Our Blog

Bullish vs Bearish: What’s the Difference?

Recessions lasting for several years are classified as depressions. Once they no longer have an active income stream, many people shift their investing strategies to preservation instead of growth. That generally means fxcm review making your investments more conservative, or cash-, bond- and fixed-income-based, than you have before. Market timing is notoriously difficult, and you never know when the market is going to hit its bottom.

No matter the market, if someone says they are shorting, they believe the price will go down. Traders can also sell at a high price and buy back at a lower price, which is called being short, shorting, or short selling. Essentially, you borrow the asset, sell it, then buying it back cheaper so you earn a profit.

The key to successful investing is to understand the difference between the two types of market conditions and adjust your investment strategy accordingly. Short-selling or safer investments like fixed-income securities are deemed most profitable in this scenario. On the other hand, the chances of loss are more prominent in a bear market because prices continuously lose value, and the end is occasionally not in sight. Any losses should be temporary and minimal in a bull market.

Bearish investors may also anticipate that periods of decline precede opportunities to buy the asset at a discounted rate. To fully understand how financial markets operate, it is important to understand the difference between bear and bull markets. Bearish is a term used to describe a downward movement in the stock market. Bullish is a term used for the opposite instance when the market is moving upward. Each designation can represent the change in an asset as well as a change in the entire market.

  1. Bearish investors will never bet against the performance of the market in the long run, but bearish market sentiments can cause downward trends in the short term.
  2. The onset of a bear market also implies additional economic problems.
  3. A bull market is the condition of a financial market in which prices are rising or are expected to rise.
  4. 11 Financial is a registered investment adviser located in Lufkin, Texas.
  5. Later, as years went on, the term evolved to refer to the individual making that investment.

They are necessities that people buy regardless of economic conditions. However, not all long movements in the market can be characterized as bull or bear. Sometimes a market may go through a period of stagnation as it tries to find kraken trading review direction. In this case, a series of upward and downward movements would actually cancel-out gains and losses resulting in a flat market trend. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only.

What Sectors Do Well in a Bear Market?

This underperformance means companies are not actualizing returns to investors. If recessions last for multiple quarters, they may turn into depressions. Economic depression is a symbol of underperformance by a given economy. The Great Recession and the Great Depression are both well-known examples of the American economy slipping into turmoil. During these times, companies underperform and citizens feel the effects through unfavorable repercussions such as inflation, lack of availability, and closures of small businesses. Investors who choose short stocks are generally not interested in the long-term viability of the asset itself.

Investor confidence will also tend to climb throughout a bull market period. The overall demand for stocks will be positive, along with the overall tone of the market. In addition, there will be a general increase in the amount of IPO activity during bull markets. Arthur Burns and Wesley Mitchell were the creators of what we know today as the business cycle. Their proposition states that business-related ventures fluctuate upwards and downwards in a never-ending cycle, where peaks are periods of economic expansion or positive movement, and the opposite are periods of economic depression. Both periods occur frequently and constantly counteract each other.

Create a Free Account and Ask Any Financial Question

That’s why long-term investors tend to hold stocks for years. Every trader should understand what long, short, bullish, and bearish mean. These fundamental terms are used frequently in financial news, trading articles, market analysis, and financial conversations. Regardless of whether you’re day trading, long-term investing, or simply joining a conversation, you can benefit from learning the definition of these terms. Because the market’s behavior is impacted and determined by how individuals perceive and react to its behavior, investor psychology and sentiment affect whether the market will rise or fall.

Angling towards investments like ETFs and bonds might instead be in order. Etymologists disagree on the exact origin of this term, however, it most likely has its origins as a foil to the term bear. While other theories circulate, this is the most generally accepted source of the phrase bull market. Perhaps the most widely reported alternative source for the term comes from how the bull as an animal attacks, by sweeping its horns upward in the same direction that optimist investors expect the market to go.

What Does Bearish vs. Bullish Sentiment Mean?

When the economy hits a rough patch, for instance in the face of recession or spike in unemployment, it becomes difficult to sustain rising stock prices. Moreover, recessions are often accompanied by a negative turn in investor and consumer sentiment, where market psychology becomes more concerned with fear or reducing risk than greed or risk-taking. Since bull markets are difficult to predict, analysts can typically only recognize this phenomenon after it has happened. A notable bull market in recent history was the period between 2003 and 2007. During this time, the S&P 500 increased by a significant margin after a previous decline; as the 2008 financial crisis took effect, major declines occurred again after the bull market run. Investing in securities involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

An investor may also turn to defensive stocks, whose performance is only minimally impacted by changing trends in the market. Therefore, defensive legacyfx review stocks are stable in both economic gloom and boom cycles. These are industries such as utilities, which are often owned by the government.

Candor does not receive compensation to promote or discuss any particular Company; however, Candor, its employees and affiliates, and/or its clients may hold positions in securities of the Companies discussed. Take self-paced courses to master the fundamentals of finance and connect with like-minded individuals. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

Change in Economic Activity

In a bull market, high GDP growth is anticipated, and as economic demand rises, so does industrial output, sales, and turnover. However, the expressions took on a more precise connotation among stock traders and investors who knew the practice of speculating on an impending decline. Investors who expect a market-wide decline in stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities or alternative investments like collectibles are considered bearish since they believe the decline will be prolonged and significant. A bullish investor, for example, believes that the share price of XYZ Corp. will increase. Their concerns may lead them to sell their stocks, keep their cash on hand, and look for alternate investments such as bonds, precious metals, real estate, or money market funds—instead of stocks. Investors frequently have pessimistic views of the stock market and may have anxiety over their portfolios during a bear market.