Whipsaw Idioms by The Free Dictionary

The explosive news from world leaders has sent global markets into a whipsaw, plunging and rallying and plunging again as traders scrambled to gain control of their investments. You are holding onto XYZ stocks at a loss, with no way of turning your investment into a profit or break-even – you are effectively coinberry review whipsawed. This article focuses on the termwhipsaw meaning a trader’s loss when the value of a security unexpectedly declines soon after being bought. A whipsaw or pitsaw was originally a type of saw used in a saw pit, and consisted of a narrow blade held rigid by a frame and called a frame saw or sash saw .

whipsaw meaning

Slippage occurs when an order is filled at a price that is different from the requested price. The difference between the expected fill price and the actual fill price is the “slippage”. Our gain and loss percentage calculator quickly tells you the percentage of your account balance that you have won or lost. From basic trading terms to trading jargon, you can find the explanation for a long list of trading terms here.


This can execute stop-loss orders that close out positions, even as the stock subsequently rebounds. For example, when an investor goes long on a stock, the expectation is that the price will increase in value over time. However, there are many occasions when an investor purchases shares of a company at the top of a market rally. The investor buys a stock at its peak assuming that it will continue to post significant gains. Almost immediately after purchasing the stock, the company releases a quarterly report that shakes investor confidence and causes the stock to decline in value by more than 10%, never to recover. The investor is holding the stock at a loss, with no option to sell the stock, effectively whipsawed.

You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. DisclaimerAll content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. If you’re looking for additional reading to supplement your forex trading education, you’ve come to the right place! Below we list just a handful of must-read forex trading books that we think are… Whipsaw comes from the “push and pull” action of the saw that lumberjacks use when cutting wood.

Origin of whipsaw

Coinbase is a good example of a stock that saw whipsaw trading even though there was no established trend. On its first day of trading, April 14, 2021, it debuted at $381, shot up past $429.54, and then forex hedging techniques sharply decreased, ending the day at $328.28. The term whipsaw may also refer to an investor who judges the market wrongly when he or she thinks stocks have hit rock bottom and can only come back up.

whipsaw meaning

The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Mike Price is a personal finance writer with more than six years of prior experience working in the banking industry. He specializes in writing about investing, real estate and accounting for The Balance. His work has also been featured in other notable financial websites such as The Motley Fool.

Articles Related to whipsaw

They also recommended the use of sweeping, multiemployer lockouts to counter the whipsaw tactics of the unions, which, taking advantage of labor shortages, drove up wages enterprise by enterprise. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate.

At times, too many traders pile into these stocks and they get “overheated”. Overbought stocks are ones that have too much buying demand and have traded above their fair value. Speculation over a potential accord between cartel members has whipsawed global energy markets. A lot of people were whipsawed in the recent market volatility. Some of the big-name startups expected to go public early this year have slowed their rush to market as stocks continue to whipsaw. Whipsaw in investing is when a stock or indicator quickly moves in the opposite direction as expected.

  • If a trader opens a position because an indicator showed one thing and the indicator immediately changes to show a sell signal, the trader was whipsawed.
  • Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
  • The financial term originated from the push and pull action that lumberjacks used when cutting wood with a whipsaw.

The “two-circle” and the “circle-and-dot” brands caused endless jangling, while every whipsaw discovered a dozen claimants. The whipsaw effect is really hard on our middle class families. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge fxgrow review Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors. Early sawmills adapted the whipsaw to mechanical power, generally driven by a water wheel to speed up the process. To do this they must acquire a whipsaw if they do not already have one.

Dictionary Entries Near whipsawed

A quick price movement followed by a sharp price change in the opposite direction. An investor expecting a continuation in the direction of a security’s price movement is likely to experience whipsaw in a volatile market. This risk is very important to short-term traders but inconsequential to long-term investors. To weather the volatility, experts recommend that investors stick to a long-term strategy that plays to their strengths and follow that strategy regardless of whipsaw movements. In terms of investment, another expert recommended investing in more stable sectors such as healthcare and avoiding more volatile sectors such as real estate. Most experts were expecting significant volatility in the short term, and one recommended assuming a defensive position.

Traders use stop losses to protect themselves so that their broker will automatically sell a stock if it drops below a certain amount. This limits big losses, but in the case of whipsaw where the stock quickly decreases but then returns to an uptrend, it sells a position the trader may have otherwise held to. Everybody was so sure that Britons would vote to remain within the EU on June 23rd, 2016. The pound sterling, which was worth around $1.50, was expected to jump to $1.65 or even $1.70. Many currency speculators bought billions of pounds, expecting to sell them the next day.

How Can Whipsaws Hurt Traders?

However, they did also state that a long-term portfolio based on the stock would win out. Whipsaw patterns most notably occur in a volatile market in which price fluctuations are unpredictable. Day traders or other short-term investors are accustomed to being whipsawed. Those who have a long-term, buy and hold approach to investing can often ride out the volatility of the market and emerge with positive gains. Being whipsawed is more common among day traders and other short-term investors than for those with a long-term purchase-and-hold approach to investing.

The second type occurs when a share price drops in value for a short time and then suddenly surges upward to a positive gain relative to the stock’s original position. A change in a security’s price quickly followed by another change in the opposite direction. For example, a security could rise $1 then quickly lose $2, or it could fall 50 cents then rise 75 cents. Whipsaws are significant risks for day traders and speculators who may lose large amounts of money in short-term trading.

The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. To subject to pressure or attack from two different sources or directions at the same time.

To lose potential profit by buying shares just before the price falls, or by selling them just before the price rises. Traders can lose profits when they are stopped out of a position because of whipsaw. The two poker sharks started whipsawing the newcomer, pushing him to bet all he had brought with him. Few nations have addressed the use of lockouts during whipsaw strikes, however.

Investors will say that the trader is‘whipsawed’ when his or her security’s price suddenly moves in the opposite direction of a trade that he or she has just placed. Homes are selling during the coronavirus crisis, despite heightened unemployment, widespread business losses, a whipsawed stock market and stay-at-home orders. Short-term traders can be whipsawed often, but long-term traders are likely to see better results due to their long time horizon. Long-term investors shouldn’t care about whipsaw by definition. If their expected holding period in a stock can be as long as ten years, or even forever, short-term drops that are corrected in a few days, weeks, or months simply don’t matter.

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