Investing vs. Speculating (in French)

In 1635, seeking to create a norm for the French language which followed clear and concise rules, Cardinal and Secretary of State Richelieu founded the Académie Française. The academic think-tank published their first dictionary in 1694, their work consisting mostly of “pruning the language of synonyms and rigidly defining each term so that no two terms had the same meaning” [1].

As a result, and fast-forwarding to the present, to purchase common stock on the open market in France is not to invest but to speculate. The two following articles illustrate the Académie‘s good choice in using this distinction:

The first is a New York Time’s article about a 15 year old boy prosecuted by the SEC for profits gained from hyping penny stocks over the internet.

The second is a blog post from Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban describing his first experience taking a company public and marketing it to institutional investors, as well as the swings he witnessed in technology stocks in the late 1990s based on the knowledge and information he provided to his broker.

[1] Nadeau, Jean-Benoît and Julie Barlow. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong. London: Robson Books, 2004. Print.

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