Home > Money > Beyond bulls and bears: Commonly used stock market animal metaphors
Beyond bulls and bears: Commonly used stock market animal metaphors

Fierce, competitive and ruthless — the stock market is much like a jungle when it comes to the different characters involved in it. From optimistic individuals, who charge like bulls, to sheepish traders following the herd mentality, the variety of investor traits spotted frequently makes it easy to draw parallels with the animal kingdom. No wonder zoological jargons are a common part of the stock market symbols.

Whether you’re a novice investor or someone who knows their way around the share market well, you must have come across the ‘bull’ and ‘bear’ metaphors. For the uninitiated, a bull market symbolises a period of consistent market expansion, whereas a bear market represents times of economic downturn when stock prices fall rapidly.

Furthermore, individuals who believe that the market will do well are known as bulls. Such investors take a bullish stance and buy securities with the expectation that they can later sell them for a greater price. Whereas, a bear is an investor who anticipates a decrease in prices and sells a borrowed security or commodity in the hopes of repurchasing it at a cheaper price in the future.

However, these two are not the only symbols used by investors, traders and institutes to describe the market and its players. Let’s explore the other animal expressions in the stock market to find out what investing moniker suits you the best.

Stock market animal symbols that you must know about


Image: Courtesy Pixabay/Pexels

Complex and highly intelligent, wolves have rightfully lent their name to the investing world. Any headstrong individual, who frequently adopts unethical practices of money-making, is called a wolf. Such investors may engage in stock market scams as well.

Harshad Mehta, who earned the moniker of ‘The Wolf of Dalal Street’ due to his deceptive trading strategies which led to the 1992 stock market scandal, is an ideal example.

Additionally, when several people collaborate to manipulate the market, it is referred to as a wolf market. For instance, a group of investors might use wolf-hunting strategies to short-sell a company’s shares in order to destroy its value.


Image: Courtesy mali maeder/Pexels

Often associated with greed, pigs are commonly used as a metaphor in the stock market. Trading slang is used to describe an investor, who is insatiable and always sniffing for more. Such individuals are likely to invest in very high-risk stocks with the greed of earning greater returns.

Unfortunately, such traders most often end up suffering significant losses. However, they do occasionally generate profits as well, and those are often quite substantial.


Image: Courtesy Guyo Adhi/Pexels

Ostriches are well known for running away from danger rather than facing it head-on. Similarly, investors are termed ostriches if they choose to disregard bad market conditions. This type of individual patiently waits for the market to stabilise in the hope that once things start to grow again, their investment portfolio will automatically get balanced.


Stag stock market animal
Image: Courtesy Buddh Sharan Sahu/Pexels

Stags have the natural trait of being intuitive and mature. Similarly, investors who approach the opportunity to invest in the market irrespective of bull or bear market conditions are called stags. Such characters eye short-term profits by quickly buying and selling fresh stocks.

Also, stag investors are known to keep a keen and knowledgeable eye on the stocks they prefer to invest in.


Turtle stock market animal
Image: Courtesy Maria Isabella Bernotti/Pexels

Slow and steady wins the race. Turtles are long-term investors, who produce bigger returns on their investments with disciplined investing. They are not drawn by quick profits on short-term investments and do not consider market volatility to be a risk.

Such people usually buy longtime index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or invest through systematic investment plans (SIPs) in mutual funds and shares.


sheep stock market animals
Image: Courtesy Jenny K./Pexels

Sheep tend to be associated with the herd mentality. Hence, investors who heedlessly follow advice from unqualified financial experts or fellow traders earn this moniker. They do not put in their mind and efforts to study the market, and hence, miss out on the latest market shifts. Such investing traits can result in huge losses at times.


Rabbit Stock Market Animal
Image: Courtesy Smooth Click/Pexels

The exact opposite of turtles, stock market rabbits are intraday traders on the lookout for some quick bucks. They are the most active market participants due to their high-spirited nature, much like rabbits. Individuals represented by this stock market animal symbol buy and sell shares quickly to make instant profits.


Whale stock market animal
Image: Courtesy Nahuel Robledo/Pexels

Whales are massive creatures that have a significant influence on the marine ecosystem. In the stock market, the whale is a nickname for any prominent institutional investor, who has access to massive funds for investment. With their massive deals, they have the ability to influence market volatility.

(Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Alankitassigments/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Which animal represents the stock market?

Answer: The bull and the bear represent the stock market most commonly. Other animals such as the wolf, the ostrich and the pig are also used as metaphors.

Question: Which animals are related to trading?

Answer: The wolf, whale, rabbit, turtle and many more animals are related to trading because of their distinctive traits.

Question: Which are the two main animals in the stock market?

Answer: The two main animals in the stock market are the bull and the bear.

Question: What is a wolf in the stock market?

Answer: A wolf is a metaphorical term in the stock market used to describe scammers.

Beyond bulls and bears: Commonly used stock market animal metaphors

Travel, lifestyle, wellness, and finance writer, Priyanshi is somebody who gorges on self-help and mythology reads, follows fitness trends, and stalks some famous travellers. She has two years of experience working with travel, hospitality, and tech companies. Travelling acts as a spark in her relationship with writing.

Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.