomers were the least likely to have participated in either activity, millennials were the ones who threw themselves into both with abandon. Surprisingly, these younger generations were the most eager to wager with cryptocurrency, with 29 percent claiming to have done so.
Nonetheless, 46 percent of all sports bettors were more likely to have gambled on a sporting event using cryptocurrency than investors, who were only 30 percent likely to have done so.
Millennials were also more likely to invest in meme stocks than other age groups. When the trading frenzy in GameStop and AMC Entertainment erupted earlier this year, 34% of millennials bought in. This is compared to 30% of GenX investors and only 18% of baby boomers.
That last group has probably seen more market cycles and seen more manias and stock investment fads come and go than their younger colleagues. Sitting on the sidelines is likely to be regarded as the more wise action.
However, the adventurous streak that runs through sports bettors is visible in meme stock investing. 41 percent of sports bettors jumped on the meme stock bandwagon, compared to 33 percent of investors. Furthermore, against 44 percent of investors, 55 percent of sports bettors saw meme stocks as a means to earn a quick buck.
Give yourself a chance
So, are sports bettors better investors? Obviously, the answer is no. They have an overabundance of confidence in their capacity to analyze risk and make a killing. They are also ready to bet more than they should in order to achieve that return.
However, as BonusFinder CEO Fintan Costello points out: “We were shocked to discover that the margins were so close when comparing these two groups. While investors were more careful in their risk-taking, the changes were not significant.”
Perhaps because more investors bet on sports than sports bettors invest in the stock market, when investors cross the line, they forsake their normal restraint and take on more risk. Remember that betting on sports events is not valued as a way of accumulating a retirement nest egg, but rather as a means of entertainment.
While losing money is never a good thing, perhaps that is how it should be. It’s OK to take extra risks while betting, according to gamblers, as long as you bet with your mind and not your heart. Just keep in mind not to be overly irresponsible with your investments.