Here you will find explanations of frequently used terms.


Risk related terms

  • Sharpe Ratio
    • The Sharpe ratio is a measure frequently used to determine risk-adjusted returns and is commonly defined as the average return earned above the risk-free rate of interest, divided by a portfolio’s standard deviation, which is a measure of its risk level.

      Since a portfolio’s performance is measured by looking at its return above the risk-free interest rate, the Sharpe Ratio assesses how effective the risk-taking activities of a portfolio manager or a fund manager were in relation to the additional risk that was added to the portfolio in order to produce those incremental returns.

      While the Sharpe Ratio has become very popular as a way to standardise performance measurement across portfolios exhibiting different levels of risk, its main shortcoming is its use of the standard deviation (the square root of variance, also called volatility) as a risk measure.

      Critics point out that most portfolios contain assets that don’t have distribution functions behaving according to a normal distribution; instead, their distribution functions have so-called ‘fat tails’ or a negative skew, implying that large deviations from the mean are more frequent than a normal distribution would predict, particularly on the downside. The Sharpe Ratio doesn’t account for this empirical observation. Additionally, the Sharpe Ratio should not be used when looking at assets with non-linear risk such as options, swaps or warrants.

      What’s the practical use of the Sharpe Ratio for retail investors looking for guidance as to where and how to invest their money?

      The Sharpe Ratio can help you understand if high absolute historical returns on a certain investment (e.g. an actively managed equities fund) have been the result of an intelligent investment methodology, or if the investor was exposed to very high levels of risk in order to achieve those returns. The reason the level of risk is so important is that if the investor was exposed to high levels of risk then the potential for large negative returns is also greater. If the Sharpe Ratio of a portfolio is low (e.g. less than 0.3) then the investor knows that relative to a portfolio with a higher Sharpe Ratio (e.g. 0.5), they would be exposed to greater risk, and therefore greater potential losses, in order to achieve the same level of return.

      Sharpe Ratio= (rp – rf )/ σp


      rp = Portfolio return
      rf = Risk free rate
      σp = Portfolio standard deviation

  • Risk adjusted return
    • Risk adjusted return measures how much return an investment made in relation to the risk that was undertaken to achieve that return.

      If you compare returns of different investments in isolation the results can be misleading. For example – Investment A returns 5% over a 1 year time horizon. Investment B returns 4% over the same period. With no additional context one would assume that investment A is preferable. However, if you also know that investment A dropped 15% in the first 6 months and then recovered 20% in the remaining 6 months whereas investment B rose a steady 1% every 3 months throughout the year: which investment would you prefer to take next year?

      Risk-adjusted return allows for a direct comparison of returns between investments. Also, it allows for a direct return comparison to the benchmark.

  • Risk-free rate
    • The risk-free rate is the theoretical rate of return for a risk free investment.

      The risk free rate is aligned to the central bank base rate for the relevant jurisdiction (e.g. Bank of England in the UK) and the closest investment to a risk free investment is often high quality government bonds (e.g. GILTs in the UK). In reality even a government bond is subject to a very small amount of risk.

      The risk free rate provides a consistent benchmark against which other investment can be compared.

  • Risk tolerance
    • All investments carry a degree of risk. Each investor must consider their own personal circumstance and conclude how much risk they are prepared to take on. Failure on an investor’s part to fully consider their own circumstances and tolerance can severely damage any return on investment as it may result in investors pulling out their money when the market is not at an optimal level for them to do so.

      Investors can work out their risk tolerance by taking questionnaires, online or with a Financial Advisor, which factor in influences such as investment time horizon, earning capacity, current assets and what you are saving for.

  • Value at Risk (VaR)
    • Value at Risk (VaR) is a measure of the downside risk (exposure to loss) which an individual investment or portfolio holds.

      VaR is based on three components: a percentage loss amount, a confidence level and a time frame. It can be calculated for a set of historical data by looking at the actual returns and putting them in order of worst to best.

      A typical example would be: what is the maximum percentage I can expect to lose over the next year with a 95% confidence i.e. in 19 out of 20 years I would expect to lose less than this. This means it is possible to lose more than the VaR of your portfolio but the likelihood should only be a 1 in 20 chance and the worst 5% would be all the values below your VaR.

  • Downside risk
    • Downside risk is the financial risk associated with loss or the risk of the actual return being less than the expected return.

      Downside risk measures quantify the “worst case” scenario for an investment or how much an investor stands to lose. Some investments have a finite amount of downside risk, while others have infinite risk.

      Downside risk measures help investors make proper decisions when faced with abnormal return distributions.

  • Risk/Volatility Clusters
    • Empirical data demonstrates that periods of high or low volatility occur in clusters. In other words there is a correlation between volatility from one day to the next. If the markets observes a large move today then there is a greater than 50% chance that tomorrow will also bring large market moves. We call these periods where we observe continued high or low volatility, risk clusters.

  • Expected shortfall
    • Measuring the market risk of a portfolio can be done is several ways. One such way to measure financial risk is using a concept called Expected shortfall.

      Expected shortfall is similar to Value at Risk in that it measures potential losses in a portfolio however Expected Shortfall focuses more explicitly on the losses which occur within the tail of the distribution. Expected shortfall is also called Conditional Value at Risk, Average Value at Risk, and expected tail loss.

      Expected Shortfall is a conservative risk measure focusing on the expected return in the worst X% of a distribution. For example the average loss in the worst 5% of outcomes of a portfolio may be -10%. So in this case the expected shortfall at the 5% level is -10%.

      Expected shortfall has attractive theoretical properties in that it “looks beyond” Value-at-Risk by focusing on the tail of the distribution, but it has the disadvantage that in risk and allocation models it is difficult to empirically validate. For this reason and due to Scalable Capitals use of linear, derivative free asset universes, we use the risk measure Value-at-Risk to manage the risk in our portfolios.

  • Unsystematic risk
    • Unsystematic risk is company- or industry-specific uncertainty that is inherent in each investment which can be reduced through diversification. It is also known as ‘specific risk’, ‘diversifiable risk’ or ‘residual risk’.

      For example – if you hold an investment in a car manufacturer, then if the employee union went on strike, it is likely that the value of your investment would be affected. This type of risk is known as unsystematic risk because it is specific to the investment you hold and could be reduced/removed through diversification.

  • Sortino Ratio
    • The Sortino Ratio is similar to the sharpe ratio in that it gives the amount of return generated for a particular investment in the context of how much risk was taken to achieve it. The difference however, is that it only takes into account downside deviations. The Sortino Ratio is calculated by subtracting the risk free rate from the returns of a portfolio and then dividing by the downside deviations. The larger the ratio, the lower the probability of loss.

      When deciding when to use the Sharpe Ratio or the Sortino Ratio the investor’s main choice is whether they want a standard deviation based measure or a downside deviation measure. For portfolios with high volatilities the Sortino ratio can add value as a risk measure as it accounts for potentially large negative movements in the portfolio.

      Sortino Ratio = (rp – rf)/ σd


      rp = Expected Return
      rf= Expected rate of return
      σd= Standard Deviation of Negative Asset Return

Personal finance related terms

  • ISA
    • An ISA is a tax efficient way to save or invest. You can invest into either an ISA of securities or cash. The current ISA allowance is £15,240 and is rising to £20,000 in April 2017.

      An ISA is tax free and does not need to be declared in an investor’s tax return. In 2015 the rules around ISA’s changed, and people are now able to take money out of their ISA, and then replace it within the year, without it contributing toward their overall ISA limit.

  • Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)
    • An exchange traded fund or ETF, is a marketable security that tracks an index such as the FTSE 100. ETFs can be used to track various investments such as commodities, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund and can be bought and sold in the same way as other shares on an exchange.

  • Compound Interest
    • Compound Interest is a very powerful concept in investing. It is interest which is accumulated on an investment and then added onto the original investment so that the accumulated interest can also earn interest. The result is much larger growth than could be achieved with the interest on the original investment alone.

      For example: an investment with £10,000 earns 5% per year giving £10,500 at the end of year one. Then at the end of year 2 it would increase to £11,025. In year 3 to £11,576.25, and so on. If you withdrew the interest each year then after 3 years you would only have £11,500, so a difference of £76.25. This difference is relatively small however if you did the same thing for 30 years, by leaving the money invested earning interest you would have £43,219.42 vs only £25,000 if you withdrew the interest each year. This is a difference of £18,219.42.

      It is important for investors to understand the effects of compound interest as they have a big impact on fees and performance over longer time periods. Below is the formula to calculate compound interest.

      F = P * (1+i)^ (t)

      F = future value
      P = present value
      i = nominal annual interest rate
      t = time (years)

  • Open Ended Investment Companies (OEIC)
    • An Open Ended Investment Company (OEIC) is a type of company or fund in the UK that is structured to invest in other companies with the ability to adjust constantly its investment criteria and fund size.

  • Diversification
    • By investing into a variety of assets, the financial risk to which an investment portfolio is exposed can be reduced. This occurs as securities typically react in different ways to market events. This means that a diversified portfolio can have a lower variance than the weighted average variance of its underlying assets, and will typically have less volatility than even its least volatile asset.

      Diversification is often simply explained with the proverb “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This means if one basket is dropped, the eggs in your other baskets will be unharmed. In the same manner, when you invest in only one security, should this security fall, your investments will fall with it, conversely you can be protected by investing into a multitude of assets.

      Diversification is usually mentioned in relation to an asset class or owning a multitude of different securities. An alternative approach to diversification may also include internationally diversifying, as it has been proved there are correlation differences between international markets, even in today’s globalised economy.

  • Stock-picking
    • An investment strategy in which an investor performs some sort of analysis to assess when a stock can be expected to outperform/underperform the market. Based on this analysis the investor will then take a long position, if the investor is betting a stock will grow, or a short position, if the investor is betting that the stock will decline in value.

  • Passive Investing
    • An investment strategy in which an attempt to track a benchmark is made. Passive investing will produce returns close to the level of the benchmark with small differences arising from fees as well as turnover costs incurred from securities being bought and sold so as to resemble the benchmark.

      Passive investing is most common in the equity market, and has grown exponentially with the advent of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Passive investing has now expanded into almost all other asset classes including bonds, commodities and property.

      The concept of passive investing to try and track market performance is counterintuitive to many investors, but the rationale is based upon the fact that a long term investment returns will be improved thanks to lower costs and attempting to outperform the market requires significant resources and is often not achievable.

  • Active investing
    • An investment strategy in which a portfolio manager makes investments into specific securities with the intention of outperforming a benchmark.

      The portfolio manager will attempt to exploit any area of market inefficiency by purchasing securities which are undervalued or by short selling securities which are overvalued. Depending on the goal of the portfolio, it may also be the intention to invest in less volatile assets than the benchmark is invested in.

      The strategy for investing can be based on a variety of quantitative or qualitative methods. These include measures such as P/E ratios, PEG ratios, and macro predictions.

  • IFA
    • An IFA is an independent financial advisor. They offer advice to clients on financial matters in a non-biased fashion.

      An IFA must meet a number of strict qualification and competence requirements, which are administered by the FCA. Once they have undertaken the appropriate qualifications they may offer advice on matters including investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection, mortgages and other loans.

      There are two types of financial advisors; independent and restricted. A restricted advisor will only be able to offer certain products or from certain providers.

      IFA’s can no longer take commision on the products which they are selling but must instead agree fees before they proceed in offering any services so as to prevent bias.

  • SIPP
    • A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a pension ‘wrapper’ in the UK that holds investments until you retire and start to draw a retirement income. It is a type of personal pension and works in a similar way to a standard personal pension. The main difference is that with a SIPP, you have more flexibility with the investments you can choose.

  • Robo Advisor
    • A robo advisor is the broad term given to a firm who provides investment management services or automated advice using online or mobile platforms. A robo advisor is able to reduce reliance on human intervention through the use of automations and technology.

      Scalable Capital does not provide advice. We use technology to provide an automated investment service where our clients can see everything that’s happening in their portfolio while we make all investment decisions for them.

  • Securities
    • A security represents something with a financial value which can be traded. Securities are financial instruments and are typically the umbrella term for stocks (equities) and bonds (debts).

      Scalable Capital’s investment universe is made up of ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds). These ETFs give our clients access to over 8000 individual securities in over 90 countries covering all major asset classes: Commodities, Corporate Bonds, Govt bonds, Covered Bonds, Equities, Real Estate and Cash.

Statistical Measures

  • Variance
    • Variance is a measurement of the spread between numbers in a data set. The variance measures how far each number in the set is from the mean and is always non-negative.

      Mathematically the Variance is calculated as the average squared difference of each number from the mean.

  • Correlation
    • Correlation expresses the mutual relation of two or more things. In statistics, it is a single number, assuming values between +1 and -1, which measures the degree of a linear relationship between two random variables or two sets of data.

      The correlation is +1 if two variables always move proportionally to one another in the same direction. This is called perfect positive correlation.

      The correlation is -1 if two variables always move proportionally to one another in opposite directions. This is called perfect negative correlation.

      If the variables have no apparent relationship then the correlation is said to be 0.

  • Volatility
    • Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can be measured by using the standard deviation between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security as the more broad the distribution of returns.

  • Standard Deviation
    • Standard Deviation is a measure to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion in a set of data values. Its symbol is the greek letter sigma (σ) and can be calculated by finding the square root of the Variance.

      When the values are tightly bunched together, then the bell-shaped curve is steep and the standard deviation is small. When the values are spread apart, the bell curve is relatively broad which means you have a relatively large standard deviation.

  • Liquidity
    • Liquidity within financial markets refers to the number and size of buyers and sellers within the marketplace. The more liquid a security is, the easier it is to buy or sell without significant price impact. This is important becasue if a security is illiquid, when trading a large amount the price may move significantly during the execution of the order.

      For example – A large ETF such as the Vanguard S&P500 ETF is much more liquid than an individual stock or share.

      At Scalable Capital we invest only into highly liquid ETFs which track broad indices.

  • Simple Return vs Time-Weighted Return
    • The Simple Return is calculated by taking the absolute return over a period and dividing by the amount invested.

      E.g. if a portfolio has £15,000 in it and makes an absolute return of £2,000 over a 1 year period then the Simple Return = £2,000 / £15 ,000 = 13.33%

      Simple return does not account for when additional payments or withdrawals are made.

      E.g. if in the example above an additional deposit of £40,000 was made half way through the year and the second half of the year returned £5,000, then the Simple Return = (£2,000 + £5,000) / (£15,000 + £40,000) = 12.72%

      Here the return seems artificially low because the simple return assumes the additional deposit was part of the initial investment.

      Time-Weighted Return separates returns into different sub periods to take away the effect of deposits and withdrawals at different times. Hence the name “time-weighted”.

      E.g. using the example above the two periods would be broken down to £15,000 returning £2,000 and the £57,000 returning £5,000.

      Time Weighted Return = ( (£2,000 / £15,000) +1 )* ( (£62,000-57,000 / £57,000) +1) – 1 = 23.27%

      The Time-Weighted Return is a more accurate reflection of the overall performance of an investment portfolio because it is not distorted by the impact of payments and withdrawals. this make it much mire useful for comparing the performance of different portfolios.


      Simple Return = (V1 – V0) / V0 = (Value at End – Value at Start) / Value at Start

      Time Weighted Return is as follows:

      Formula for each Sub-Period (SP1) = (V1 – V0 – D + W) / V0 = (Value at end – Value at start – Deposits + Withdrawals) / Value at start

      Formula for whole period = [(SP1 + 1) * (SP2 + 1) * ….. (SPN +1)] -1

Investment Research related terms

  • Modern Portfolio Theory
    • A theory for maximising portfolio returns according to a given amount of risk specified by an investor, or minimise risk for a given amount of returns.

      The theory was introduced by Harry Markowitz and emphasises that risk is an inherent part of returns when making an investment.

  • Efficient Frontier
    • The efficient frontier is a curve which represents all the points where for a given level of risk (as measured by standard deviation) of a portfolio you are achieving the optimal rate of return. It is a theoretical curve and forms part of Modern Portfolio Theory as introduced by Harry Markowitz in 1952.

      Efficient Frontier

  • Ordinary linear dependence
    • In investments, ordinary linear dependence between asset classes describes 2 asset classes where the performance of one can be derived from the other using a linear relationship.

      For example: if Asset A has an ordinary linear dependent relationship to Asset B with a value of 0.8. Then if Asset A moves from 100 to 110 then Asset B would move from 100 to 108.

  • Martingales
    • Martingale is a technical term in probability theory used for a scenario in which knowledge of past events cannot be used to predict the future. It means that at a particular point in a sequence the expectation of the next value is not known and therefore is equal to the currently observed value.

      The term Martingale originally came about as a strategy for winning a game of chance. A gambler would win his stake if a coin toss came up heads and he would lose it if it came up tails. The strategy he would implement would be to double his stake on each bet after he lost so that the first time he won he would win back all of his original bets plus the original stake. The concept of martingale in probability theory was introduced by Paul Lévy in 1934.

  • Monte Carlo simulation
    • Monte Carlo simulation is a computerised mathematical technique used to understand the impact of risk and uncertainty in financial models (as well as various other areas). There are many different Monte carlo methods in existence but in essence they rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results. In investing they can be employed to make forecasts and through repeated sampling can assign a level of certainty to future outcomes.

  • Normal Distribution
    • The normal distribution is a symmetric probability distribution. It represents the distribution of a random variable in the form of a bell curve, with the exact shape defined by the expected value and the standard deviation. The normal distribution is often referred to as the Gaussian distribution or Gaussian bell curve after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. It is frequently used in natural and economic sciences to describe the deviations of measurements of many processes from the mean.

      The graph below shows the probability distribution of the normal distribution, the area indicates the cumulative probability for certain value ranges. According to the standard normal distribution about 68.3 % of outcomes are within ± one single standard deviation (σ) from the expected value (μ), 95.4% in the interval μ ± 2σ and 99.7% in the interval μ ± 3σ.

      Normal Distribution

  • Tracking Error
    • The term tracking error is defined as the deviation of the performance of an index fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) from the performance of the index it tracks. Index funds / ETFs always try to replicate the performance of the index or basket of securities as exactly as possible, due to the complexity of certain indices (eg. The MSCI World over contains over 1,600 individual securities) or a lack of liquidity of the underlying individual stocks, this is not always 100 percent possible.

  • Synthetically Replicating ETFs
    • A synthetically replicating ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) refers to an index fund that track an index without buying the underlying assets of the index (eg. Shares).

      The Custodian of a synthetically replicating mutual fund creates a (secured or underwritten) swap rather than a basket of securities. Synthetically replicating ETFs hold margin (also called “Collateral”) instead of the individual values ​​of the index. The swap (i.e. an exchange transaction) is entered into with a counterparty and the collateral is held against the performance of the underlying index.

      With synthetically replicating funds a company can replicate an index precisely, thus with no or significantly less tracking error than in most physical ETFs. Moreover, some indices, eg. commodities or certain emerging markets such as India, can only be replicated with synthetic ETFs as the underlying assets can not be bought or stored economically. e.g. oil and natural gas.

      In addition to synthetically replicated ETFs, there are also physically replicating ETFs.

  • Physically Replicating ETFs
    • A physically replicating ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) refers to an index fund that track an index by buying, according to their weighting in the index, all or large parts of the securities included in the index (eg. Shares).

      A 100 percent reproduction by a physically replicating ETF is called full replication and any proportionally physical replication is known as partial replication. When selecting which stocks to include in the index, those with the highest correlation to the index that is being replicated will be selected.

      In addition to physically replicating ETFs, there are also synthetically replicating ETFs.

  • Interbank Rate
    • The interbank rate is the interest rate at which banks will lend money to each other in the short term. Banks have to lend and borrow money from each other in order to manage their liquidity and also to comply with capital requirements from the regulators.

  • Reference Index
    • The reference index of an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is the index which the ETF is aiming to replicate. For example in the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF the reference index is the S&P 500. One of the criteria of our selection process is the tracking error of the ETFs. This refers to the difference between the performance of the ETF and its reference index.

  • Counterparty Risk
    • Counterparty risk is the risk that an investor takes on when they enter into an agreement with another entity. The risk being that the other entity (counterparty) cannot fulfil their obligations in the agreement. One example where counterparty risk is relevant is in Synthetic ETFs since the ETF provider enters into a swap agreement with a counterparty (usually an investment bank) such that the investment bank agrees to pay the performance of an index against a basket of investments which the ETF provider holds. There is counterparty risk (all be it a very small risk) for the ETF provider that the investment bank might default on their side of the swap.

  • Net Asset Value
    • Net Asset Value is the value per share of an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) or a Mutual Fund. The per share value of the Fund is calculated by taking the total value of the fund and dividing it by the total number of outstanding shares.

      ETFs trade on exchange at a market value which can be above or below the NAV.

  • Black Swan Event
    • In finance a Black Swan event is an extreme event with a large market impact which in normal circumstances seems incomprehensible. Statistically these events should occur far less frequently than they do but recent history has made them a common topic of discussion in financial markets, with events such as the collapse of Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis being a prime example.

      The term came about from the Roman satirist Juvenal who used “rare birds”, such as “white ravens” and “black swans”, as a synonym for “unimaginable” events. Then later in history the philosopher Karl Popper used the black swan as an example of the falsifiability of universal hypotheses, because until the discovery of Australia and of black mourning swans living there, the hypothesis that “all swans are white” was irrefutable. The mainstream application to finance came about in 2007 when Naseem Taleb, In his book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, used Black Swans as a metaphor for the low probability of destructive events with extreme negative returns occurring in financial markets.

  • Econometrics
    • Econometrics uses Empirical data from mathematics, statistical studies and computer science to quantify economic data. In finance econometrics can be used to analyse large sets of data and draw relationships between economic theory and observed data.

      Scalable Capital uses Econometrics in the core of our investment approach. Our team of financial engineers led by Professor Steffan Mittnick, use quantitative finance to drive the investment decisions of our model based on current market data and empirical evidence. See more on our investment approach.

Tax related terms

  • Capital gains tax
    • When an investment increases in value, it is subject to an additional tax upon sale. It’s the gain you make that’s taxed, not the amount of money you receive. There are two bands for Capital gains tax: 18% and 28% for higher rate taxpayers. This is decreasing in April 2016 to 10% and 20%. These rates are applied on all gains that are made above the capital gains tax allowance.

  • Tax loss harvesting
    • Tax loss harvesting is an additional account feature which is in product development for the second half of 2017. When implemented on investment portfolios it will help reduce overall tax liability. Tax loss harvesting employs a systematic approach running alongside the investment model of a portfolio to time when best to buy and sell different asset classes from a capital gains perspective. The aim of this is to ensure that tax allowances are fully utilised and that any tax liabilities are minimised and deferred as far forward as possible, thereby giving more current money in your account which can in turn generate larger returns.

  • Capital gains tax allowance
    • The Capital gains tax allowance is a threshold below which any gains that an individual makes from an investment are not charged capital gains tax.

      Tax year

      6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017

      Tax-free allowance


  • Stamp Duty
    • Stamp Duty in the UK is an additional tax which is placed on the purchase of Shares. It is generally paid on the purchase of an asset. It is also usually paid as a percentage of around 0.5% of the purchase price.

      Stamp duty originated when the transfer of instruments in the form of physical documents was stamped to validate the transfer. Nowadays it is usually applied to electronic transactions.

Behavioural Economics related terms

  • Sunk-cost fallacy
    • Sunk cost fallacy is the tendency of people to irrationally follow through on an activity that is not meeting their expectations because of the time and/or money they have already spent on it.

  • Cognitive bias
    • Humans are prone to reacting to irrelevant information in an illogical fashion. This can lead investors to make poor decisions. It is a result of the fact that the human mind is prone to making snap decisions to save processing power, but these snap decisions are frequently not the optimal choice when it comes to investing.

      Before behavioural finance took the centre stage, it was thought that humans were rational utility maximisers, however factors such as loss aversion and fear of missing out have highlighted the fallacy of this assumption. The emotional nature of investing remains an issue which investors and their managers must remain aware of.

  • Analysis paralysis
    • Analysis paralysis is the state of over-thinking about a decision, to the point where a choice never gets made, thereby creating a paralysed state of inaction.

  • Bear Market
    • A bear market is typified by diminishing stock prices with a disparity between increased levels of stock sales and a lack of buyers in the market. This pushes prices down. Bear market examples can be typified from examples such as: The dotcom bubble in 2000-2001 and the financial crisis in 2007-2008.

  • Bull Market
    • A bull market is typified by market confidence. Rising prices and a high volume of day to day trading are good indicators of a bull market. There are usually more buyers in the market than sellers and this leads to stock prices rising over time.

      Bull and Bear markets tend to be cyclical. Recent examples of a bull market are the periods from 1993-1997 or 2001-2007.