Difference Between Trading and Investing

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Trading and Investing

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Both trading and investing are the two methods of marketing where the traders or the investors seek profit in financial terms. Though both of these mechanisms seem similar or may appear as the same process for gaining profit in the market, in reality, however, there exist dissimilarities between the two. Trading is concerned with short-term buying and selling. It is the act of dealing with contracts, such as treaties, derivatives, choices, sale and purchase of stocks, debentures, and so on, between retailers to make more money. On the other hand, investing is concerned with purchasing and keeping stocks for an extended length of time. It is the process of putting a certain amount of money into a strategy, method, or initiative to generate a financial benefit in the future. This article shall deal with the differences between trading and investing.

Trading Vs Investing

The key difference between trading and investing is that trading means to re-sale goods and products for a particular amount of money, whereas, investing means keeping a stock of money or worth in various projects or undertakings, so that the investor can attain financial profit in the future. The primary principle of trading is to purchase when the rate is affordable and sell when the cost is high, but there are various alternative tactics, such as reverse trading and short-selling, that only professional traders employ to generate large gains in the immediate term. Unlike trading, investment is kept for decades or even centuries and comes with numerous benefits such as income, bonuses, and share-holdings, among others. Furthermore, the danger of adverse market conditions and economic uncertainty is eliminated in investing since there is always the expectation that prices will go up, and because it is a long-term investment, the investor should not be concerned about the specific downturn because it will remain for a brief duration.

Differences Between Trading and Investing in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Trading Investing
Meaning It means the trading or selling of securities, bonds, goods or products or shares between merchants or traders at a higher price to gain a profit Investing, on the other hand, means distributing money to either a project, an undertaking or a policy which is capable of generating profit in the days to come.
Risk factor There is a high risk in trading. The risk in investing is comparatively lower than in trading.
Timespan The stock is held for a shorter or a limited time period. The stock or the product can be held for a longer timespan (might be in years, decades or even longer)
Revenue There is a short time capital profit. Though investments can be held for more than a year, it is not taxed.
Plan or Strategy The products or the goods are bought to sell at a higher rate. On the other hand, the products are bought to keep a hold of them and invest money in them so that in the future they can make a profit out of them.
Types of equipment used Technical oscillators are used for trading purposes. Fundamentals of the market are the only types of equipment used in investing.
Profit percentage On average, a profit of 10% is earned every month with the trading of products and services. In investing, every year, a profit of 10 to 15% is earned.

What is Trading?

Trading is the exchange of goods and services between two entities. It is the basic principle which forms the base of all financial activities. Since the existence of human culture, trading or trade has been in existence. It varies from place to place. Previously, in the early days, there was a barter system as a trade where the commodities are exchanged for each other without the use of money. But, with time, this barter system lost its essence and money came into use. The convenience that the monetary usage offered triggered a chain of economic and financial developments like the credit system, share trading and many others. 

In trading, the short-term can range from immediate transactions to transactions or purchases that can last for a week or more. Traders, who are involved, buy and sell commodities, stocks, as well as other types of liquid assets. One of the advantages of trading over investing is that it provides more capital gain. It is also dynamic as well as volatile where there is a high-risk money-making process in the market which directly affects the trader's profit or loss. The major fundamental of trade is to buy the commodity at a lower price and sell the same at comparatively a higher rate to attain maximum profit. 

While buy-and-hold investors tolerate for less lucrative situations to mature, traders strive to benefit quickly and frequently utilize a precautionary stop-loss strategy to effectively shut off lost bets at a predefined market price. To uncover high-probability trading situations, traders frequently use mechanical analysis techniques such as exponential smoothing and dynamic synthesizers.

Types of Trading

There are various types of trading in the stock market. However, all of these can be categorized into 5 major categories. They are as follows:

Day Trading

This type of trade involves buying and selling the items in a single day itself. Individuals, in such trading, hold the stock for a definite period, it might be for some minutes or hours. Day traders enter and exit positions on the very same day, eliminating the possibility of huge nighttime movements. At the end of the day, they either gain or lose on their trade. Day traders are thoroughly required to understand the market volatility and their senses regarding ups and downs in a trade.

Position Trading

This type of trading is helpful for individuals who are not professionals or regular participants involved in marketing and stock exchange. Position traders are interested in long-term price fluctuations and maximizing possible rewards from significant price changes. As a result, transactions typically last several weeks, months, or even years. Position traders are engaged with minor fluctuations and often analyse and assess commodities utilizing weekly and monthly market prices, as well as a blend of technical signals and empirical studies to find probable incoming and outgoing levels.


Scalping is the shortest-term type of trading. Scalpers only maintain positions open for a few seconds or minutes at most. These short-term trades are aimed at tiny intraday price changes. It is also called micro-trading where transactions are done repeatedly in a single market day. The goal is to perform a large number of rapid transactions with little profit gains but to allow profits to accrue over the day owing to the large number of deals done in each hour of trading. Scalpers look for the tightest spreads possible, simply because they enter the market so frequently, so paying a wider spread will eat into potential profits. Scalpers try their best to trade during the busiest times when there is overlapping of trade facilities during the day, and when there is more trade velocity and volume.

Swing Trading

Swing traders are fundamental traders who take positions for more than one day. This type of trading is used to capitalise on the short term stock trends and trade patterns. Swing trading is used to incur profit within a few days of a trade by following proper execution of their investment principles and objectives. 

Momentum Trading

In such a type of trading, the trader exploits a stock’s momentum. This means that the value of the stock is distributed in either an upward or downward direction. These traders attempt to ride the momentum to the desired profit. When there is upward momentum, the trader sells the stock and gains the maximum. In case of downward momentum, the trader buys a considerable stock and keeps it for future benefit.

What is Investing?

Investing is a long-term investment strategy that aims to manage and build capital in the market. They have a buy-and-hold mindset that they adopt to gradually develop their money. Investing entails conducting an extensive deeper investigation of the possible investment objective, whether it is a stock or a long-term bond. An investor's goal is to build a diverse portfolio of investments and securities that provide returns through capital appreciation as well as payouts or interest expenses. This allows him or her to achieve economic security. As a result, investors do not often sell their shares. Only in an emergency or when the stock has attained its long-term objectives. We know that market trends change continuously. But investors believe that prices will rebound and losses will be covered in the long run. Investors are more interested with market fundamentals, such as price-to-earnings ratios and management forecasts.

Types of Investments

There are various kinds of investments. The three most important ones are as follows:


A stock is a financial investment in a particular firm. When people buy a stock, they are purchasing a share – a little portion of the corporation's financial statements. Organizations generate revenue by selling shares of stock in their company; purchasers can then purchase and sell those shares among themselves. They are sometimes referred to as shares or equities.


A bond is a loan that individuals can make to a company. Bonds are regarded as less risky than stocks, although they may provide lesser returns. Bonds are classified as fixed-income investments because investors anticipate regular income payments. Investors normally get interested in regular payments, often once or twice a year and the complete investment is paid out when the bond matures.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are a kind of investment done through various companies. They can either be active or passive depending upon who picks up the securities and where the money is invested. When a mutual fund generates money, such as through stock dividends or bond interest, a part of it is distributed to investors. When the value of the fund's investments rises, the value of the fund rises as well, implying that the one who purchased the mutual fund may resell it again.

Differences Between Trading and Investing in Points

  • The primary distinction between trading and investing is that trading allows individuals to benefit from economic uncertainty. On the other hand, short-term profits and losses are neglected in investing in favour of long-term gains realized as the firm expands.
  • Trading is a short-term investment that involves buying and selling within a single day or week. It is very unpredictable, and one poor decision can result in massive damages. On the other hand, investing entails extensively analysing the firm and keeping it for a longer length of time with the idea that it would generate profits in the future; this sort of investment includes minimal danger and may not generate massive profits, but it is reasonably safe to market movements.
  • Trading is the act of selling a stock or financial instrument as soon as it reaches the target price or over the loss barrier (also called the stop loss price). Investing entails avoiding market downtrends and not selling unless necessary.
  • In investing, the investor employs the fundamental study of the firm, but in trading, technical analysis is employed.
  • In trading, things or goods are purchased to resell at a greater price. In the case of investing, however, the things are purchased to maintain them and invest money in them so that they might profit from them in the future.


Thus, from the above discussion, it is seen that in any market system trading and investing are both necessary. There are various approaches, methods, types and others that distinguish trading and investing from each other. Trading is generally a short term process which is engaged with quick profit or loss but investment, on the other hand, is a more deep approach where the investors try to buy and hold their stock until there is utmost necessity to sell it. Both earn profits but traders earn more profit compared to investors if calculated and performed accordingly. Trading entails keeping a stock or financial asset for a day or until it reaches a short-term aim whereas, investing entails owning a stock for an extended period. Though both these approaches are necessary for gaining profit, it depends upon the plan and the strategy of the planner or the individual if they want short term profits or stock it for a long time for future gains.



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"Difference Between Trading and Investing." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 24 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-trading-and-investing-776>.

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