What are Mine and Yours?

Mine and yours are shorthand terms commonly used by open outcry floor traders and brokers, but which also may occur over telephone or voice markets, that stand in for buying and selling, respectively. For instance, if an interbank dealer (IDB) wants to buy a given currency, they would type or say "mine," to a counterparty or broker. If that trader decides to sell, they would say, "yours" meaning, "it's yours." Likewise, if a floor broker offers 100 call options at $1.00 and a market maker chooses to buy them she can shout "mine" in response.

Both are meant to be quick and easily understandable lingo to enable fast and accurate transactions on a market which can be chaotic and fast-moving. Like many markets, the forex has its slang terms, but it, in particular, is known for a long list of highly specific lingo.

How Mine and Yours Works

Before many asset markets went all electronic, open outcry floor pits were the mainstay. In these, crowds of traders and brokers would trade amongst each other and compete to buy and sell in response to orders. "Mine" and "yours" were audible ways of quickly conveying intent to buy or sell, respectively ("buy 'em" and "sold" were equally common).

Today, these terms are still commonly used in currencies markets. The forex (FX) is a large and highly liquid market, the most liquid on the planet, in fact, where individual, institutional, corporate and governmental investors trade currencies. These days, those transactions mostly occur online. The market relies heavily on leverage because currency pairs usually experience minimal changes in value on a day-to-day basis, so there is often a high volume of trade.

When a forex investor opens a trade, that individual or organization is buying one currency and selling another. To close the deal, they do the opposite. Given the scope and complexity of many forex transactions, traders have developed a highly specific lingua franca that enables efficiency and clarity in trades.

Key Takeaways

  • "Mine" and "yours" are trading terms that indicate intent to buy and sell, respectively.
  • These terms arose during the days of open outcry pit trading, and still remain common in forex markets.
  • Given the scope and complexity of many forex transactions, traders have developed a highly specific lingua franca that enables efficiency and clarity in trades.

Forex Jargon Beyond Mine and Yours

Some of the basics of forex trading lingo will be familiar to any trader or investor, although with potentially different connotations when related to foreign exchange markets. "Mine and Yours," as relatable and straightforward as they are, belong to a long list of unique and often creative slang which is understood by forex traders.

  • A bid is the exchange rate at which a buyer is willing to purchase the base currency in a currency pair.
  • The offer indicates the exchange rate at which a seller is willing to sell the base currency in a currency pair.
  • Going long the buying of a currency product with the expectation that the asset will rise in value
    Going short
     is selling first and then buying late with the hope that the price will drop
    BTFD
    means to buy the -expletive- dip, or purchase an asset following a decline in prices.
  • A Footsie refers to the Financial Times Actuaries 100 index (FTSE 100).
  • Pari-passu is a Latin expression meaning on equal footing which relates to bondholders having co-equal rights concerning a debt restructuring.
  • Thin is a market with less liquidity than might be expected.
  • Yard indicates a billion and offers a concise method of naming a figure which cannot be confused with the rhyming million or trillion.