by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
What is the definition of investment? The Collins English Dictionary says that the word originated in the 1590s from “putting on vestments” when a person assumed or was appointed to an office of authority, hence the clothing reference.
Later in the 1640s it meant maneuvering “vested” military leaders in an area to overwhelm an enemy and occupy their territory. Only after the (British) East India Company became a largely known enterprise by the 1740s did it mean the “conversion of money to property in hopes of a profit.”
The word’s significance today stems from its real estate speculation roots “as a vehicle for profit.” An investment is designed (hopefully) to make a profit. What is profit? First, let’s appreciate these very common and easily substituted synonyms for “investment.” Then we can see where profit is disregarded. Here is the synonym list: