Bill Ackman on Investing: The Difference Between Speculation and Value

Billionaire Bill Ackman discussed his investment philosophy in a recent interview, briefly mentioning cryptocurrencies.

Bill Ackman criticizes short-term cryptocurrency trading as speculative, but sees long-term value.

Shalini Nagarajan Image Source: Shalini Nagarajan (source)


In a recent interview, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman shared his investment philosophy and touched on the subject of cryptocurrencies. Known for his bold strategies and successful investments, Ackman’s insights carry weight in the investing world. In this article, we’ll explore Ackman’s views on the difference between speculation and investing, his take on crypto, and the value of understanding a company’s long-term potential.

Speculation vs. Investing: What’s the Difference?

Ackman emphasized the distinction between speculation and investing, stating that speculation involves making guesses about the future without solid knowledge. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, he sees short-term trading as more of a speculative move. However, he believes that there might be intrinsic value in the long run. To put it simply, speculation is like trading crypto in the short term, while investing involves doing your homework and understanding the business, industry, and management dynamics.

Crypto as Speculative Investment

Ackman expressed concerns about the crypto market being driven by speculation and heading towards an inevitable crash. He noted that many crypto investors didn’t have a clear understanding of the value of the assets they were investing in; they simply saw prices going up and followed the trend. According to him, true investing involves digging deep, understanding a business, and predicting its long-term value creation.

The Potential of Crypto and Ethical Concerns

While initially skeptical about cryptocurrencies, Ackman acknowledged their potential to enable the formation of useful businesses and technologies previously unattainable. However, he also highlighted the presence of unethical actors in the industry, creating tokens solely for pump-and-dump schemes. Ackman believes that the crypto industry needs more enforcement to weed out these bad actors, calling for self-policing and accountability within the industry.

Lessons from “The Intelligent Investor”

In the interview, Ackman discussed the influence of the book “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham on his investment approach. He emphasized the difference between price and value, stating that price is what you pay, while value is what you get. Ackman likened the stock market to a neighbor offering to buy your house. To make the most of the market, you need to figure out the true worth of an asset. While the stock market may behave like a voting machine in the short term, influenced by speculation, in the long run, it acts more like a weighing machine, reflecting the true value of a company.

Outlook and Recommendations

Looking ahead, the future of cryptocurrencies remains uncertain. However, with increasing scrutiny and the need for regulatory measures, the industry may experience significant changes. As an investor, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the trends and developments in the crypto market, focusing on the intrinsic value of assets and understanding the competitive dynamics of the industry. Diversifying your investment portfolio and staying informed about regulatory updates can help navigate the evolving landscape.

Q&A: Addressing Readers’ Concerns

Q: Is short-term trading in cryptocurrencies a viable strategy? A: Short-term trading in cryptocurrencies can be highly speculative and carries significant risks. It requires careful market analysis, technical expertise, and an understanding of market dynamics. Investing for the long term and focusing on the intrinsic value of assets may yield more sustainable results.

Q: How can investors protect themselves from unethical actors in the crypto industry? A: To protect themselves, investors should conduct thorough due diligence before investing in any crypto project. Pay attention to the team’s background, project transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, staying updated on regulatory developments and industry news can help identify potential red flags and scams.

Q: What are some recommended resources for learning more about investing and cryptocurrencies? A: Some valuable resources for learning more about investing include books like “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton Malkiel, and “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle. To stay informed about cryptocurrencies, reputable websites and news platforms like CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, and CoinMarketCap provide valuable insights and analysis.


Bill Ackman’s perspective on investing versus speculation offers valuable insights for both crypto enthusiasts and traditional investors. By distinguishing between short-term trading and long-term value creation, investors can make more informed decisions. While the crypto industry may face challenges from unethical actors, ongoing efforts for regulation and self-policing can help create a more transparent and secure environment. By understanding the true worth of assets and staying informed, investors can navigate the crypto landscape more effectively.

References: 1. dYdX Overtakes Uniswap as Daily Trading Volumes Hit $757 Million 2. Bill Ackman Interview with Lex Fridman 3. Twitter: Bill Ackman 4. Follow Us on Google News

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