What are Weak Hands?

Weak hands in trading refers to traders who lack confidence in their investments and tend to sell their positions quickly in response to market volatility or decline. These traders are often driven by fear and have a low tolerance for risk, which leads them to make impulsive decisions based on short-term market movements. As a result, weak hands are more likely to sell their positions at a loss, or at a lower price than they would have received if they had held onto their investments for a longer period of time.

In contrast, strong hands are traders who have confidence in their investments and are able to hold onto their positions even during market fluctuations. They have a long-term investment horizon and are not easily influenced by short-term market movements. Strong hands are more likely to weather market downturns and emerge as winners in the long run.

In the context of the crypto market, weak hands can be especially problematic, as the crypto market is known for its high volatility and can experience rapid price movements. Weak hands are more likely to sell their positions during market downturns, which can amplify the decline and create a vicious cycle. Strong hands, on the other hand, are more likely to weather market downturns and emerge as winners in the long run. As such, it's important for traders to have a clear investment strategy and a strong risk tolerance in order to navigate the crypto market successfully.

Simplified Example

Weak hands in trading can be compared to having a weak grip. Imagine you are playing a game of tug-of-war with a rope, and you have a weak grip on the rope. Whenever the opposing team pulls hard on the rope, you are likely to let go of it and lose the game. Similarly, in trading, weak hands refer to traders who are easily influenced by market changes and are likely to sell their positions at the first sign of market volatility or decline.

History of the Term "Weak Hands"

The term "weak hands" in the context of investing is thought to have originated in the early 20th century, aligning with the evolution of modern stock markets and the increasing popularity of investment practices. This expression is frequently employed to characterize investors who are susceptible to market sentiment, tending to divest their holdings hastily due to fear or panic, often resulting in financial losses.


The dot-com bubble of the late 1990s: Many people sold technology stocks prematurely and missed out on potential gains. As the dot-com boom took hold, many investors rushed to buy into the new economy, driving up stock prices for technology companies. However, as the bubble burst and the economy cooled, many investors panicked and sold their holdings, missing out on the potential long-term gains as the technology sector continued to grow and mature.

Another example is Microsoft in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many investors sold their Microsoft stock prematurely as the company struggled to establish itself in the crowded computer software market. However, as Microsoft's Windows operating system gained widespread adoption and the company became a dominant player in the personal computer market, the stock price skyrocketed, leaving many early investors regretting their decision to sell.

A third example is Amazon, which went public in 1997. In its early days, Amazon was often criticized for its lack of profitability, and many investors sold their shares prematurely. However, as the company matured and shifted its focus to online retail, the stock price rose dramatically, making many early investors regret selling their shares too soon.

  • Invest: The act of putting money into an asset or a venture with the expectation of generating a return.

  • Credit Risk: The likelihood that a borrower will default on a loan or other credit obligation.