Definition of Trading: To exchange one thing for another. Definition of Speculator: To engage in the buying or selling of a security with an element of risk on the chance of profit. Which one are you? I'll answer the question first. When I first got in this business I considered myself a trader but was really a speculator. I would buy and short stock with the hopes of it going in my direction. I did not receive anything for doing so unless I was able to close my position at a profit. I eventually learned pair trading. While this helped to remove market direction, I was still "speculating" on the spread either widening or narrowing. Than I learned about selling calls and puts against stock and cash reserves, and I finally crossed the chasm into real "trading." I began selling covered calls and puts, thus trading a right for someone to buy my stock or to sell me their stock at certain prices. And in exchange, I got cash or stock. In learning to make markets, I finally became a trader crossing the chasm from being speculator. I no longer fear waking up the market will crash or zip higher. I simply sit back and collect cash for providing a service to speculators. What a wonderful world. So what are you? A speculator or trader?