Are You An Investor or Speculator? – 2

As a followup to a previous post, 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 two sources for support and comfort for that view; William Bernstein’s Coffeehouse Investor and John Bogle and Vanguard.

The previous post discussed the Coffeehouse Investor, for this one Vanguard and John Bogle will be the focus.

Although I do not consider myself to be a Boglehead, I do have great respect for the Vanguard organization and the investment process and philosophy that John Bogle initiated. If you go to you will find their principles for investing success as follows:

  • Know Your Goals
  • Invest With Balance
  • Minimize Cost
  • Maintain Discipline

Somewhere I read “the secret to long term investment success is that there is no secret“! If you have identified long term financial goals, following these principles won’t guarantee you’ll reach them. But, I believe they’re likely to significantly increase the probability of success.

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