Definition of Ring The Cash Register

What does the term "ring the cash register" mean in the world of trading or investing? What is meant by "ringing the cash register"?

In trading or investing, "ringing the cash register" refers to that magical time when you are able to take a profit on a position.

The meaning of the term Ring the Cash Register in investing and trading - Financial dictionary - IllustrationFor instance - let's say that you bought Apple five years ago. The company has continued to excel and its shares have continued to move higher, so you have decided that now is the time to "ring the cash register" and sell your position. After selling, you realize a total gain of over 500%.

This also applies to trading as well.

Let's say that you short 1,000 shares of ZUMZ after the company reports some less-than-stellar earnings. Over the course of the day, shares of the company fall an additional two points off the open after gapping down 5 points. Before the day comes to a close, you decide to "ring the cash register" and cover your position. You end up banking a profit of $2,000, which ends up being a nice day of work.

The opposite of "ringing the cash register"? That would be "taking a bath", which occurs when you take a big loss on an position.

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