What is the relationship between animals and trade?

What is the relationship between animals and financial markets? In this beginner’s article, you will learn the symbolism of animals in trading and investing, including:

  • Bulls and bears (bulls and bears)
  • Doves and hawks (doves and hawks)
  • Rabbits and Turtles (Rabbits and Turtles)
  • whales
  • Black swans
  • Animal spirits

We’ve all seen and moved the adorable photos of pets like kittens and puppies on social media. Although financial markets have a reputation for being business oriented, they have long had a deep connection with animal symbolism.

While pets on social media represent a warm and affectionate sentiment, animal symbols in investment markets are associated with radically different emotions.

As a beginner, it won’t take long to get interested in financial media and follow the news to keep up to date with the latest developments in forex and stock markets. Most of the articles on market sentiment refer to bulls and bears, so let’s start with those.

Bulls and bears on the financial markets (bulls and bears)

A strong upward trend in the economy affects investor sentiment, which means more optimism and confidence in the markets. In some cases, a booming market turns into a “race to the top”, where market sentiment seems to charge the horns first, demonstrating a healthy risk appetite.

Conversely, a sharp decline in the economy causes emotions of fear and sometimes panic. The animal that represents these emotions is the bear, and when a market turns bearish, there is a sell-off and investors’ risk appetite vanishes.

Bull and bear have become an abbreviation to describe the prevailing mood in the markets and can also be equated with buyers and sellers. This struggle between buyers and sellers results in the rise and fall of different instruments in the financial markets.

Bulls and bears fight in the field (the order book, straight to the market) while other species take to the skies, which leads us to hawks and doves.

Hawks and doves (hawks and doves)

A hawk represents a central bank bent on restricting credit by raising interest rates and capturing its prey: inflation. The monetary policy hawk appears when prices rise too quickly and fuel inflation, forcing central bankers to act to stem it.

The dove is a much less aggressive bird than the hawk and, when used in financial markets, represents periods of monetary policy in which inflation is low or normal. Accommodative monetary policy is linked to more accommodative credit conditions and is also referred to as “accommodative” monetary policy.

Black swans

Black swans are so rare that their name is used to describe very unusual events in the trading and investment markets. Examples of black swans include the EURCHF flash crash when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) withdrew an agreement to maintain a floor between the Swiss franc and the euro. Black swans can also refer to geopolitical events such as wars, revolutions, pandemics and other major upheavals in the global economy.

The crucial thing to understand about the events of the black swan market is that they are caused by a massive reaction of fear and panic. In hindsight and once the dust has settled, the catalyst that triggered the mass reaction can often mean a change in the economy. A good example is the gradual extinction of currency constraints, which appear to be on the verge of extinction, as modern economies require more flexibility than ever.

Rabbits and turtles (rabbits and turtles)

Rabbits and turtles are not mentioned in the media as often as bulls and bears or hawks and doves. This may be because rabbits and turtles represent a type of investing and trading approach rather than a temporary emotion such as fear or optimism.

Rabbits tend to do business or investments quickly, while tortoises take a slower, longer-term approach, making progress towards their financial goals rather than rushing.


We talked about land and air animal species, but what about the sea? Whales represent the “big hands” – institutional investors and traders, mega-banks, governments, central banks and hedge funds.

When a large institution makes a trade or an investment, it can change the direction of the market. Examples of this can be seen in central bank interventions in the foreign exchange market, when they buy their home currency to back it up during times of vulnerability.

When hedge funds sell short or go long on an instrument, they have such high purchasing power that they can even move the market.

animal spirits

No, the term “animal spirits” doesn’t refer to the ghosts of bulls and bears, but it can be frightening.

The latter describes a pervasive emotion that grips investors and traders at particular moments in the markets. These emotions are usually associated with panic during “black swan” events or euphoria when the economy is doing so well that it seems like every investment or position is successful for the trader.

Animal spirits are extreme emotions in the markets and can lead to drastic changes and movements in asset prices. These changes can be described as volatility, but in the case of animal spirits, the changes can go far beyond the healthy meaning of volatility, turning into wild swings until the phenomenon disappears.

What is the response to animal spirits? Always use prudent risk management techniques. This topic will be covered next week, so don’t forget to check out our article titled “Economics News for Beginners” regularly.

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This content does not contain and should in no way be construed as containing investment advice or recommendations, an offer or solicitation to trade financial instruments. Please note that this marketing communication is not a reliable indicator of current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek the advice of independent financial advisors to ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

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