Investors also invest money in speculative investment. In a sense, speculation is also part of investment. But there are distinct differences between investment and speculation. Investment generally means placing money in various financial vehicles or assets with the intention of getting returns when sold at a time these financial vehicles or assets are priced higher than when bought. The investment tends to be speculative investment when the investor does not make adequate analysis, or when the financial vehicle in which investment is made poses a high risk and its safety is low. Or it may even be that the risk involved could extend to even the loss of the amount invested.
Expectation that the price of the asset will increase in the future is why the speculator invests. Economic, environmental, social and political factors also can influence the price. Even rumors cause the price to fluctuate. The factors that led to the fluctuation may not even be directly connected to the asset. For instance, the prospects of a government falling may cause market fluctuation even before anything has happened to the government. Investment in gold and oil by its very nature are speculative. Sometimes, investors buy an asset with the intention of short selling, the investment is then speculative. Speculative investment is when investors hold, buy, sell and short sell stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, derivatives, real estate, collectibles and other valuable financial assets with the sole idea of making profits from the fluctuations in price rather than its real value.
The foreign exchange market is experiencing the fastest growth in the world. The investment made in the forex market is both investment and speculative investment as well. The volume of investment in the forex market is considerably speculative in nature. Financial institutions, brokers, banks and governments are the major players in the forex market. The price of foreign currency derivative is based on the exchange rate that prevails between any set of currencies.
The holding time of the financial asset is the clear indication of whether the investment is speculative or not. The shorter holding time indicate that the investment is speculative. Though there is always the dimension of speculation in every investment, it is not the main objective of investment.