Shares vs Scratchies and Gambling – Which is Better?

How to Become a Millionaire with Shares or Scratchies/Lotto/Gambling

A few weeks ago, a friend and I started a little comparison. They love scratchies, lotto, roulette, gambling etc. (I am aware this is an addiction for many, so if you or someone you know needs help, head to https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/).

Meanwhile, I love shares and had heard when I was younger if you invest what you would have spent on lotto/gambling, you’d be a millionaire. Obviously it won’t happen straight away and shares still carry some risk, but it is an interesting concept.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links to products and services I personally use.

Shares vs Gambling – Our Experiment

The rules for our experiment are simple. For every dollar they spend, I invest the equivalent in shares. As it would be small amounts, I opted to do this through Spaceship (you can get a $5 sign-up bonus with the code S81BMI9TX7. You also need to invest within 90 days.

So far, $230 has been spent by them on scratchies and lotto. They’ve ‘won’ $22 on scratchies and $30 on lotto, leaving them with -$178. My $230 is in Shares and has increased by $5.31 on top of that, so I have $235.31.

It is early days but I am confident shares will win out.

Aren’t Shares Gambling?

Shares can be gambling if you have no idea what you are doing and invest in anything. Instead, do your research, invest where you spend, pay attention to the market and don’t invest in anything risky. Bigger risk often comes with bigger rewards when it works out but most people don’t have the stomach or spare cash for that.

With some research and investing smartly, you reduce your risk. I’ve invested in shares for years and while they do go up and down, for the most part, they’ve always bounced back. My investments have typically been with my bank, my electricity provider, where I shop and services I use. Rarely, have I invested in things outside of what I use.

How to Become a Millionaire with Shares

Slow and steady wins the race. While you can do day trading (buying and selling shares daily), for many who became millionaires through shares, it was done by investing and waiting. Historically, the share market has returned an average of 10%, much higher than any high-interest saving account.

I wrote how to be a millionaire as a single mother and the principles in that article apply. Use compound interest and time. Invest in shares, keep an eye on them, reinvest the dividends and eventually, as their value increases, you’ll be able to live off the dividends.

How long it takes depends on how much you invest, how the shares perform, if you reinvest the dividends etc. Plan for a few years or using shares as part of your retirement plan, one where you don’t have to wait until your 60 to retire!

How to Become a Millionaire Through Gambling

“You could win $20,000,000!” or “Win $10,000 on a $2 scratchie!” This is what lures people in and often sees them chasing their losses trying to recoup what has been spent. Yes, you could win big but that is rare and most of it is set to ensure you don’t win. Those small wins e.g. the $20 and $30 here and there give you a little rush to keep you playing.

I’ve seen people in my life addicted to gambling lose everything. Friends and family struggle because of their addictions. I am not advocating gambling by any means. I’d much rather see you put whatever you were going to spend on gambling into shares or a savings account.

The chances of you becoming a millionaire through lotto are slim. You have a higher chance if you invest. It is up to you if you choose to gamble but if you do, set limits, leave your cards at home and only use what you have in your splurge account.

Will I Continue the Experiment?

I’ll keep going investing in shares while my friend spends on gambling as long as they want to do the comparison. It is a fun game of sorts and my main investments are elsewhere. They aren’t spending huge amounts of money so it’s not a high risk.

If I was concerned about their spending habits on gambling, we’d stop and they would seek help.

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