Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Thin Market

What it is:

The opposite of a liquid market, a thin market is characterized by a small number of participants and high price volatility. 

How it works (Example):

The small number of buyers and sellers in a thin market results in low transaction volume and relative illiquidity. Though low in volume, transactions tend to be larger. For this reason, price movements in a thin market are inherently more volatile. In addition, there is a generally wider spread between asset bid and ask prices as market actors attempt to profit from fewer transactions. A thin market should not be confused with a liquid market, which is characterized by a high volume of buyers and sellers, high liquidity, and relatively lower price volatility.

Why it Matters:

Participants in a thin market need to have the financial resources to effectively absorb sudden price shocks associated with high volatility. This means that the associated risk may work in market participants' favor and result in sudden gains.

Related Terms View All
  • Auction Market
    Though most of the trading is done via computer, auction markets can also be operated via...
  • Best Execution
    Let's assume you place an order to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ stock. The current quote...
  • Book-Entry Savings Bond
    Savings bonds are bonds issued by the U.S. government at face values ranging from $50 to...
  • Break-Even Point
    The basic idea behind break-even point is to calculate the point at which revenues begin...
  • Calendar Year
    If Company XYZ starts its fiscal year on January 1 and ends its fiscal year on December...