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Buying the Dip: Meaning, Strategy & Benefits

ICICIdirect 12 Mins 17 Nov 2023

In the ever-fluctuating world of stock markets, investors often invoke the mantra of "buying the dip" as a tactical approach to capitalize on market downturns. 

Did someone tell you about this strategy before, and you wondered whether to adopt it or give it a miss? Understanding the nuances of this strategy is crucial for investors looking to navigate the tumultuous seas of the stock market. In this article, we will discuss everything related to it so you can decide whether to opt for it.

Understanding the strategy

Buying the dip is about identifying and making the most of the market opportunities when it experiences temporary setbacks or corrections. Rather than surrendering to panic and selling during market downturns, you can view these periods as potential buying opportunities. The philosophy behind this strategy lies in the belief that markets tend to recover over time, presenting you with the chance to acquire quality assets at discounted prices.

Timing is a critical element in executing the buying-the-dip strategy. However, please note that it is essential to recognize that predicting market bottoms with precision is next to possible. If you can do it once or twice, it would be luck. Successful strategy implementation involves a combination of research, analysis, and a long-term perspective. 

The investing basics do not change. You need to focus on the company's fundamentals you are interested in, ensuring you understand the financials and growth potential regardless of short-term market fluctuations. Buying the dip is not a quick-fix strategy but a patient and disciplined approach to investing. It requires resilience to weather short-term market volatility and the conviction to hold onto investments through turbulent times. 

How does the 'Buying the Dip' strategy work?

Priya has been monitoring the stock market and has identified a fundamentally strong company. However, since she began monitoring this stock, the price has been high. Recently, the stock price experienced a significant decline due to broader market fluctuations or external factors. The company's share price, which was at Rs 1,200 per share at its peak, has now dipped to Rs 1,000 per share.

Believing in the company's long-term prospects, Priya decided to implement the "buy the dip" strategy. She assigns a portion of her investment portfolio to buy 100 shares of this company as the stock price continues to decline below Rs 1,000 - for every X% fall in share price from 1,000, she would buy 20 shares. Over the next few months, she accumulated 100 shares at an average price of Rs 875.

Next year, the market sentiment changed, and this company reported positive quarterly results. As a result, the stock gradually recovered, reaching Rs 1,200 per share once again, Priya, having bought the dip, now holds 100 shares with a market value of Rs 1,20,000. 

In this scenario, Priya has not only benefited from the recovery in the stock price but has also gained Rs 32,500 (Rs 120,000 - Rs 87,500) in capital appreciation by buying the dip.


Advantages of Buying the Dip Strategy

Below are the top few advantages of buying the dip strategy:

  • Opportunity for Lower Entry Prices: Buying the dip allows investors to purchase assets at lower prices than their recent highs. It can potentially lead to higher returns when the market rebounds.
  • Long-Term Value: For investors with a long-term perspective, buying the dip can be a strategy to accumulate quality assets at a discount, providing an opportunity for capital appreciation over time.
  • Risk Mitigation: By strategically buying during market downturns, you can average your cost basis, reducing the impact of short-term market volatility on your overall portfolio.
  • Psychological Benefits: Successfully executing the "buy the dip" strategy can instill confidence and discipline in investors, helping them stay committed to their long-term investment goals even during market fluctuations.

Disadvantages of Buying the Dip Strategy

Below are a few disadvantages of buying the dip strategy:

  • Timing Risks: Predicting market bottoms is challenging, and attempting to time the market can lead to mistimed entries, resulting in further losses if the market continues to decline.
  • Lack of Immediate Recovery: Markets might not rebound immediately after a dip, and investors may need to wait for an extended period before seeing positive returns. It requires you to have patience and a long-term investment perspective.
  • Financial Stress: Buying the dip requires having additional cash or liquidity available. If investors stretch their finances to make these purchases, it can lead to financial stress and the potential for forced selling in case of further market declines.
  • Market Sentiment: Investors' sentiment, including yours, plays a significant role in market directions. Buying the dip assumes that the market will recover, but if negative sentiment continues, it may take longer for a rebound, impacting the strategy's effectiveness.

Difference Between Buying Dip Vs Buy and Hold

Another popular strategy is Buy and Hold. In this section, let us understand how it is different from buying the dip strategy. Buy and Hold strategy involves buying an asset to hold onto it for an extended period, often years or even decades. The investor believes in the long-term growth potential of the asset and is less concerned with short-term price fluctuations. Buy-and-hold investors typically have a more passive approach to investing and are less focused on timing the market. 

Refer to the below table for a detailed comparison with buying the dip.


Buying the Dip

Buy and Hold


Attempt to purchase assets when their price dips

Purchase assets and hold them for a long-term period


Involves timing the market to capitalize on downturns

Typically involves a long-term investment approach


May involve frequent buying and selling

Generally, requires fewer transactions

Emotional Impact

May require discipline to avoid emotional reactions

May provide peace of mind with less active management


May be stressful due to market volatility

Generally, less stressful due to long-term outlook


Requires active monitoring of market fluctuations

Requires less frequent monitoring

Indicators of Dip Strategy

Let us be honest - there are no foolproof indicators for buying the dip, but you can use a combination of technical and fundamental analysis to identify potential buying opportunities. Here are some indicators to consider:

Price Decline:

Look for price decline - a 5% decline can be used as an indicator for buying. 

Relative Strength Index (RSI):

RSI is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. A low RSI reading (below 30) may suggest that an asset is oversold, indicating a potential buying opportunity.

Moving Averages:

You may use moving averages to identify trends and potential support levels. Buying when an asset's price approaches or dips below a moving average could signal a buying opportunity, particularly if the trend remains intact.

Support Levels:

You can use historical support levels, where the price has previously found buying interest and reversed direction. Buying near these support levels could offer a favorable risk-reward setup.

Fundamental Analysis:

You may also consider fundamental factors such as earnings reports, company performance, industry trends, and economic indicators when evaluating buying opportunities. Buying quality assets with strong fundamentals during market downturns can be a viable strategy.

Market Sentiment Indicators:

Sentiment indicators, such as the put/call ratio, investor surveys, or sentiment indices, can provide insights into market sentiment and investor psychology. Extreme pessimism or fear in the market may signal a potential buying opportunity.

Before you go

The 'buy the dip' strategy can be a valuable strategy for you if you are one of those with a long-term investment horizon and the financial capacity to endure short-term market fluctuations. However, it is essential to be mindful of the risks involved, including the difficulty of timing the market and the potential for prolonged recovery periods. You have to carefully assess your risk tolerance and financial situation before taking up this strategy.

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