What is 'Barefoot Pilgrim'

Barefoot pilgrim is a slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. A barefoot pilgrim is someone who has taken on more risk than necessary or entered investments carelessly, without doing the proper research. An investor shouldn't take on more risk than necessary to achieve her required return, so someone desiring a 3% return should invest in Treasury securities, not the stock market, and an investor requiring an 8% return should invest in the S&P 500, not in emerging markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Barefoot Pilgrim'

A barefoot pilgrim is someone who has lost everything, right down to his shoes, because of his poor investment choices. Becoming a barefoot pilgrim is akin to losing your shirt. A sophisticated professional investor might condescendingly refer to a non-professional investor he perceives as naive, as a barefoot pilgrim. A barefoot pilgrim's trading decisions could be viewed as on par with gambling.

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