‘Play money’ or ‘discretionary fund’ is a part of your personal savings and it can be of a size that you are comfortable with, if you have the financial strength and appetite to easily withstand the loss of that entire amount in the worst-case scenario. The amount in this discretionary fund can go towards investing in risky opportunities in which you personally believe and understand. Examples of such risky opportunities include a specific stock, a personal loan for a relatively-higher interest to a friend, or a business venture of your friend.
Only after you set your rainy-day fund and you are on-course with your long-term investing goals, you should start to consider some part of your wealth as play money.
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