Stem The Tide

Reviewed by Athena | Updated on Aug 27, 2020


Stem the tide means changing the course of an unfavourable trend. It is an attempt made to stop something from continuing or increasing. In the trading context, stemming the tide refers to the reversing of a long-term market trend. It does not mean that the trend needs to stop immediately, but rather gradually reduced over time, with the aim of eliminating it eventually. Stem the tide is a term used for issues such as inflation, high interest rates, etc., which would need to get reversed in the long run.

Understanding Stem the Tide

  1. Stemming the tide does not mean immediately stopping an ongoing trend, but lessening the effect of it over time, and then putting an end to it.
  2. The term is usually used for ongoing long-term trends, usually a year or longer, not short-term changes.
  3. It is typically only used when referring to a negative trend, in order to prevent it from getting worse.

Examples of Stem the Tide

Stem the tide is a term generally used for issues that affect the economy of a country, such as unemployment, violence, crime rate, etc. Environmental pollution is another issue plaguing the world, that environmentalists and the general public are together trying to reverse. Inflation in general, and the rising costs of essential goods, are issues faced in a developing country like India from time to time, which need to be reversed.

Besides a country’s economy, the term stemming the tide is also used to reverse unfavourable trends in an organisation such as declining profits, inventory wastage, etc. The term can also be used in the personal context. For example, an investor would like to change the direction relating to the decline of his investment portfolio, or the continual fall in the share prices of a certain company’s stock held, etc.