Individuals or firms trading equity (stock) on the stock markets as their principal capacity are called stock traders. Stock traders usually try to profit from short-term price volatility with trades lasting anywhere from several seconds to several weeks. The stock trader is usually a professional. Persons can call themselves full or part-time stock traders/investors while maintaining other professions. When a stock trader/investor has clients, and acts as a money manager or adviser with the intention of adding value to their clients finances, he is also called a financial advisor or manager. In this case, the financial manager could be an independent professional or a large bank corporation employee. This may include managers dealing with investment funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, and pension funds, or other professionals inequity investment, fund management, and wealth management. Several different types of stock trading exist including day trading, trend following, market making,scalping (trading), momentum trading, trading the news, and arbitrage.
On the other hand, stock investors are firms or individuals who purchase stocks with the intention of holding them for an extended period of time, usually several months to years. They rely primarily on fundamental analysis for their investment decisions and fully recognize stock shares as part-ownership in the company. Many investors believe in the buy and hold strategy, which as the name suggests, implies that investors will hold stocks for the very long term, generally measured in years. This strategy was made popular in the equity bull market of the 1980s and 90s where buy-and-hold investors rode out short-term market declines and continued to hold as the market returned to its previous highs and beyond. However, during the 2001-2003 equity bear market, the buy-and-hold strategy lost some followers as broader market indexes like the NASDAQ saw their values decline by over 60%.