Types of Investors in the Stock Market: Tier List

Types of Investors in the Stock Market: Tier List

The Stock Market Zoo: Animal Metaphors in Trading and Investing

Tier list for the ten types of investors:

  1. Whales: Large investors who move the market through size. 
  2. Sharks: Opportunists who make money quickly and efficiently. 
  3. Turtles: Slow and steady trend followers.
  4. Wolves: Contrarian traders who go against the majority. 
  5. Rabbits: Day traders and scalpers whose edge is speed. 
  6. Bulls: Too optimistic but make money in uptrends. 
  7. Bears: Too negative but makes money in downtrends. 
  8. Pigs: Trade too big and hold on to positions too long. 
  9. Sheep: They focus on others’ opinions and predictions. 
  10. Chickens: Too scared to trade real money. 

The world of trading and investing has always been filled with interesting terminology. One of the fascinating aspects is the use of animal metaphors to describe different types of traders and investors. These metaphors are fun and help paint a picture of the various approaches and strategies people employ in the market. In this blog post, we will explore the most common animal metaphors traders and investors use and provide insights into the characteristics and behaviors that define each one.

The Bear

Regarding stock market animals, the bear is synonymous with pessimism. Bears are traders who believe the market is headed for a downturn and are eager to take advantage of it. They “short” stocks sell shares they don’t own, hoping to repurchase them later at a lower price to profit from the decline. As a result, a bearish trader is often seen as cautious or even skeptical, always looking for signs of weakness in the market.

The Bull

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the bull. Bulls are optimistic traders who believe the market will rise and are eager to buy in anticipation of profits. They are known for their confidence and bullish outlook, often taking long positions in stocks they believe will experience growth. A bull’s screen is typically green when profitable, reflecting their positive expectations for the market.

The Pig

Pigs are traders who love the thrill of the trade, often taking on significant positions and trading frequently. However, their appetite for big gains can also be their downfall, as they may struggle with knowing when to exit a winning trade. Pigs often have unrealistic targets, overly large position sizes, and excessively long timeframes, leading to losses when the market inevitably turns against them.

This famous quote captures these three stock market types: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.” This quote warns against trading too big and staying too late in a big trend.

The Whale

Whales are the big players in the market, with the financial firepower to move prices significantly when they buy or sell. They often have to be cautious when entering or exiting positions to avoid making waves that attract piggybackers – traders who try to profit by following the moves of these market giants. Trading alongside the right whale can be highly profitable, as their actions often set the stage for significant market moves.

The Shark

Sharks are the ultimate opportunists in the market, with a keen focus on making money quickly and efficiently. These traders are not interested in complex theories or esoteric methods; they prefer to keep things simple. Sharks are known for their ability to spot and seize opportunities, making money from trades before moving on to the next one.

The Chicken

Chickens are traders who are held back by their fear. They struggle to take on significant positions or make confident entries because they constantly worry about losing money. This excessive caution can prevent chickens from capitalizing on good opportunities, as they hesitate and miss out on potential gains.

The Rabbit

Rabbits are the quintessential day traders, operating on extremely short timeframes and looking to make quick profits. They avoid holding positions overnight, focusing instead on scalping small profits throughout the day. Rabbits are fast and agile, constantly hopping from one opportunity to another.

The Sheep

Sheep traders prefer to follow the crowd or a particular guru rather than develop their trading strategies. They often join the market late in a trend and exit, leading to diminished returns or losses. Sheep are more comfortable in the company of others, preferring to let someone else make decisions on their behalf.

The Wolf

Wolves are contrarian traders, always looking for opportunities to trade against the majority. They thrive on market turning points, shorting overextended stocks or buying when there’s “blood in the streets.” Wolves love to sell out-of-the-money options with terrible odds to gamblers, capitalizing on the misguided bets of the sheep and other less informed market participants. The wolf’s primary goal is to profit from the mistakes of the suckers, gamblers, and sheep.

The Turtle

Turtles are the embodiment of patience in the world of trading. They take a slow and steady approach, trading on long-term timeframes and focusing on the more significant trends. Turtles are not concerned with the minute-by-minute action of the market; they are more interested in the end-of-day results and weekly charts. By taking their time to enter and exit positions, turtles aim to minimize the number of trades they make while maximizing their profits.


Using animal metaphors in the stock market provides a fascinating glimpse into the various types of traders and investors that participate in the market. Understanding these different “animals” and their distinct characteristics can be entertaining and educational, as it sheds light on the diverse strategies and mindsets people employ when navigating the world of finance.

Whether you identify as a bear, bull, or any other animal on this list, recognizing your trading style and the styles of others can be an invaluable tool for navigating the stock market. It can help you adapt your approach, capitalize on the behavior of others, and ultimately, become a more prosperous and informed trader or investor. So, the next time you find yourself in the market jungle, remember these animal metaphors and use them to help guide your decisions and strategies.