Ankle Biter

DEFINITION of 'Ankle Biter'

Slang term for a stock with low market capitalization. An ankle biter, generally, is a stock that has a market capitalization of less than $500 million. Such stocks are also referred to as micro-cap or small-cap stocks. Although there is no etched-in-stone definition, typically a stock is considered to be a small-cap if it has a market capitalization of $300 million to $2 billion, while a micro-cap stock is any issue with a market cap of less than $300 million.


The term ankle biter is also used to describe very young children - the idea being that they are so small that they can only reach one's ankles. As an investment, ankle biters - the stocks, not the children - tend to be very volatile and are often thinly traded. On the plus side, ankle biters often have greater growth potential than larger stocks and encompass many emerging technologies.