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Weak Sister


“Weak Sister” is a financial term used to describe a member of a group who is underperforming or in a poor financial condition compared to its peers. This term can be applied to entities like companies, stocks or economies. It refers to a contributor that is holding back the overall performance due to its weaknesses.


The phonetics of the keyword “Weak Sister” is: /wi:k ‘sɪstər/.

Key Takeaways

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The term “Weak Sister” is important in business or finance because it refers to an underperforming component or entity within a larger group or portfolio. It’s a derogatory term typically used in financial markets to denote a stock, sector, or company that is lagging behind its counterparts. Identifying the “weak sister” is vital for investors in strategic decision-making, offering opportunities for improvement or even divestiture if the underperformance persists. Overall, understanding this term helps with evaluations, comparisons, and fundamental financial analysis promoting efficient and enhanced decision-making.


Weak Sister refers to an entity or a component of a system that is, at that time, performing the poorest or is deemed the most vulnerable compared to its counterparts, potentially affecting the entirety of the system. Often used in the realm of finance and business, the term can point to a range of elements such as a company among a group of businesses, a stock in a portfolio, a economy among a group of nations or even a single data point in an analysis or a model. The purpose of identifying the “weak sister” in a grouping is essentially to facilitate the analysis of why that particular component is underperforming. This analysis can lead to decision making about solving the issue or taking preventive measures for a system-wide effect. For instance, in a portfolio of investments, identifying the weak sister can assist in making decisions about asset allocation or risk management. Furthermore, in a set of companies, the identification can pave the way for targeted business strategies, mergers, or improvements in methods or operations. By identifying these vulnerabilities, analysts can ensure the stability and health of the entire structure or portfolio.


“Weak Sister” is a term primarily used in finance and business to refer to the underperformers in a sector, group, or portfolio. Here are three hypothetical real-world examples:1. ABC Tech Corp: Let’s imagine a grouping of companies in the technology sector. The vast majority of these companies are performing well, with increases in both their revenues and market shares. However, ABC Tech Corp, one of the companies in this grouping, has been consistently posting losses and losing market shares. This company, therefore, could be termed as a ‘Weak Sister’ in the tech sector.2. Blue Ocean Shipping Inc.: Suppose there are several companies in the shipping industry and all are making profits except one. The Blue Ocean Shipping Inc. might be facing problems due to outdated technology, inefficient management, or unexpected costs. Even though it is in the same industry and possibly had experienced growth and success previously, due to its recent poor performance, it becomes the ‘Weak Sister’ of the shipping sector.3. XYZ Mutual Fund: Let us take an example of a mutual fund portfolio comprising 10 different investments. Out of these, nine are giving returns of 12-15%, but XYZ Mutual Fund is stubbornly stuck at 2% return – a figure far below the portfolio’s average return. Despite its overall performance, due to its comparatively poorer returns, XYZ Mutual Fund would be considered the ‘Weak Sister’ within this portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Weak Sister mean in finance?

The term Weak Sister refers to a component of an entity (it could be a security, a company, or even a country) that is underperforming or dragging down the overall performance.

Can you give an example of a Weak Sister in a stock portfolio?

Yes, if a portfolio includes 20 stocks and 19 of them are providing decent returns while one is continuously underperforming, then the underperforming stock is the Weak Sister.

How can an investor deal with a Weak Sister in their portfolio?

Depending on the cause of the underperformance, an investor might sell off the Weak Sister or he/she may choose to hold on, hoping for an eventual rebound if they believe the underlying fundamentals are strong.

In what scenarios is the term Weak Sister commonly used?

The term Weak Sister is used in all areas of finance including but not limited to investments, corporate finance, and international economies.

Can a Weak Sister cause overall impact on market performance?

Yes, a Weak Sister can effectuate underperformance in a diversified portfolio or a market index. It can also influence investor sentiment regarding a sector or the market as a whole.

Would a “Weak Sister” ever offer any potential benefits to investors?

Yes, sometimes Weak Sisters can offer potential investment opportunities. If the reasons leading to its underperformance are temporary or situational, it may have potential for a future rebound. However, investing in such entities requires rigorous analysis and risk management.

Related Finance Terms

  • Bear Market: This term refers to a market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment to be self-sustaining.
  • Underperformance: This term is applied when a company or a stock performs less satisfactorily than others in the same industry or the general market.
  • Risk Management: This refers to the identification, assessment, and controlling threats or risks to a company’s capital and earnings. These threats could originate from a variety of sources, including financial uncertainty and strategic management errors.
  • Market Downturn: This term is used to describe the condition when the market experiences a significant decline in economic activity. It’s typically associated with a significant decline in the market index for a sustained period.
  • Benchmark: In finance and investment, a benchmark is a standard against which the performance of a security, mutual fund, or investment manager can be measured. It is often related directly or indirectly to weak sister when comparing performance.

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