chapter  XXXVIII
5 Pages


It does not follow that anyone who buys and sells between two points of place or time is by that fact a trader or speculator. That would be the case only if the purchase and sale were bound together in one operation undertaken for the purpose of profit. When, for example, a person buys railway stocks for the interest they yield him, holds them and finally sells, market language classes him as an investor. If, however, he had undertaken the operation in anticipation of a profitable difference between the buying and selling price, market language would usually class him as a speculator. It is not entirely satisfactory to let the distinction turn on a question of intention; but such a course is, perhaps, better than its alternatives. We may, therefore, define the speculator as one who carries between two points of time with a view to profiting from a price difference between the two exchanges bounding his operation.