40 Bear Types

At least those found during
a market mania, like the
NASDAQ in early 2000


  Type Outlook Does
1 Apocalypse Bear Thinks global economy will collapse due to total charade organized and controlled by The Powers That Be. Predicts massive inflation followed by repudiation of fiat currency, or worldwide deflation (take your pick). Looks to political events for clues about the future. Was hoping Y2K would be more eventful than it turned out to be. Holds gold stocks and some bear funds. Isn't quite ready to commit to shorting or buying puts. Waiting for confirmation. In the meantime has stocked up on food and water, 'just in case it gets real bad'.
2 Credit Crisis Bear Reads complicated essays about esoteric financial issues. Concerned about low savings rates, trade deficits, the yield curve, bond market hijinks, bank overextension, and the money supply. Has seen so much negative data over the past four years, it's hard to detect any real signal anymore. Tends to play with broad market instruments as opposed to individual stocks. Hasn't lost shirt.
3 Weary Bear Expects high P/E stocks to come back to earth when fundamentals reassert themselves. Once was an enthusiastic bear (say in 1997, 8, and 9). Has witnessed the market stall and dip, only to blast off again, several times. Significantly burned with worthless puts or short squeezes more than once. Has developed an exquisite sense for the market. Won't get fooled again. Mostly in the market for revenge Pops in and out of bear funds and occasional put/shorts. Is waiting for the right time, at which time will pile on and ride the market down. Is not expecting a crash, but wouldn't be surprised if it happened.
4 Trading Bear Looks for stocks to bounce around but generally head south. Feels that Technical Analysis is the way to go most of the time. Has been a survivor (unlike some vanquished Weary Bears) because of nimble trading and tight stops.  Daytrades or week-trades. Has had some successes, but also some losses in the last three years. Is likely to short-cover a little too soon if the Big One hits.
5 New Bear Just showed up and doesn't understand why old-time bears (listed above) aren't gung-ho about an immediate market decline. Hasn't experienced a snap-back rally. Hasn't owned a double-inverse Nasdaq fund, but thinks it's attractive. Hasn't shorted or held puts, been in the money, only to have some meatball analyst talk up stocks prior to expiration Friday. May be in for some rude surprises. Soon will choose what kind of bear to be. Many become Trading Bears. Others split into Apocalypse, Credit Crisis, and Weary Bear categories.
  Type Outlook Does
6 Smart Bear Avoided the NASDAQ for the most part. Managed to short those stocks which were part of the 'stealth' bear market. Most likely a fundamentalist who also was aware of the great risks in betting against a momentum sector. Moves in for gains only after clear and convincing evidence appears for earnings problems and lack of market enthusiasm.
7 Information Overload Bear Has read Fleckenstein and Tice for years. Paid attention to Barton Biggs, Alan Abelson, and Jim Grant. Knows all the arguments regarding market overvaluation. Owns a dog-eared copy of The Great Crash. Not much. It's like, "If all these guys are correct, how come the market hasn't collapsed yet?" Bears sound convincing, but reality has been different - so far.
8 Lucky Bear Believed to be extinct. Unknown.
9 Angry Bear Is hopping mad at the outrageous P/E for EBAY. Incredulous about multi-billion market caps for 'blue sky' startups. Rants about optical, biotech, fuel-cells, and other passing fads. Makes a lot of noise, but hasn't put too much money at risk yet. Deep down, this bear senses that as insane as this market is, no amount of hectoring will change it.
10 Frustrated Bear Thinks the market is overvalued, but not quite sure by how much. Tends to be long for the most part - or in low yield but safe instruments. Wants to participate in a bear feast, but frankly can't see the right opportunity. Thinks puts are always too expensive. Will not do much even in a bear market. Watches the situation closely, but feels that it's too risky going short.
  Type Outlook Does
11 CNBC Bear Has called for a market decline as far back as anyone can remember. Is usually a guest on CNBC for the bulls to make fun of.  Issues standard remarks about being in cash, or to lighten up on stocks that have gained 400% over the last year. Everybody ignores the advice.
12 Wall $treet Week Bear Currently banished from the show. The last one seen there, Gail Dudak, was tossed from the Elves Index in 1999. Plots Louis Rukeyser's demise.
13 Sleeping Bear Figures it's not worth gaming this market. Hibernates until a recession shows up.
14 Rabid Bear 'Knows' the market will drop starting tomorrow. Goes whole hog against the market. Indescriminately buys puts, and shorts momentum stocks while they are rising. Approximate life span for this species has been nine months.
15 Naked Bear Confident of limited upside in selected stocks. A more aggressive (and foolish - if you can believe it) version of Rabid Bear. Writes naked calls during bull markets. Is destined for bankruptcy in short order. Will lose shirt, shorts, and everything else.
  Type Outlook Does
16 Half-hearted Bear Variant of Trading Bear. Talks the bear talk, but deep down isn't fully committed. Lacks conviction. It's the same problem (only in reverse) that perma-bears have when they try to be bullish.  Will play the short side, but tends to put more money on the table for upside moves. 
17 Bear Rug Is disgusted with Wall Street and isn't an active trader. No money left. Got badly burned shortly after one crisis (Asia, Russia, LTCM, or '98 tech slump) by betting on further declines, only to see the Federal Reserve step in and save the day. May have also lost big during the wild ride of Nov99-Mar00. Would like to have lunch with Julian Robertson someday. Writes angry letters to Alan Greenspan. Refuses to watch CNBC anymore. Uses business section of newspaper to train dog or line birdcage.
18 Happy Bear Cheerful. Loves life. Believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. Thinks Maria Bartiromo is terrific. Currently on medication under a doctor's supervision.
19 Bogus Bear Is a bull - no doubt about it. Shows up on bearish message boards and raises hell until chased away by the system administrator.
20 Bear-to-be Currently a bull. Will remain so until bear market is fully established. Then it will be to late. Follows the crowd. Pays attention to Peter Lynch, Joe Battipaglia, and Henry Blodget. Does whatever Abby Cohen advises.
  Type Outlook Does
21 Loudmouth Bear Bearish for a number of reasons: Technical Analysis, Fundamentals, Market Mood. Doesn't really matter. Hangs out on Yahoo boards and engages in fiery debates with believers in the New Era. POSTS IN ALL CAPS.
22 Bear Cub Lifetime bearish orientation being shaped by parents' gloomy estimation of the markets. That will be a great asset or a great liability - depending on what actually happens when the critter reaches adulthood. Can't wait to be old enough to open a brokerage account and short QCOM (or its equivalent).
23 Sweating Bear Terrified that another melt-up is in the offing. Only a couple of days earlier had committed substantial funds to the short side. Now very worried due to 'froth talk' about pending mergers, money-on-the-sidelines coming back, 401k inflows, Fed easing, any speech by Greenspan, or BLS reports. Closes all short positions at market open. In the past, this has often been the right thing to do, but is developing a stimulus/reaction response that may be a handicap in the future.
24 Relieved Bear One horrible short play cancelled out by another that went well. Wonders why bother at all with this nonsense. That evening, goes out with friends or family for a good time. Might have a few drinks as well.
25 Smiling Bear Feeling pretty good about recent successes. Bought some out-of-the-money puts a week before Company X warned, and has a ten-bagger as a result. Looking for another firm with a similar profile in order to try it again.
  Type Outlook Does
26 Perma-Bear Only likes stocks trading below book value and with P/E's under 5. Favors large cap consumer non-durables. Considers Warren Buffett too much of a risk taker. Avoids tech like the plague. Loves bonds. Portfolio has appreciated by 2% (on an annual basis) over the last decade. Unlikely to actively bet against the market, despite feeling that it's a bubble destined to burst.
27 Elliot Wave Bear Charts up a storm. Can count up to five (according to studies at the University of Michigan). Keeps portrait of Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci in den. Bed has length:width ratio of 1.618*

* Golden ratio, Phi [f]

Does quite well at times, but may find market transition points (churning) hard to resolve one way or another. Runs risk of being whipsawed. It is not known if Elliot Wave Bears and Elliot Wave Bulls are distinct species - though most experts suspect that is the case.
28 Scared S***less Bear Shorted a stock at 120 only to see it run up to 160. Hoping for a market reversal. Either that, or an asteroid to hit Manhattan before the margin call comes in. Does not 'do it' in the woods. Is frozen into inaction, hoping for an exit point that never seems to materialize. Good candidate for a peptic ulcer.
29 New Era Bear No such thing. A contradiction in terms. n/a
30 Kodak Bear Sub-species of Kodiak Bear. Shorted EK in '99 and in '00. Recently gobbled up profits faster than its fellow bears eat salmon in summer.
  Type Outlook Does
31 401k Bear Only significant funds are in 401k plan. By law, options may not be purchased, nor can stocks be shorted. Must look to the few inverse-market mutual funds as the best alternative. Buys PrudentBear (BEARX), BearGuard, ProFunds (USPIX, URPIX), or Rydex/Arktos (RYAIX, RYURX) funds.
32 QQQ Bear
(aka Q-Bear)
Focuses on the Nasdaq-100 trust, though may also get involved with specific stocks from time to time. Likes the fact that the Q's average out much of the noise and unpredictability that accompanies individual securities.  Daytrades. Plays the Q's directly, or may try options. Has to watch things pretty closely at times since volatility remains fairly large, even for an index. Even though a bear in general orientation, has to go long occasionally 'cause that's where the index seems to be headed at times.
33 S&P Bear Like QQQ Bear, but prefers working the Standard and Poor's indices. Similar to QQQ Bear.
34 Virgin Bear Innocent as they come. Has actually made trades based on Alan Abelson's column. Probably shorted a bit of AOL for a small profit, and thinks playing the downside isn't all that troubling. Hasn't experienced a short squeeze yet. Pays no attention to Short Ratio, Shares Outstanding vs. Float, Shares Short as Percent of Float. Will be paying attention in the near future.
35 Logical Bear On endangered species list during times of irrational exuberance. Prior history shows an ability for the population to recover sharply during market downturns. Is a fundamentalist for the most part. Tends not to take big risks. Unexciting player to watch. Owns a copy of Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis, and will be happy to discuss it with you over dinner. (You, of course, politely decline the invitation.)
  Type Outlook Does
36 International Bear Obsessed with the Japanese Yen, British Pound, Mexican Peso, and the Greek Drachma. Likes the idea of a Currency Board for 'those countries that lack self discipline'. Sees economic strength in terms of exchange rates. Is frankly baffled by the poor showing of the Euro. Does a little currency futures trading at times, but for the most part buys and sells equities in overseas bourses.
37 Vindicated Bear Relief that much of the pain and suffering endured during the 1990's seems to be finally over. Though there have been big losses during that time, the fact that the New Era has lost its sheen, provides some solace. Always thought Greenspan was way too cavalier about the fact that "we may be in a bubble". Can't help saying, "I told you so," when dot-coms that traded as high as $100 are now going for $2 and change. Is not sympathetic at all to daytraders or margin players that got hurt - but doesn't tease them either.
38 21st Century Bear A most fortunate creature. Through luck or skill, didn't become a bear until the year 2000. Missed out on all the 'fun' other bears experienced up to that time. Straightforward shorting and puts on tech. Not a whole lot of analysis applied. To the amazement of long time bears, most plays turn out to be big winners. (Sort of the inverse of the buy-on-the-dips bull: can't lose when the trend is your friend)
39 Wandering Bear Moves from Fundamental Analysis to Technical Analysis to Market Mood to Astrological Influences to whatever catches his fancy. Although a bear in outlook, the failings of each school during the exuberant market have made this bear keep looking for something to make sense of it all. Does the wrong thing at the wrong time. Shorted during the wild run ups. Bought puts when the market was stagnant. Tried to profit on the situation the day after a big market drop, only to get socked by the snap-back rally.
40 Media Bear Cannot believe the television ads for brokerage firms which feature people who wouldn't know a 10K if it came up and if it bit them in the behind. Was stunned that Schwab featured 18-year-old tennis player Anna Kournikova explaining financial terms between sets. Incredulous that so many ads were aired during the Superbowl. Considers the fact that Jeff Bezos was Time's Man of the Year a good indicator that the world has gone mad. Avoids popular media. Only watches PBS or reads back issues of Colliers.


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