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DEFINITION of 'Flipper'

1. A short-term investor or day trader who buys pre-IPO shares, swiftly spinning them out into public markets for a quick profit.

2. A real estate participant who purchases a home, renovates it and sells it for a profit a short time later.


1. Flippers may hold a stock for only 24-48 hours, and therefore are very susceptible to any immediate downturns or upturns in the market. These sudden market shifts can make or break a day trader, whereas a long-term investor could much more easily weather the ups and downs of stormy stocks.

2. Real estate flippers are battling a whole minefield of problems in order to make some big cash. Problems with borrowing, insurance, renovations, inspections, market conditions and more can make a huge dent in the tens of thousands of dollars they could make on one flip.