|In economics, investment is related to saving and deferring consumption. Investment is involved in many areas of the economy, such as business management and finance whether for households, firms, or governments.
In finance, investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, usually over a longer term. This may or may not be backed by research and analysis. Most or all forms of investment involve some form of risk, such as investment in equities, property, and even fixed interest securities which are subject, inter alia, to inflation risk.
In contrast putting money into something with a hope of short-term gain, with or without thorough analysis, is gambling or speculation. This category would include most forms of derivatives, which incorporate a risk element without being long-term homes for money, and betting on horses.