A Comparison Of Investing And Trading In Stocks

A Comparison Of Investing And Trading In Stocks

When it comes to making money in the financial world, there are two main strategies: investing and trading. But what's the difference between investing and trading? In this article, we'll explore the key difference between trading and investing. By understanding stock trading vs investing in online share trading, you'll be able to make better decisions when it comes to growing your money. 

Whether you intend to invest long-term or short-term, this article will help you learn the basics of investing vs trading stocks, which is harder and more profitable. With that said, let's look at the key difference between investing and trading to help you achieve your financial goals.

What is Investing?

Investing refers to building wealth gradually over the long term by buying and selling stocks and bonds and building a portfolio of stocks. A big difference between investing and trading is that investing is held for years and decades, so you get interest, dividends, stock splits, etc. 

Besides, in investing, there's no risk of downtrends and market fluctuation. Because there's always an expectation that prices will rise, and since it's a long-term investment, the downtrend will go away quickly.

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Table of Content

  1. What is Investing?
  2. What is Trading?
  3. Difference between Trading and Investment
  4. Stock Trading vs Investing: What is Profitable?
  5. Stock market Trading vs Investing: Which is Better?
  6. Investing vs. Trading stocks: Which is harder?
  7. Stock trading vs Investing: Who should do it?
  8. Conclusion

What is Trading?

Trading involves frequent transactions based on trends in the market that are short-term and volatile. This is a short-term investment, unlike mutual funds and bonds. Among the things you can trade are stocks, commodities, currencies (Forex), and other financial instruments.

Trading is a high-risk process of earning money where market trends affect trading directly, resulting in heavy profits or losses. So, the risk factor is another major difference between investing and trading. However, the difference between trading and investment is not limited to this. Let's look at the difference between investing and trading in more detail below.

Difference between Trading and Investment

Here is the key difference between trading and investment:




Risk involved

Trading involves high risk as traders use leverage.


Traders profit from small price movements and can incur significant losses if the price moves opposite if no stop-loss order is used.


Since stocks are held for a longer period, there are fewer risks involved.


Short-term market volatility has little impact on investment returns.


Period of investment

Trading usually involves short-term profits based on periodic price changes. 


It's up to traders to decide when to sell their stock. 


They might sell it in a couple of hours or they might wait weeks.


Investments typically take a long time. 


Many investors hold onto their investments for decades and ride out the market's ups and downs patiently.


Capital growth

The goal of traders is to make money fast. 


A trader always looks for the right trading opportunities and prepares strategies for a successful trading journey to grow their capital.

The capital grows slowly and gradually as you hold on to it. 


The investor grows their capital with time while also enjoying other benefits, such as dividends.

Efforts involved

Trading involves considerable effort since it involves analyzing the market thoroughly before taking a position. 


It involves reading charts and identifying patterns in price movements.


Additionally, it involves preparing sound strategies to avoid losses or mistakes. 

As long as investors are prepared to hold on for a long time, investing involves very little effort.


Also, before investing in a long-term position in a company, it is crucial to identify companies with strong future potential and understand their fundamentals.

Analysis style

Analysis of technical indicators is required in trading. 


It is necessary to analyze charts, identify patterns emerging from price movements, and use indicators to generate buying and selling signals.

An important part of investing is fundamental analysis.


It is necessary to look at the financial statements, balance sheets, important ratios, and most importantly, the company’s potential for growth in the future.

Stock Trading vs Investing: What is Profitable?

There's no clear answer when it comes to investing vs trading stock's profitability. That's because it depends on you and your finances. An individual who knows how the markets work is well-suited to trading. Also, traders are risk-tolerant, so they won't get distracted when there are dips in the market. Investing is better for people who want to preserve their capital and are more risk-averse.

Stock market Trading vs Investing: Which is Better?

Trading and investing both aim to make a profit. But, they use different strategies to gain profit. Nevertheless, trading can be comparatively riskier due to the following reasons:

  • Several analyses and forecasting are needed to make trading decisions.
  • As day traders close positions within the same day, they have to closely monitor and adjust their positions.

Despite the fact that Trading can lead to profits in short periods of time, there is also a risk involved. So, if you have a high-risk tolerance, trading is for you, and if you don't, investing is for you.

Investing vs. Trading stocks: Which is harder?

Investing is a lot easier than trading. Trading requires you to constantly monitor the market and understand how assets and markets work. It is common for traders to buy and sell assets on a regular basis, such as stocks and bonds. As opposed to many investors, traders must keep their emotions in check. In some cases, this may be difficult since big losses are harder to swallow.

Stock trading vs Investing: Who should do it?

Investing and trading can be done by anyone. Even people with no prior knowledge of the stock market can get started investing right away. You need to simply pick a stock that you wish to invest in and invest through your Demat & Trading Account. And watch your investments regularly.

In contrast to investing, trading requires a little more skill as it involves analyzing charts and patterns of a share. Additionally, a trader should have a good understanding of indicators and technical analysis in general. Also, it takes time for a trader to acquire the skills necessary to make money on the stock market.


For informed financial decisions, it's crucial to understand the difference between investing and trading. Investing involves buying and holding assets for a long time, whereas trading involves shorter-term transactions. Moreover, stock market trading vs investing depends on your financial goals, risk appetite, and time commitment. In terms of profitability, investing vs trading depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and market conditions. You can make these distinctions and manage your financial activities using an investment app

It is possible to make quick profits through trading, but it carries higher risks and requires more effort. On the other hand, investing offers long-term capital growth and income generation but requires patience and a long-term perspective. Overall, it is important to be aware of the difference between investing and trading before you begin your journey in online share trading.

Difference between investing and trading FAQs

Both trading and investing are ways to make money. However, traders often earn more profit when they make the right decisions and the market is performing well.

Trading involves more risk compared to investing.

Yes. Trading requires patience, skill, and discipline to earn profit. 

The golden rule of trading is to maintain a neutral bias when trading. Don't get attached to stocks based on positive or negative bias.

Yes, with the help of a broker, beginners can start trading.