The bull and the bear, two of the most powerful animal symbols we have, are used to describe trends in the stock market. The market is "bullish" when prices of equities charge upward over an extended period of time - and "bear-ish" when prices are in continual decline. Short-lived upward or downward swings are referred to as 'corrections' in the market. The duration of the trend is key.
Over time, individuals who make their livelihood in the stock or financial markets have often been described by their colleagues and peers, as "bulls", or "bears", or "bullish" or "bearish", generally descriptions used to describe someone as a market optimist or a market pessimist.
As a tattoo design, the depiction of a bear and a bull together symbolizes an individual who makes their living by taking calculated risks and relying on their knowledge, cunning and guile to outsmart and outwit their competition, namely their fellow investors. It is no accident that the trading floor of many stock or commodity exchanges is known as "the pit", where bears and bulls do battle in not so mock combat for profits and losses. Winners and losers are counted by the amount of money they have in their pockets at the end of the day.
Designs of Bulls paired with Bears have been featured on expensive cuff-links, buttons for jackets, silk ties, suspenders, or "braces" as an the English Gentleman prefers to call them, and in innumerable books-ends, boardroom table sculptures, and sculptures on Wall Street. And of course, the editorial cartoon has been a natural home for the bull and bear for over a century! But for the young, hip trader, surfing the tsunami waves of the world's financial markets, a tattoo of the bull and the bear locked in mortal combat is the ultimate symbol of cool. Money? That's just the way they keep score!