NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Regardless of the stock, the majority of us participate in speculation when we make an investment. Some loose consensus of sentiment determines the degree to which one stock is more speculative than another.
You would be hard-pressed to find anybody willing to call McDonald's (MCD) a speculative stock, even when it hit $100. It's a heritage company that continues to grow and pays a stable dividend.
Since hitting a 52-week high of $102.22 early this year, MCD is off about 14%. If you bought at or near the top, you speculated and were wrong. Does that make it a speculative investment? Probably not. Stocks tend to go up and down. This pullback should not surprise us.
But, what if MCD continues to go down or merely stagnates? At that point, does it become speculative in the widely-accepted sense of the word? Many investors would argue that it does not. McDonald's has a history of executing a proven business model. It's a blue-chip. That's fine; however, on the ground, it's still speculative. And if MCD stops generating meaningful returns, outside of the dividend hedge, its blue-chip status means little. On paper, it's no different than keeping dead money in Sirius XM (SIRI) or going long a pharmaceutical that the FDA denies approval.