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London Tech Week

Demystifying stock market terminology: 10 must-know words from Succession

Photograph by Peter Kramer/HBO

As fans eagerly follow the final season of HBO’s acclaimed series, Succession, they often find themselves confused by the complex corporate and business jargon used throughout the show. To provide a better understanding of these baffling stock market terms, investment experts at InvestinGoal have compiled a list of the most Googled terminologies featured in Succession. In this article, we will delve into the meanings behind these overwhelming terms, shedding light on the intricacies of the stock market and its relevance to the show’s narrative.

Deciphering the stock market jargon

To demystify the stock market jargon frequently used in Succession, let’s explore the top 15 most searched terms and their meanings.

ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund)

ETF stands for exchange-traded fund. It is a fund that trades on exchanges, tracking a specific index. Unlike individual stocks, ETFs comprise diversified investments such as stocks, commodities, bonds, and other securities. This diversification helps to mitigate risks associated with investing in a single stock and provides investors with exposure to a broader range of assets.

IPO (Initial Public Offering)

IPO refers to the process when a private company goes public by selling its shares on a stock exchange. Companies opt for IPOs to raise capital, enhance their public profile, or manage debts. In Succession, IPOs often play a pivotal role in the power dynamics and financial strategies pursued by the characters.


The term “broker” refers to an individual or firm that acts as an intermediary between investors and securities exchanges. They facilitate trades, provide research, investment plans, and market intelligence. In Succession, brokers are often depicted as influential figures who possess inside knowledge and can shape the direction of financial transactions and corporate manoeuvres.


Arbitrage is the practice of buying an asset in one place and selling it in another to profit from price differences between locations. In the context of the stock market, arbitrageurs exploit temporary price discrepancies to generate profits. This strategy plays a crucial role in the world of Succession, where characters engage in complex financial manoeuvres to gain an edge in their pursuit of power and wealth.

ADR (American Depositary Receipt)

ADRs, frequently searched terms, are American Depositary Receipts representing shares of foreign companies listed on US stock exchanges. They allow US investors to gain exposure to non-US stocks without dealing with foreign stock markets. ADRs provide an opportunity for international diversification within an investor’s portfolio, and their inclusion in Succession underscores the global nature of corporate dealings.

Bear market

A bear market is characterized by a prolonged decline in asset prices. It typically occurs when a broad market index falls by 20% or more from its recent high. The term “bear” originated from the bearskin traders who hoped to buy fur from trappers at a lower price than they had sold it for. In Succession, bear markets symbolize periods of financial turmoil and the challenges faced by the characters as they navigate volatile market conditions.

Bull market

Conversely, a bull market refers to a period of rising asset or security prices, with a continuous increase of at least 20% after two previous declines of 20% each. Bull markets signify optimism and confidence in the market. In Succession, bull markets present opportunities for characters to capitalize on positive market sentiment and make strategic investment moves.

To the moon

“To the moon” is a phrase often used by traders to signify a continuous and significant growth in the price of an asset. Elon Musk, renowned for his tweets, has employed this phrase regarding various meme coins’ projections. In Succession, references to “to the moon” may highlight characters’ aspirations for exponential growth and success in their business endeavours.

Dividend yield

Dividend yield is a financial ratio that indicates the percentage of a company’s share price paid out as dividends each year. Investors, especially those relying on dividends for income, consider dividend yield a crucial factor. In Succession, the characters’ concerns over their portfolios and personal finances, particularly after significant events like Logan Roy’s passing, underscore the importance of dividend yield in their financial strategies.

Dead cat bounce

With 3,200 monthly searches, “dead cat bounce” refers to a temporary recovery in share prices following a significant decline. The term originates from the phrase “even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height,” indicating that even a brief resurgence can follow a severe decline. In Succession, the fear of dead cat bounces and sucker rallies amplifies the uncertainty and risks associated with the characters’ financial decisions.


“Tanking” refers to a stock’s poor quarterly performance resulting in a significant price decline. When assets are said to be “tanking,” it means they are currently performing poorly. In Succession, instances of tanking stocks reflect the financial challenges faced by the characters and the potential threats to their positions of power and influence.

Averaging down

Averaging down is a strategy employed by investors when their investments go against them. It involves purchasing more shares after their price has fallen, which reduces the average cost of all the shares held. Investors use this strategy in the hope that the subsequent price increase will add value to their portfolio. Averaging down is a risk-management approach often depicted in Succession as characters grapple with market downturns and seek to improve their investment positions.


In stock market jargon, “whales” are individuals or companies with significant financial resources or market power that can influence stock prices through their substantial investments. Whales often make significant splashes in the market due to their actions. Succession portrays characters who wield substantial financial influence, enabling them to manipulate the market and exert control over others.

Day trading

Day trading involves buying and selling stocks within the same day to profit from price movements. Day traders do not hold positions overnight, aiming to capitalize on short-term market fluctuations. In Succession, day trading may reflect the characters’ agility in seizing immediate opportunities and exploiting market volatility to their advantage.

Margin account

A margin account allows investors to borrow funds from their broker-dealer to purchase securities, using the account as collateral. This increases their purchasing power but also exposes them to greater losses. In Succession, the characters’ utilization of margin accounts underscores their willingness to take risks and leverage their financial positions for potential gains.

Unravelling the enigma of succession’s stock market terminology

As Succession enthrals audiences with its intricate storytelling, understanding the stock market jargon becomes crucial to unravelling the show’s financial dynamics. By comprehending terms like ETFs, IPOs, bear markets, and dead cat bounces, viewers gain deeper insights into the high-stakes world of corporate intrigue depicted in Succession. Armed with this knowledge, fans can appreciate the complexities of the characters’ financial strategies and the profound impact of stock market dynamics on the narrative.

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