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Why Do We Call Ourselves Bulls Or Bears?

Why Do We Call Ourselves Bulls or Bears? by Fred Fuld III, author of Stock Market Trivia: Special Section on the Weird Words of Wall Street

With the recent huge plummet and partial recovery in the stock market, many investors are bullish, believing that we have had our selloff and the market will continue its upward movement. However, there are plenty of bears that believe that this rise is just temporary, and the recent market drop is just the beginning of a much bigger fall.

But did you ever wonder where the terms “bull” and “bear” came from? As a financial historian, I have collected all kinds of interesting and unusual financial tidbits and trivia over the years and compiled them all into a book called Stock Market Trivia.

The book contains such topics as the stock that owned a rock with George Washington’s graffiti on it. (Actually, he carved his initials in a large rock while he was a surveyor; I would call that 18th century graffiti.) Did you know that there was a stock that traded for over a million dollars a share? (Hint: it was not Berkshire Hathaway.) Also, there is a billionaire investor who appeared in a soap opera a couple times. Plus, one country has a stock exchange that trades only two stocks. And I can’t forget the stock that went up 259,934.34% in one day. So you can see the types of weird facts I like to collect.

Of course, the first chapter in the book is called No Bull About Bulls and Bears. Since the fear of a crashing stock market is on the minds of many investors, let’s start with the term “bears”. Bears make money by shorting stocks. For novice...


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