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Weak Longs


“Weak Longs” is a financial term that refers to investors who hold a long position but are likely to sell at the first sign of price decline or increased volatility. These investors do not have a strong conviction about the long-term prospects of the asset they hold. Their tendency to sell quickly can amplify market downturns or increase volatility.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Weak Longs” is: /wi:k lɔ:ŋz/

Key Takeaways

  1. Weak Longs represent those traders or investors in the market who lack either the financial resources, the confidence, or the conviction to keep holding onto their long positions when the market starts turning against them. Such people are usually influenced by minor fluctuations and are quick to sell at first sign of trouble.
  2. These weak longs can influence the market in a significant way. If there’s a wave of selling due to panic or uncertainty, it can drive prices down and create a snowball effect, leading to increased market volatility and triggering sell-offs from other investors as well.
  3. The third main point about weak longs is that they present opportunities to other investors. Experienced traders often aim to capitalize on these price variations caused by weak longs. They aim to buy when prices are driven down and positions are being wrongly sold off in panic.


The term “Weak Longs” is significant in business/finance as it refers to investors who hold a long position and are inclined to sell it at the first sign of trouble, such as a market downturn. These people can quickly turn bullish into bearish, exacerbating any selling pressure that takes place. In stock markets or commodity trading, these are traders who lack the conviction in their strategies or lack the financial resources to uphold their positions in the event of price drops. Their behavior can therefore accelerate the downward spiral of an asset’s price in volatile times, making it an essential factor to monitor for other investors and market analysts.


Weak Longs, in finance and investing, is a term often used to denote participants who hold a long position or own a security, but lack the conviction or financial capacity to maintain their position and commit in the face of downward market movements. When such investors perceive a potential decrease in the value of their investments, they tend to sell off their positions easily thus, being called “weak”. This term is primarily used in the scope of futures trading but it can be applied to any type of investment or trading activity.

Understanding the concept of weak longs provides traders and market participants with essential insights into the market dynamics and the potential volatility of assets. Weak longs can potentially accelerate a fall in the asset’s price due to their propensity to sell quickly on bearish signs. This can trigger a snowball effect as other traders also start selling their positions fearing a further price drop. Thus, recognizing the signs of weak longs in market activity can inform smarter trading decisions and risk management tactics, providing a unique vantage point for market prediction and strategy planning.


“Weak longs” is a term used in financial markets to describe investors who hold long positions but who lack the conviction or financial resources to hold onto them when prices fall. They might sell out at the first sign of trouble, often exacerbating price declines. Here are a few real-world examples:

1. The Cryptocurrency Market: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies often have investors termed as ‘weak longs’. For instance, in 2017 when Bitcoin’s price peak at about $20,000, it quickly fell to under $10,000 within a few weeks because many of the investors who bought near the peak, sold their holdings at the first sign of a crash, further intensifying the drop.

2. The 2008 Financial Crisis: Leading up to the crisis, many investors held long positions in stocks, bonds, and real estate. However, when the markets started to fall, these ‘weak longs’ rapidly sold off their positions, accelerating the crash and deepening the financial crisis.

3. Dot-Com Bubble: During the dot-com bubble around the end of the 20th century, many ‘weak longs’ held stocks of technology and internet companies. When the bubble burst, these investors, who lacked conviction to hold onto their positions, sold off their stocks, exacerbating the burst and leading to a huge market crash.

These examples illustrate that ‘weak longs’ often contribute to price volatility and market downturns, as they are less likely to hold onto their positions during a market downturn.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Weak Longs?

In finance or investing, Weak Longs refers to the investors who lack the conviction for holding onto their long positions, particularly when faced with negative market movements.

Are Weak Longs different from Long Positions?

Yes, while both refer to buying with the expectation that the asset will increase in value, weak longs are less committed to their investments. They are quicker to sell out or cut their losses when the market begins to move against them.

How do Weak Longs impact the market?

Weak Longs add to market volatility. If a negative news or trend hits the market, weak longs are likely to sell their assets at a quicker rate, leading to larger drops in the market.

How can I identify a Weak Long in the market?

It’s quite challenging to identify who exactly are the weak longs. However, you might observe a pattern of buying and selling in the market. For instance, in a bearish market, you may see a fast drop in the price of an investment, indicating the presence of weak longs selling their investments hastily.

Is being a Weak Long necessarily a bad thing?

Not necessarily. While the term weak longs sometimes carries a negative connotation, these investors can also be seen as risk-averse. Though they may limit their potential for long-term gains, they also limit their exposure to potential losses.

What’s the opposite of Weak Longs?

The opposite are the Strong Longs. These are investors who hold onto their long positions even when the market starts to trend downwards. They believe that the value of their investments will go up in the long term.

How can I avoid becoming a Weak Long?

To avoid becoming a weak long, you need to build a strong conviction in your investments. Make sure you thoroughly research and understand your investments, develop a solid investment strategy, and stick to it even when faced with market volatilities.

Related Finance Terms

  • Market Volatility: It refers to the rapid and significant price changes that can happen within short periods of time in markets. High volatility may cause weak longs to exit their positions too soon.
  • Margin Call: This is a broker’s demand on an investor using margin to deposit additional money or securities so that the margin account is brought up to the minimum maintenance margin. Weak longs who are using leveraged positions may face this scenario during unfavorable market conditions.
  • Stop-Loss Order: This type of order is designed to limit an investor’s loss on a position in securities. A tool often used by weak longs to limit potential losses.
  • Bull Market: A financial market of a group of securities in which prices are rising or are expected to rise. It’s a favorable condition for long-position investors, but weak longs might sell off their holdings prematurely during minor corrections.
  • Bear Market: A market in which prices are falling, encouraging selling. It is an unfavorable condition for long-position investors and particularly challenging for weak longs.

Sources for More Information

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