By Craig Erwin, Ph.D.
Years ago, on a cross-country trip, I saw people waiting in line to buy lottery tickets because the payoff was big. I told my wife that the people in line would be much better off if they invested in the stock market because, they had a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. People made $7.6 billion in legal and illegal bets on the Super Bowl. The US gambling industry hit a record $44 billion in 2021 and the global gambling industry is expected to hit $876 billion by 2026. Who’s making the big money? It’s rigged. The House almost always wins. Don’t be a sucker and gamble. Invest instead. Buy assets that are likely to be worth more in the future, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. Avoid gambling on lottery tickets, cryptocurrencies, sporting events, and the like. Instead of gambling and throwing your money away, you can invest and make your money grow. The road to wealth is not paved with a series of big gambles; it is the result of taking reasonable risks and sticking with your decisions for decades.
If you invest in the stock market, you are likely to get a return of 8-10 percent over time. And you don’t have to make any brilliant decisions or analyses or time the market perfectly. You only have to buy a stock index fund and hold onto it until you retire. That’s the safe way to build true wealth. Gambling is for suckers. You can do better.
Do you gamble? If so, how and how much? Do you have a retirement savings plan available to you? Are you taking advantage of it?
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