Let's get something straight right from the beginning. Much of today's stated ideas regarding "investment" is simply gambling.

In my mind -- and admittedly it's an old (and hopefully wiser) one -- gambling is about risking everything for an uncertain return. Few would disagree. But today's idea of "investment" is that any "fees" as well as any "principal" initially put up is liable to loss; in many instances the "investor" can even incur debt! What an "investment" means to me, is that any and all "up front" fees as well as principal, are guaranteed; the only uncertainty remains the return on the investment. Furthermore, if there is any debt risk, then it's definitely not investment, it's gambling on an inhuman, highly destructive scale.

America's "economic" condition is often linked closely with the stock market, which in itself is a public display of gambling at it's worst. It's not investment. It reflects the extent that gambling has penetrated into individual and family lives, where retirements accumulated over years can be entirely wiped out in mere seconds. "It couldn't happen" is an attempt to legitimize organized gambling on a government-legitimized national scale. It not only could happen, it has. Repeatedly. It's just that we don't want to believe it, and our collective memory seems to be shortening these days. 

Making a distinction between gambling and investment, and only pursuing true investments, is one of the reasons that Savant Books and Publications has survived the increasingly extreme "ups and downs" of the current economic situation as well as the massive changes the publishing industry is undergoing. An example? Literally every publicity and marketing program these days is guaranteed to exceed fees and principal. Of course. Otherwise, why would anyone "invest" in such? We only "invest" in publicity and marketing programs that guarantee return of all fees and principal through increased sales profit, or, after a mutually agreed upon period of time, return of fees and principal equaling the "loss." Under such a program, we have eliminated 99% of "certain to succeed" publicity and marketing schemes. Those groups willing to sign such a contract we've found to be true to their promises of service over simply taking the money and running.

If this sounds draconian, think hard-earned money. Think, for example, about "investing" in BitCoins and then read A. G. Hayes and Raymond Gaynor's QUANTUM DEATH (Savant 2017) for some insight into where not making the distinction can lead. Isn't it time to require that there be a clearly stated distinction between investment and gambling? I think so. 

I'd be interested to hear from others regarding this idea.