Stock Market Animals

30 03 2008

Know Your Stock Market Animals


A market monkey – also referred as Volume Monkey – are the traders that jump on anything that’s moving regardless of type or reason. There comes a time however when stalwarts of the stock – Bears and Bulls – may shake the monkeys off the tree (stock) by placing large sell orders, through capping, or leveraging quick buy-sells that frighten the monkeys down to a lower price – which is possible given the monkey does not have a fundamental knowledge of the stock in the first place.


Lemming investors are worse than sheep, more useless than donkeys and lose more often than a dog stock. A lemming, simply, has the inbuilt need to fail. There is no other way for a lemming to go.

Bull and Bear

The bull and bear represent a rising or falling market respectively. Bullish is to be optimistic, Bearish is to be pessimistic. A bear is a reality check and a bull is a wild fast ride. Neither side has the advantage in a sideways market. Ordinarily both animals are evenly matched (brains, ability) except that in a given market the prevailing climate favours one over the other.

Cash Cow

A Cash Cow is a steady income flow from your preferred product or service. A perennial that will be there year in, year out. Keep your cash cows!

Gold Bug

The Gold Bug can only dream one thing : Gold! In physical form or as script, in good times and bad, gold is rarely out of fashion.


Ostrich investors bury their heads on bad news and hope everything will be fine once they emerge.


Elephants are big, huge, mega! An elephant can be a stock that goes up and up. As a term it can define a large resource that leads to a stock’s momentum, such as : “This is elephant country” when referring to prospecting mineral ore bodies in greenfield projects.


Turkeys think they look great when they look ridiculous. You’ll find a turkey or two in boardrooms. Unfortunately you’ll also find them in your portfolio if you don’t take care.


Donkey speculators buy into anything. Usually they pick “unfortunate” propositions.

Cockroach Theory

The theory is that when one problem is found there is usually a few more lurking, and the smart investor will wait to commit once a clearer picture emerges. Cockroaches are fast and difficult to catch, and where you find one, his mates are sure to follow.


A Whale is a big buyer, a large order for shares in a market depth queue. Perhaps they have knowledge of news on the way, and cannot wait to buy slowly / through autobots. They are prepared, at a good price, to take a large tranche of shares in one hit.


Deer stand stiff with fright when confronted with an important split-second decision. The Deer Investor can Hold, Buy or Sell but in reality all the Deer does is stand there hopelessly making no decision, by default a hold, in circumstances where a Buy or Sell is required quickly.

Doves and Hawks

The two views on interest rates vs. inflation, represented by the Dove (high inflation, low interest) and the Hawk (low inflation, high interest). A person is either seen as Dovish or Hawkish, and is more oft referred in political circles, financial controllers.


Stags realize a profit on the first day of a new stock listing, having purchased before market in an IPO. Their margins are made on over-subscribed offers where they can confidently sell to those buyers who missed out in the first round and are now required to purchased on market.


Sheep investors bunch into opportunities without due diligence.


Snakes are pilferers, liars, schemers. One who shamelessly asset strips, juggles books, divests. An underhand company director, a dishonest broker.


A rat is very sensitive to his environment. When you see these guys jump ship you know the game is up.

Lame Ducks

A lame duck trader loses on every hand, buying high and selling low.


Gorillas dominate the industry they are in to a virtual monopoly. Competing against them is akin to a stick of celery taking on a cannon.


Cold, calculating and precise, the shark may hunt in a pack or alone. In the markets, shark activity is often referred during Hostile Takeovers. The feeding frenzy that follows is also very shark like.

Vulture Capitalists

Takes advantage of a company that is in a vulnerable position financially. Unlike Venture Capitalists, a Vulture Capitalist is to the detriment of a business and is usually around at the bitter end, hastening a demise in their favour.

Dead Cat Bounce

When a stock bellyflops in price and comes back only momentarily before its final journey down.


The Dog Stock is the template under-performing company which is present during either Bull or Bear markets. They may be penny dreadfuls or highly priced – the criteria is they must continually under-perform. A dog stock that goes ever lower in value is known as a Dog With Fleas.



3 responses

6 06 2008
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2 08 2008

Stocks are complicated instruments of investment. It is very important that an investor takes advice from a professional broker before entering the market. The broker should devise a strategy with the buyer as a lot of people dont know when to exit from an investment. Exit strategy is the best contribution made by the broker.

25 08 2008

Wow, I never realized there were so many animals in the stock market. Thanks for compiling this clear list!

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