We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Sadly, I once had the opportunity years ago to buy into the initial Apple stock offering. At the time some of my college buddies and I were taking an investment class. Our weekly assignment was to pick certain stocks and track our success. My friend heard about a couple guys that were developing microcomputer technology out of their garage. He was adamant that I should invest actual money in the company. I even went so far as to call my dad for advice. Dad was a typical conservative banker, and as such had no faith in the stock market. He essentially told me not to waste my time or money. Who knows what that stock might be worth today?
Unfortunately my dad is not one of those rich guys! The irony is that his pension and 401K investments did quite well. You are right though, in the fact that the stock market is essentially a form of legalized gambling.
On another note, my father also talked me into becoming an accountant instead of a writer. Perhaps that was a good thing!
Actually I am glad I have owned Berkshire these last few years. Not enough years to be worth millions but long enough to double.... Twice! I think I'll hang on a while. It's worth the price just to get the annual report, and the invitation to Omaha in May.