When you invest in something you are speculating a future move or price change that will enable you to make some money out of it. I believe that every time you are investing you are speculating as well, even though speculating sounds a lot worse than “investing”. This definition can be found on multiple books and all around the web.
Some people might disagree with it, but if you read Max Gunther’s famous “The Zurich Axioms”, then you understand why there is no difference between an investor and a speculator. Some people believe that when they are investing, they are doing for the long term, that they are doing a good thing by putting some money on other people’s hand that they believe they will be able to put it to a better use.
Speculation is often seen as a short term type of investment. Whether it is a swing trade or a day trade system, it does not matter, it is speculation and at the same time an investment. I don’t believe that the meaning of these two words could be only defined by how long a trade or investment lasts. This is way too simple and would not convey with what really goes on in the stock market.
Do not be afraid to call yourself a speculator.
The sooner you realize that there is no difference between the two, the sooner you will get rid of the burden of not feeling good when you have made a quick profit on the markets. There are loads of different strategies that you can follow in any particular occasion: they can be long-term, short-term, seasonal, etc. But all of them are speculations and investments. Regardless of what you may call them, just make sure you profit from them and let the others wonder whether you are speculating or investing.