Monday, May 14, 2012

Bull or Bear?

Financial analyst and others who follow the stock market are familiar with the bull and the Bear. A Bull market is a good thing, it means that the market is in a prolonged period of growth and things are going well. A Bear market on the other hand, means the market is on prolonged downward trend and things are not good. The recent (or continuing depending on who you ask) recession would be considered a bear market.

A trivia buff, I’m interested in where these particular terms come from. Depending on who you ask, a Bull was chosen for the upswing because when it attacks their horns swing in an upward motion, bears swipe their paws in a downward motion when they attach. Another theory is that bears proceed with caution while bulls boldly charge ahead. (

So my question to you is do you see yourself as a bear or a bull? There is an upside to both ways of thinking.

If you proceed with caution and carefully plot your actions, like our bear, you aren’t the downer that the Stock market image would have you believe. There is nothing wrong with proceeding cautiously unless you are so cautious that you don’t proceed at all or that you are continually missing opportunities. When precaution leads to paralysis, you’re in trouble and you could use a little bit of bull (the last part of that sentence didn’t come out exactly right but you get what I mean).

If you are bullish, you have no problem charging ahead. You take the chances and the risk, often times those risks pay off but there are times when a little bit of forethought could have saved a lot of time and effort. When your head is down and you are about to charge ahead, don’t have your eyes close but truly think about what you are about to do and weigh your options, take a page from the book of the bear.

By nature, I’m a bull, I’m a horns-up, charge a head kind of girl. Yet, I’ve charged ahead enough to know that I have to pay attention to what I’m charging towards. In the past, I’d look at my bearish friends, or even my own bearish thoughts as downers, designed to keep me from charging ahead. Now, I take a moment to honor their input and take a moment to think about their often very valid points.

Over the years, my bearish friends have sought me out for that push that they need to move from precaution to action.

In the stock market, bulls and bears represent the opposite ends of the financial spectrum, they represent two sides of the same coin in real life. Even if you identify with one or the other, we all need some of both for balance and ultimately success.

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