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In finance, the term “overbought” refers to a situation where excessive buying has pushed an asset’s price up to levels that are not supported by its fundamentals, suggesting that it is overvalued. It typically indicates that the price is likely to correct downwards. Overbought conditions are often identified by technical analysis indicators like the Relative Strength Index (RSI).


The phonetics of the keyword “Overbought” is: /ˌoʊ.vɚˈbɔːt/

Key Takeaways

1. Overbought Definition: The term ‘Overbought’ refers to a situation in technical analysis where the price of an asset has risen to such a degree, usually on high volume, that an oscillator has reached a higher level and a reversal is probable. The overbought condition is typically a sign that the market could be setting up to take a downward turn.

2. Overbought as a Trading Indicator: Traders often utilise the overbought situation as a signal to sell their positions. The RSI (Relative Strength Index) is a common tool used to detect if a market or security is overbought. Generally, an RSI above 70 indicates that a share or index is overbought and could be due for a pullback.

3. Danger of Overbought Markets: While being in an overbought market is not inherently negative, it poses risks because there could be a rapid change in market sentiment, thereby triggering a rapid price decline. Investors are advised to be cautious while investing in overbought markets and pay attention to their risk management strategies.


The term “overbought” is crucial in the world of business/finance because it indicates that a significant percentage of investors have bought shares in a company, driving the price up to a level that potentially overstates the company’s true value. Generally, this occurs when an asset experiences a rapid upward movement in price over a short period. If the price of the stock or asset appreciates too fast, the asset could be deemed overbought, and a price correction might be imminent. Traders use indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) to determine overbought conditions. Understanding when a security is overbought is significant as it can help investors make informed decisions and potentially avoid buying an asset that is likely to depreciate.


In the realm of finance and investing, the term “overbought” refers to an analytical assessment that indicates a particular asset, most commonly a stock, may have reached a price level unduly elevated and is likely due for a pullback. This concept is of high importance in technical analysis, a method investors and analysts employ to anticipate future price movement based on historic price and volume trends. Describing a financial instrument as overbought is a considerably broad statement suggesting the asset is being overvalued and is at an increased risk of experiencing price correction.The purpose of identifying an overbought asset is for investors to employ prudent asset-management techniques, which can involve avoiding buying decisions or contemplating selling the asset to avoid possible losses. It enables market participants to discern if a stock’s price is appreciating at a pace that’s potentially unsustainable. An asset labelled as overbought doesn’t necessarily mean a sharp price drop is imminent. However, it is often a warning that the asset could be nearing a peak, followed by a pullback or price decline. So, investors, traders and portfolio managers monitor and leverage certain technical indicators, like the relative strength index (RSI) and stochastic oscillator to identify overbought (and oversold) conditions.


1. **Technology Stocks in the 2000 Dot-Com Bubble**: In the late 90s, investors were excessively optimistic about the potential of internet companies, leading to an overpricing of technology stocks. These companies were overbought, and when realized profits didn’t match the high evaluations, the market underwent a drastic correction, causing the bubble to burst in 2000.2. **U.S. Housing Market Pre-2008**: Leading up to 2008, easy credit conditions led to an overbuying of properties, causing housing prices to rapidly increase. This was an overbought condition which was not sustainable. The subsequent crash in housing prices led to the 2008 financial crisis.3. **Bitcoin in December 2017**: In December 2017, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed to almost $20,000 due to a frenzy of investors buying into the cryptocurrency market. This was widely viewed as an overbought situation. Earlier in 2017, the price was around $1,000, so this sudden rise led many investors and analysts to believe that Bitcoin was overbought. And by the following year, the price had fallen dramatically to around $3,000, validating those concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term ‘overbought’ mean in finance?

‘Overbought’ is a term used in finance to describe a situation where a security, such as stocks or bonds, has been strongly and consistently bought on the market, resulting in a temporary inflation of its price. It’s often perceived as an indicator that the asset may be overvalued.

How can one tell if a security is overbought?

Usually, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), a momentum indicator, is used to ascertain if a security is overbought. An RSI score of 70 or above typically signifies that a security may be overbought.

What happens if a security is overbought?

When a security is overbought, it often indicates an overvaluation which may lead to a market correction. In other words, the price of the security may drop as traders sell off the asset to rebalance the market.

Does overbought necessarily mean that the price will decrease shortly?

Not always. While an overbought status can be a signal of a potential trend reversal, it doesn’t guarantee that a price decrease will happen immediately. It’s important for investors to use other analysis techniques alongside the overbought status to make investment decisions.

Can overbought status be used as a standalone indicator for selling a security?

It’s typically not recommended to use overbought status as a standalone indicator. While it can add value to an investment decision process, it is most reliable when used in conjunction with other indicators, market news, and investment strategies.

Does an overbought market condition apply only to stocks?

No, the concept of being overbought can be applied to any traded security, including stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and more. It essentially refers to any situation where buying activity has driven the price of a security beyond its true value.

In what type of market condition is the term ‘overbought’ usually used?

The term ‘overbought’ is typically used in a bull market, which is characterized by rising prices and investor confidence. However, it can also be used to describe a bubble scenario, where exaggerated expectations of future growth can cause an overbought condition.

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