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DEFINITION of 'Play'

A slang term that describes the positive aspects of an investment decision. A play in investing is the reason why an investor made his or her decision.

"Playing the stock market" is a phrase used by beginner investors signifying that they have gained access, simulated or real, to the ups and downs of the stock market.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Play'

Investing in a stock is in no way a guarantee; there will be information supporting and going against any decision. The word "play" describes the reasons that support the choice. Much like a football play, a decision is made using the given information at the time. Finding out if it was the right play will be determined at a later time.

"Play" is used both conversationally and in investing articles, and usually describes an investment decision. For example, take a look at the statements below, which reflect those typically made by investors.

Q:
"Why did you buy that stock?"

A1
: "It was a book value play, because the stock was trading well below its book value."
A2: "It was a longterm real estate play, because I believe the property value will increase over the next 10 years."
A3: "It was an infrastructure play on developing nations, because the company builds roads in developing countries."

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