Investing in stocks has always carried an element of speculation. We can make projections and assumptions, but we can never be certain about what would transpire in the future. In fact, sometimes we think the less the market understands of a company’s business, the more attractive its stock becomes! Perhaps it is the gambling mentality that, over the course of history, has proved to be very much a part of human nature.

Positively, it is this risk-taking culture that drives innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. But excessive speculation often leads to asset bubbles that eventually end in tears when reality sets in. Yet, through every boom and bust cycle, there is never any shortage of investors who would embrace risk-taking.

Most prevailing narratives espouse a positive spin on how technological advancements have resulted in the democratisation of investing for millions of people, especially first-timers. How the ease of use and accessibility — all you need is a smartphone app — convenience, zero-commission fee trading platforms and fractional share trading have championed inclusiveness. How the free flow of information has levelled the playing field (more or less) for the everyday investor, the man in the street.

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