Are you an Investor or a Speculator?

I think its important to determine which category you’re in before you make your first investment.

What’s the difference between an investor and a speculator? In my opinion, it’s the time horizon they use. An investor takes a longer view and invests in a company, country, or economic system. A speculator has a much shorter time line. Although both want to buy low and sell high, the speculator is looking for a much more active with a shorter turn around.

My investment philosophy has a relatively long-range focus. So even though it’s easy to get caught up in the daily market information, I try to look out much further so I can ignore the daily gyrations. Other than personal experience, I look to these sources for support and comfort for that view: William J Bernstein, Bill Schultheis’s Coffeehouse Investor, John Bogle and Vanguard.

For this post, here is some information on Schultheis’s Coffeehouse Portfolio. He has a free quarterly e-newsletter, which I find quite interesting. It is not bloated with a lot of jargon and hot tips. It’s focused on some concise, commonsense information.

If you go to his website  you will see his simple coffeehouse portfolio. He also spells out his Three Principles for Investing:

  • Save for a rainy day
  • Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch

You will also want to check out; If You Can – How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly by William J Bernstein. It is available as a free download at It is a very small pdf in the books section. I don’t think you need to be millennial to find this book both interesting and useful – especially if you are a long-term investor.

If it’s time for your to review your financial/retirement goals or your investment plans, please contact me at