What Is The Difference Between A Trader And An Investor?
What Is The Difference Between A Trader And An Investor?

What Is The Difference Between A Trader And An Investor?

The terms "investment" and "trading" are sometimes used interchangeably, and they both relate to generating revenue in the stock market. Once you get down to specifics, though, you'll notice that investing and trading represent two very different disciplines. Read on to find out more.

Dr. Clemen Chiang
Dr. Clemen Chiang

An investor is a person who purchases stock in a firm with the intention of increasing their investment throughout time. Traders leap around through equities in weeks, days, and sometimes even minutes in the hopes of making quick money. They frequently concentrate on the technical aspects of a stock instead of the company's long-term objectives.

Check out the below difference between trader and investor:

Use of leverage

The usage of leverage tends to rise as trading becomes more short-term. Because day traders strive to generate quick profits, they typically utilize leverage while distributing betting, or trading CFDs on stocks, currencies, indices, or any other financial asset. They like to keep a close eye on their holdings and use tiny stop-losses and risk each transaction.

Swing traders may use leverage, although it is typically just under a day trader because their holdings are longer-term and not continually monitored.

Investors may employ leverage, but is much less frequent because they are often taking positions for such long term and must be able to withstand the market's normal ups and downs in order to achieve long-term returns.


To benefit from the market, investors and traders employ a variety of tactics to find the difference between day trading and investing. The following are some short-term strategies:

  • Day trading and scalping tactics are used to make money in minutes, hours, or even seconds.
  • Swing trading aims to profit on price movements that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
  • Traders may profit from economic releases such as business results and surprise breaking news by using news trading.

Also, there are other strategies for investors:

  • Fundamental investing, which focuses on discovering firms with stable or rising profits or financial positions, is another strategy available to investors. Financial analysis is the examination of a company's history and predicted financial performance, which is used by these investors.
  • Value investing entails locating firms that are undervalued in relation to their financial worth. This apparent valuation can occur as a consequence of a negative market forecast for a specific industry or as a product of the firm receiving unwanted press, but even solid companies can decline in value if the stock market falls, giving a possible value-based purchasing opportunity.
  • Buy-and-hold investors are ready to ride out short-term rise and fall in order to realize a strategic and long potential and worth.

Passive investing entails purchasing assets such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), metals, or blue-chip companies and keeping them until retirement. The goal of passive investing is to limit financial transactions and research labor to a low.

The duration of the trade

A trade has a shorter time frame than an investment. A trader may purchase and sell a commodity in months, weeks, days, and even moments, whereas an investor may buy and sell an asset for years. High-frequency trading tactics, for example, might be used by a day trader.

Traders may be more interested in compounding their earnings than investors. Compounding returns are calculated in the same way that compound interest is calculated. Because any winnings are transferred to the outstanding balance and can be utilized on the following transaction, the shorter the deal, the greater the likelihood of compounding.

Number of trades

In a single day, a trader can make as many deals as an investor makes in a year. With varied investment timelines, there is a vast variety of active traders and investors.

Swing traders can make many deals in a week or a month, whereas day traders may execute multiple trades every day. While  Position traders may only trade once every several months or longer.

Investors may make a few trades every year, and some may be more active than others. Some people could go decades without trading. Others may desire to adjust their account every year or diversify their assets, which will result in additional trades.

Risk/reward profile

Traders and investors both want to benefit from the risk they're taking, but their methods for calculating risk and return may differ.

A short-term trader can set an exact level at which to quit a lost transaction and benefit from a winning one. For instance, investors may be ready to lose 5% of their investment but will benefit if they earn 15%. This is a good example of an exact risk/reward ratio.

Long and short

Investors acquire assets that they believe will increase in value over the following year or longer. This is referred to as long-only. Rather than attempting to short and benefit from the collapse, falling prices are usually used to build long holdings. Traders can go long or short, making transactions regardless of whether prices are increasing or dropping.

Reacting to Uncertainty

Because it is uncertain how far the instability will remain, investors may not respond to it, and short-term fluctuations are less important to them. If the volatility causes huge dips or rallies in specific assets, investors may decide to take advantage of the chance to purchase or sell. Others may choose to disregard volatility and concentrate on their protracted strategy and objectives.

In turbulent markets, traders will be much more active as bigger up or down moves generate trading possibilities. However, not all traders are the same. Some people like to trade in quieter markets, whereas others prefer to trade in very turbulent stocks with huge price swings.

Investing in ETFs

Since their holdings might include commodities, equities, treasuries, currencies, and other securities, purchasing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can assist offer diversification. The investor must own a part of the fund if they invest in an ETF.

Traders can also use ETFs, but only those with a lot of volume and activity. The large volume makes it easy for traders to initiate and exit trades, and the fluctuation gives a profit chance.


Many trading accounts charge fees for buying and selling. Traders, on the other hand, have greater costs than investors because they engage more frequently and make several transactions across the day. Investors who maintain holdings in mutual funds or ETFs, on the other hand, often pay an annual processing fee to the fund as well as commissions to the broker.

When it comes to spreading betting, there are no commission costs. A spread charge and overnight holding expenses (except forwarding contracts) are paid by the trader, although management fees are avoided overall.


Spread betting earnings are not liable to capital gains tax, so they are also exempt from stamp duty. Yet when trading CFDs with us, gains in other forms of trading accounts are frequently taxed.

To get started, create a spread betting account.

What Makes You Choose One Over The Other?

Whether a person trades and invests at the same time or selects one activity over the other is determined by their objectives and other personal characteristics such as time, money, and personality.

If your main objective is to build a portfolio that you can sell when you retire, you might consider investing; since it has several advantages, including monthly dividend payments plus compound interest throughout time.

Trading could be a better alternative if you have to generate money relatively rapidly and profit from the market research in a couple of days (if the analysis is true). However, it varies from trader to trader, and you should do your homework and risk management while making a selection for Investing vs Trading. Many people will determine that they wish to invest or trade within the short term, with various time horizons.

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. Spiking strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research before making financial decisions.