Alternative Investing

To date, the primary source of investing I have done with my investment account money is stock. Once the account balance hits $1,000 I put $500 into my Ameritrade account.

Right now I have $1,217 to invest. $500 will most likely go to stock soon, but I have $217 to play around with. I’ve previously used extra money like this to buy business clothing, but I want to do something different this time.

Gambling to me is not only entertainment, it can be a form of investing. Some friends of mine constantly play online poker for entertainment (and of course to make money) and they make decent returns every once in a while, but online poker is extremely time consuming. Online sports betting was brought to my attention by The Alpha Guy.

I don’t know much about sports, but after doing some research I found you can place relatively safe bets that turn small profits. If played out right with no emotion involved, this could possibly churn out some small profits here and there with very little time and research involved. The high stakes gambling can be left for trips to Vegas :)

Obviously there are risks, but what doesn’t have risks? Even if I lose this $217, I will consider it a $217 class on statistics, odds and risk management. Hey, that’s cheaper than taking a statistics course in college!

Blog posted on: March 21, 2005

13 comments on “Alternative Investing

  1. Anonymous

    No offense, but I have to disagree with your take on gambling. I think you are fooling yourself if you consider this a form of investing. The house always wins in the end. You need to compare the “small profits” you could potentially earn with the huge amount of risk. As you know, you should expect to be fairly compensated for the risk level you accept in any “investment”.

    I would also be seriously concerned with gambling’s potential addictive effects.

  2. Neville


    I take no offense to disagreement, I keep this site so I can get feedback whether good or bad!

    I realize I will probably lose my initial “investment” as if it were so easy to make money gambling, everyone would be doing it. BUT, I want to give it a try.

    I am aware of the addictive effects of gambling, but I am pretty strong about resisting temptation etc, so I doubt it will be a major issue. I also post my finances on this site on a regular basis, so you can easily take note if I start blowing all my cash on gambling!

    I still find this venture as a learning experience. I’d like to try it out, even though there are big risks. Where there are risks there are also potential rewards. I will still be giving this a try and let everyone know how it goes!

    Besides, my investment account is exactly for experimenting with investing. A large portion goes to safer investments, but some of it has to go towards learning.


  3. Anonymous

    I strongly disagree with the first Anonymous’s advice against gambling. Most of the richest men throughout history have loved to gamble. Gambling teaches you the hardway to become patient, rational and to pick up hints about what others are thinking.

    Some people get out of control and get addicted, but you obviously do not come off as that type. Good luck betting! You will probably lose more money than you will win, but I do agree that it will help educate you!

  4. jim

    I’d suggest that if you’re going to gamble, either on sportsbooks or poker, to set aside entertainment money and not investment money. Only because now you open the door for your budget to be fiddled around with after the fact, something that defeats the purpose of the budget. It’s a principle thing, you know?

    Also, you might enjoy the rush of watching a game with $20 on the line a little too much. That rush affects everyone differently so keep that in mind.

    And have fun! :)

  5. Cap

    im going to have to agree with most of whats mentioned above.. calling it an investment is sorta twisting the term a bit. I say just throw that 1,200 into ur Roth IRA and forget about it. heh

  6. Neville

    I think I will still put $200 on the line and give this a try… Just to see what it’s about. I should consider this an entertainment expense, but I get no pleasure from betting on sports as I could honestly care less who wins.

    I am not a sports fan, and hopefully this doesn’t get me started watching the games.

    I am interested in placing a relatively safe bet, then finding out if I lost or made money.

    Once the initial $200 is spent, I will have “learned” about this area, therefore I will not be considering gambling money as an investment in the future.

  7. Johnie

    I disagree with what Cap said above. Putting $x,xxx in a fund and “forgetting about it” is probably not a good way to invest or learn about investing. Nobody has ever made it rich by 1) not taking risks 2) not learning from their mistakes. I wouldn’t even go as far as to call dumping money into a fund investing. In addition, I don’t think Nev would start a blog about finance and investing and just park his money somewhere.

    Gambling on the other hand is on the other end of the spectrum. As mentioned previously, it’s high risk with mid to low expected. I know people that have jumped onto this poker craze and make a living from it. It’s easy if you’re good and there’s so much new money pumped into it. But once the young inexperience people leave, the game will be left with only the pros.

    I agree that gambling should come from the entertainment fund rather than investment fund. But you don’t need to be told that many times. And like I said, the best way to learn is to experience whether you’ev succeed for failed.

  8. Johnie

    You may also want to look into You can bet on all types of things other than sports. I’ve placed bets on the Oscars, the 2004 Election, and closing price of the Dow through there.

    Unlike sports betting, it’s a market. So you can buy low sell, high. A lot of people working on the trading desk at my firm use this site. But gambling is a big part of the trader mentality anyways.

  9. Anonymous

    Invest your money in the statistics class, at least after the class you will be smart enough to not “invest”
    your money in gambling.

    Anyway, you’ve already stated that you “will probably lose my initial investment”. So you have already learned the lesson that gambling is going to teach you.

  10. Cap

    I dont mean forget about it literally. heh. i meant this issue of gambling as a form of investment. just like cooking ur meal in that “Set it and forget it!” they always have those disclaimer telling you “dont really set it and forget it” you gotta check once in awhile and see how the chicken is turning out, and sometimes, appetite changes and you’ll have to throw in some pork instead..

  11. Neville

    Thanks for all the comments! I will def give some of these sites and other options a quick try. Even if I lose money I’ll learn something, plus it’s not a WHOLE lot of money.

    I’ll keep you all updated on my gambling adventures! I’m pretty excited about this scratch lotto idea!

  12. Anonymous

    To start off, there are some games that can be beaten. There are some games that can NOT be beaten.

    For example, you may have heard about card-counters. You may have read the book or watch the TV special about (MIT) card-counters.

    It is real and not just some urban legend. But, of course, it requires some work on your part.

    As an advantage player, I can attest to the fact that one can beat the house at its own game.

  13. Kim

    I’d suggest also trying to invest in penny stocks. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest with that’s the best market. The one bit of advice I would give is to make sure to really do some research before investing. One tip I’ve heard is that when you’re out and hear friends talking about some new products they purchased or start so see things that are up and coming, those are the companies to look into rather than ones that you hear about in the news or paper. Once a company has come out in the public as being a good investment that usually means it’s too late the the stock is already elevated. I wish you lots of luck with however you choose to invest or gamble your extra cash. If you decide to invest in penny stocks I’ve used a good side called I hope this helps!


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