What is 'In The Pink'

In the pink is an informal expression used to describe a situation in which an investor or an economy is in a good financial position. Many people are familiar with this phrase, as it is commonly used in conversations that have nothing to do with money or financial instruments. More generally, it is often used to convey the idea that someone or something is in the best of health or condition.


In the pink is a phrase that often indicates a positive outlook or signifies a sense that there is good reason to be optimistic. When used in a financial context, this phrase indicates a positive, attractive position or value state. Blue chip stocks and healthy economies are examples of in-the-pink (or rosy) financial positions. This term is frequently used when economic conditions are showing string signs of improvement, or when the economy is moving quickly into a state of recovery. This in turn will often give a boost to blue-chip companies.

Financial analysts and experts will often share observations about which stocks are upwardly trending and showing positive growth, and thus are deemed to be in the pink. Savvy observers will try to capitalize on this assessment, and jump into the action of those stocks while there are still profitable deals available.

In the pink: origins and potential confusion

Use of the word “pink” may cause some confusion, as it may lead to assumptions involving another monetary concept using the same color. This term is unrelated to “pink sheets,” which are a name for daily publications produced by the National Quotation Bureau. These reports list bid and ask prices of over-the-counter, or OTC, stocks. The reports got their name because they were originally printed on pink-shaded paper. This financial market is now known as the OTC Markets Group. When a trader is buying and selling in the unregulated OTC market, they are sometimes said to be trading “in the pink.”

The origins of the phrase in the pink goes back several centuries. It is traced back at least to the late 1500s, when a version of the saying appeared in Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet. In Shakespeare’s usage, though, it meant an outstanding example, with no connotation of health or vitality. It has also been linked to British fox hunting, where tradition dictated that riders who exhibited superior skills and an impressive level of service earned the privilege of wearing a scarlet jacket, which was considered a prestigious honor.

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