Nervous Nellie

An investor who isn't comfortable with investing and the risks associated with it. Nervous Nellies have very little risk tolerance. As a result, their investment returns are likely to suffer because they will only invest in very low-risk, low-return investments. Without taking on greater risk, Nervous Nellies may not be able to generate the returns they need to meet goals such as being able to retire.

If a Nervous Nellie decides to take a chance on a higher-risk, higher-return investment like stocks, they will most likely sell the moment the market ticks downward. Investors who sell when their holdings decline in price might miss some bad moments in the market, but they are also likely to miss the upswings.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • nervous nellie — Someone excessively worried or apprehensive is a nervous Nellie (or Nelly) …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • nervous Nellie — ☆ nervous Nellie n. [orig. used of high strung racehorses: in ref. to old Nell, jocular name for a nag] Slang a timid person who is easily upset and is hesitant to act …   English World dictionary

  • nervous nellie — ˈnelē, li noun Usage: usually capitalized 2d N Etymology: nervous + Nellie, diminutive of Ellen, Eleanor, or Helen : a timid or ineffectual person the nervous Nellies, who always come into a bull market too late, pushed prices too high Burton… …   Useful english dictionary

  • nervous Nellie — noun A person whose personality and usual behavior are characterized by worry, insecurity, and timidity. Political opponents doubted his capacity, referred to him as too nervous, too worried a little man, and remarked that his Senatorial… …   Wiktionary

  • nervous Nellie — n. any nervous person, male or female. □ Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down. □ Relax! Don’t be such a nervous Nellie …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • nervous-Nellie — adjective Characterized by worry or anxiety; having a weak, insecure personality. Woody Allen plays his most frazzled variation on the Woody we know best: a nervous Nellie urban neurotic kvetching his way through life as a means of avoiding it.… …   Wiktionary

  • nervous Nellie — a timid person who lacks determination and courage He is a nervous Nellie and is afraid of most of the other students in the school …   Idioms and examples

  • nervous Nellie — or nervous Nelly noun (plural nervous Nellies) Usage: often capitalized 1st N Etymology: from the name Nellie Date: 1926 a timid or worrisome person …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nervous Nellie — {n.}, {informal} A timid person who lacks determination and courage. * /I say we will never win if we don t stop being Nervous Nellies!/ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Nervous Nellie — {n.}, {informal} A timid person who lacks determination and courage. * /I say we will never win if we don t stop being Nervous Nellies!/ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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