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An investor who believes, for any technical or fundamental reason, that a security or the broader market will decline significantly. A bear takes the appropriate steps to limit losses during the period that they believe that the security will decline. They may sell their long positions or short sell the security to profit from the decline in price. See also: Bull.
An investor who believes a security or some other asset or the security markets in general will follow a broad downward path. An investor can often be a bear on a particular security but not on the general market and vice versa. Compare bull.