Wall Street has its financial jargon on its own. Weirdly enough, many of the expressions relates to animals. We listed the most common animal-related expressions you can hear on Wall Street.
In italic is an endangered species related to the financial animal.
🐮 Bubalus mindorensis - The bull
A bull market is when stock prices are up. Bullish markets usually happen when market conditions are good. For example, when FED interest rates are low or when investors anticipate an uptrend in the market. Being bullish on a stock means that you are confident that the stock will go up in the future.
The Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) is a small bovine from the Philipines. It is endemic to one island. The population of Tamaraw has shrunk due to human presence (hunting, logging, and human footprint). It is a critically endangered species with only between 30 to 200 animals still alive.
🐻 Melursus ursinus - The bear
A bear market means stock prices are down. Being bearish means that you think the stock prices will go down. Negative news or economic downturns usually creates conditions for a bear market.
The sloth bear lives in the Indian subcontinent. It has a long lower lip designed to better hunt for insects. They are small to medium-sized bears weighing from 120 to 230 lb. Sloth bears can be seen in multiple types of habitats, from tropical forests to savannahs. They are listed as vulnerable species.
🐱 Catopuma badia - The dead cat bounce
A dead cat bounce usually occurs in a bearish market (read above if you a still struggling with that expression). It is a short appreciation of the share price after a significant downward trajectory. The stock goes back to losing value after the bounce. Assets with high volatility or exposed to adverse news are likely to experience a dead cat bounce (think cryptocurrencies, for example).
Bay cats are endemic animals of the Borneo island (Indonesia). There are less than 2500 of them existing. The Bay cat has a chestnut color and weighs 6-9 pounds. They are hard to spot and live close to water bodies (mangroves, rivers).
🪶 Struthio molybdophanes - The ostrich
When scared, ostrich digs their head in the sand to avoid seeing the danger coming. Ostrich investors are the same. They tend to ignore bad news and keep believing in their investment decisions. If it can be a good thing to ignore intraday fluctuations or changes in the market over a short period, it is essential to understand the fundamentals. Ignoring bad news and danger coming can lead to huge losses.
The blue-necked ostrich (aka Somali ostrich) resembles a lot of the normal ostrich. They live in the Horn of Africa. Because of the political instability in the region, the blue-necked ostrich is vulnerable due to the lack of conservation policies.
🦆 Anas rubripes - The lame duck
Lame ducks are traders or investors that take massive losses. They usually go bust, bankrupt or default on their positions.
The American Black duck is the biggest of its kind. It can weigh up to 3.6 pounds and can be found in the East of North America. They are omnivorous, mostly eating water-based plants and animals (wetland grasses, mollusks, mussels). Their biggest predators are crows, gulls, and raccoons hunting their nests.
🐰 Bunogalus monticularis - The rabbit
Rabbits trade their positions for a very short period of time. This is usually less than a day. Rabbits usually bet on specific events able to significantly move the market during such period of time(quarterly earnings, fed announcements...).
One of the rarest rabbits in the world. It lives in very particular regions of South Africa around the Karoo Desert. Its particularity? A stripe runs from the corner of its mouth over its cheek.
🦌 Rusa alfredi - The stag
Stags are short-term investors that try to beat the market over a short period of time. They usually use a large amount of funds to influence the market and move the overall position of a certain stock. Stags are opportunistic and are looking for quick bucks. They are rarely retail investors.
The Visayan spotted deer is an endangered species living on certain islands of the Philipines. The last estimation puts them at 2500 animals worldwide. Most of them live on the Negros island. Those deers are short-legged and more petite than standard deer size. They live in grassland and secondary forest and got rediscovered in 2009 after scientists thought they were being extinct.
🐢 Terrapene Carolina - The turtle
Turtles are the opposite of stags or rabbits. They are long-term investors. They usually do a very limited number of trades and do not react to a bad market situation. Turtles are more likely to invest their funds through ETFs, bet on dividends, and choose investment vehicles that suit a long-term approach.
With its bright yellow and black shell. The Common box turtle is easily recognizable. They are primarily found in the United States and Mexico. They mostly live on earth but move close to swamps to cool off during summer. They decline primarily due to human interaction (habitat destruction and road accidents).
🐑 Ovis dalli - The sheep
Sheep are likely to have a herd mentality in the stock market. They buy when everyone buys and sell when everyone sells. They are less likely to have a clear investment strategy and tend to follow the trend. They are influenced by their neighbors or the first investment advice they hear on the radio. Sheep are usually poor performers. They are also more exposed to scams.
Dall sheep or thinhorn sheep live in Alaska and North Canada. They are white with large rounded horns. Their specificity? Licking stones to get their inflows of minerals.
🐔 Tympanucus cupido - The chicken
Chickens are investors that get easily scared. They tend to overreact in case of a bearish market and cannot stand losses in their portfolios. They are the perfect example of loss-aversion in human psychology.
The Greater Prairie Chicken is sometimes called a boomer (for real!). They live in North America and can be easily recognized thanks to their round yellow goiter. They are especially known for their mating. Males move to booming grounds where they display their physical talent and attractivity in the hope of attracting females.
🐶 Lycaon pictus - The dog
Dogs are not investing individuals. They are stocks that have taken a hit on the market. They have a relatively lower valuation compared to their peers. Dogs are closely monitored by investors as they try to assess their potential for recovery.
The African wild dog is the largest existing dog! They look pretty similar to lycaons and live in Subsaharan Africa. It is an endangered species, with less than 7000 of them still alive (in very fragmented environments).
🐺 Canis aureus - The Wolf of Wallstreet
The term was coined after the infamous movie featuring Leonardo Di Caprio. The wolf represents a hungry professional investor with ruthless practices and low moral standards. The movie itself takes its roots in Jordan Belfort’s memoir, where he recounts his real life trading penny stocks during the 90s.
The Golden Jackal is a wolf-like dog that lives in South Asia and Europe. It is closer to the African wolf and the Ethiopian wolf than any jackal species. Most jackals live as couples. They face tough competition from other competitors (foxes, hyenas...) and are seeing their habitat reduced due to human footprint.
🐳 Megaptera novaeangliae - The whale
Whales are heavily present in the cryptocurrency world. They tend to have a disproportionately large amount of shares in a particular market. Whales tend to be anonymous. Their movement (selling or buying) can have huge effects on stock prices and change the equilibrium in the market.
Humpback Whales are whales that can be found in all of our oceans. They usually feed on plankton in the cold water and migrate to warmer waters to mate and give birth. They are not small animals. With 40 metric tons and 50 ft in length, they are one of the biggest mammals on the planet. They are known for their beautiful vocalization that can last more than 30 minutes.
🦄 Elasmotherium Sibiricum - The Unicorn
Unicorns are usually startups with a valuation greater than $1 billion. The term was coined by Aileen Lee because it is extremely difficult (and therefore rare) for a young company to reach such a level of valuation. Unicorns are usually privately held, meaning they are working their way to IPO (Initial Public Offering).
Wait, what?! Unicorns are not real animals? Well, actually, it turns out they were. But with much fewer colors. The Siberian unicorn (Elasmotherium) was a big rhino living in the Caucasus. It has been extinct since the Late Pleistocene (we do not know when that is, but it sounds pretty fancy).