“Buying the Dip”: Understanding a Fundamental Trading Strategy

Andrew Carr
| Editor:
March 8, 2024
5 min read

“Buying the dip” is a strategy novice and experienced traders use in the crypto market. But what does buying the dip mean in the context of trading crypto? Let's delve into the details of this trading philosophy.

Defining “Buying the Dip” 

“Buying the dip” refers to the strategy of purchasing assets when their prices have significantly dropped, with the expectation that the prices will eventually rise back up. This strategy allows investors to potentially profit from the recovery by purchasing the asset at a lower price during a market downturn.

Historical Origin of “Buying the Dip”

The "buy the dip" philosophy has a rich history, tracing back to various periods of financial turbulence. 

As far back as the early 1600s, individuals were willing to bet against the Dutch East India Company, the first corporation to publicly offer shares. Investors may have had concerns about the Company’s financial stability, including its debt levels, cash flow, or ability to generate profits. 

Additionally, the Company operated in a highly competitive environment, facing challenges from other European trading companies, pirates, and rival colonial powers. 

The Dutch West India Company logo. Source:

During the Great Depression in the United States, the stock market crashed by almost 90%, leading some investors to buy low-priced assets after significant market drops.

The “buy the dip” philosophy gained additional traction during the 1987 market crash when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by over 20% in one day. This event triggered a global stock market crash. Investors who bought stocks after the crash benefited from their eventual rebound, further popularizing the concept of "buying the dip."

These early instances of "dip buying" demonstrate the long-standing belief among investors in the potential for markets to recover after periods of decline.

Different Types of Dips

In cryptocurrency trading, dips can vary in scale and duration. They can be minor, short-term price decreases or significant drops termed "corrections" or "crashes."
Coins that are famous for high volatility (huge price swings in short term in other words) include DOGE, SHIB and other memecoins.

These variations offer different opportunities based on one's investing strategy.

Range traders—traders who identify a range between fluctuating asset prices to invest at over a short duration—might focus on small dips, buying when prices are low and selling when they rise slightly. More stable and well established coins, like BTC and ETH are more suitable for this strategy.

This strategy is ideal for sideways markets with no clear upward or downward trend, allowing traders to profit from price fluctuations within a specific price range.

On the other hand, long-term investors could benefit from purchasing during significant dips. These major price declines allow building a long position at a much lower cost than buying at the peak. The expectation is that the asset's price will eventually recover, leading to substantial returns in the long run.

Timing When to Buy the Dip

Timing is crucial when buying the dip, and timing the crypto market involves potentially capitalizing on price drops as soon as they happen to maximize returns. However, this requires a solid understanding of market trends, price movements, and potential price reversal points. 

Buying the dip necessitates a long-term perspective and confidence in the potential growth of the crypto market. While short-term price fluctuations are inevitable, those who focus on the fundamental value of the digital asset might benefit from buying the dip during market downturns.  

Assessing Market Trends and Sentiments

Market sentiment plays a significant role in the effectiveness of the buy-the-dip strategy in crypto trading. Various factors, including news events, regulatory developments, and broader economic indicators, can impact market sentiment and crypto prices.

Investors must stay informed and adapt quickly to market changes to make educated decisions when implementing this strategy. Regularly monitoring market trends and diversifying their investment portfolio can help manage digital asset trading risks. 

Risks in Buying the Dip

Uncertainties in Price Recovery

Price recovery uncertainty is one of the main risks associated with “buying the dip.” There is no guarantee that the price of a cryptocurrency will recover after a dip. Many predictable and unpredictable factors influence the market; even the most thorough analysis cannot predict market movements definitively.

Potential for Additional Losses

Another significant risk of “buying the dip” is the potential for additional losses. If the cryptocurrency price continues to fall after the investor purchases during a dip, they could face further losses. This underscores the importance of risk management when employing this strategy.

Practical Steps in Buying the Dip

Conducting Thorough Research

Before even contemplating buying the dip, conducting extensive research on the chosen crypto asset is crucial. Investors need to delve deeper into the fundamentals of the specific cryptocurrency, its market trends, its historical performance, and potential for future growth.

Factors like the cryptocurrency's use case, the strength and size of its community, the development team behind it, and its adoption rate are all essential elements to consider. 

Employing Technical Analysis Tools

In addition to performing in-depth research, technical analysis tools are essential to the “buy the dip” strategy. These tools can help traders identify potential price dips and assess whether a particular asset is overbought or oversold. 

Standard tools include support and resistance levels, moving averages, trend lines, and indicators like the Relative Strength Index (RSI).

  • Support and Resistance Levels: These are defined price levels at which the asset's price has historically had difficulty moving beyond. Traders often use these levels to predict where price dips may occur.
  • Moving Averages (MAs): MAs plot the average price of an asset over a specific period of time, helping traders identify price trends and potential reversal points.
  • Trend Lines: These are drawn on price charts to help identify the overall trend direction (upwards, downwards, or sideways).
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): This momentum indicator measures the speed and change of price movements on a scale from 0 to 100. It helps traders identify overbought or oversold conditions that could precede a price correction or reversal. A very high RSI determines an asset as overbought and indicates a potential market correction because investors want to sell to make a profit. A very low RSI determines an asset as oversold and indicates a market correction because investors want to buy in at low prices.

Risk Management in Dip Buying

Effective risk management is essential when implementing the "buy the dip" strategy in cryptocurrency trading. It involves setting a budget for investments, using stop-loss orders, avoiding emotional decision-making, diversifying purchases, and practicing patience.

Setting Budget and Stop-Loss Orders

Setting a clear investment budget is a crucial first step in risk management. This means determining in advance the amount of money one is willing and able to invest in cryptocurrency without risking financial stability. 

Stop-loss orders are another critical tool in managing risk. These automatic orders sell a cryptocurrency when it reaches a specific price, limiting the investor's loss on a position. By setting clear parameters for buying and selling assets, traders can navigate market volatility and maximize their potential returns.

Diversifying Purchases

Diversification is another critical component of risk management in cryptocurrency trading. Traders can spread their investments across multiple assets instead of investing all resources in a single cryptocurrency. This can help to mitigate risk, as a decline in the value of one asset may be offset by the performance of others.

When buying the dips, individuals might opt to "buy the big dips" (when the price has significantly dropped below the average) or "buy the little dips" (when the price comes down from its last position) based on their investment strategies, whether for quick profit, long-term positions, or incremental gains. 

Both small dips (corrections) and significant dips (crashes) can be opportune times to buy based on one's investing strategy.

By combining these risk management strategies–setting a budget, using stop-loss orders, and diversifying purchases–traders can better protect their investments and potentially achieve more substantial returns. 

Long-Term Perspective and Patience

Investors who follow the “buy the dip” philosophy believe in the long-term potential of the asset they're investing in. They see a dip in price not as a sign of an asset's failure but as an opportunity to buy more of the asset at a discounted rate. 

This strategy assumes that the asset's price will eventually bounce back, allowing the investor to profit from the recovery by purchasing the asset at a lower price during a market downturn.

Patience is another key characteristic of successful dip buyers. Market recoveries can take time, and there are no guarantees when a 'dipped' asset will rebound. Therefore, investors must patiently wait for their investment to bear fruit. It's important to remember that “buying the dip” is not a get-rich-quick scheme but a long-term investment strategy.

Conclusion: Navigating Market Volatility

The cryptocurrency market is known for its high volatility. Prices can skyrocket or plummet within a short period, making it a challenging field for traders. However, these price fluctuations are what make “buying the dip” possible.

Though it might be tempting to panic and sell when prices fall, successful dip buyers resist this impulse. Instead, they see these market downturns as opportunities to buy more of an asset they believe in.

However, this doesn't mean buying every dip blindly. It's crucial to conduct thorough research and analysis before making a decision. The dip should be seen as a buying opportunity only if the fundamentals of the asset are strong. 

Implementing the “buy the dip” strategy successfully can lead to significant profits for investors who accurately time their purchases during market downturns and benefit from subsequent price rebounds.

Like all investment strategies, it's essential to understand that “buying the dip” also comes with risks and should not be the sole strategy used in a diversified investment portfolio.

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