Skittish Market

DEFINITION of 'Skittish Market'

An investment climate marked by skeptical investor behavior. A skittish market might occur following a significant downturn, when the market appears to have recovered but investors remain fearful and hesitant to buy in because they either don't believe that economic conditions have really improved or because they are afraid of the next downturn and want to avoid it by staying out of the market.

BREAKING DOWN 'Skittish Market'

Investors who get carried away by current market conditions and allow their emotions to influence their behavior more than the numbers tend to act irrationally and against their best interests. To overcome the tendency to buy when the market is up and sell when it's down, successful investors like Warren Buffett recommend choosing stocks that are momentarily underpriced compared to the underlying value of the company and holding those investments for the long term.