No matter what markets are doing, be assured that this time is not different
Bear markets happen. Bull markets happen. Just stick to your financial plan, and stay calm and disciplined. When the market sours or slumps, don’t believe talk that this time it is different. It is not.
History shows this is true. Here is a simple chart of the performance of NASDAQ for the 20-years ending March 7, 2022 (NASDAQ officially entered bear market territory on this day). This covers the decline and recovery from the last U.S. recession as well as the last bear market (the COVID-bear).
NASDAQ Over 20-Years
What does this chart show? When markets decline, they do so rapidly and painfully. The subsequent recovery is slow and uneven.
But it does inevitably happen. If you take the longer 20-year view of this chart, it’s clear that markets grow past previous highs after a dip.
Bears & Bulls – By the Numbers
Although the S&P 500 is not yet in a bear market, since it is “only” off 12% YTD and a bear market is defined as being off at least 20%, let’s examine historical bear markets as measured by the S&P 500.
There have been 26 bear markets and 27 bull markets in the S&P 500 Index since 1928. In addition:
- Stocks lose 36% on average in a bear market.
- Stocks gain 114% on average in a bull market.
- The average length of a bear market is 289 days (9.6 months)
- The average length of a bull market is 991 days (2.7 years)
- Since 1928, we have seen 20.6 years of bear markets – stocks have risen the other 73.4 years (that’s 78% of the time)
You Won’t Get the Timing Right
Think you can figure out when the market is turning – either up or down and trade accordingly? Well, before you think that you should get out of the market now and wait this bear out, consider this:
- Half of the S&P 500 Index’s strongest days in the last 20 years occurred during a bear market.
- 34% of the market’s best days took place in the first two months of a bull market – before it was clear a bull market had begun.
In other words, one way to weather a downturn could be to stay invested since it’s difficult to time the market’s recovery.
Stick to Your Plan
There are no investment strategies that give you the market’s ups and help you avoid the downs. Fear and greed are irrational emotions that can easily lead to bankruptcy if they influence your investment decisions.
Of course, it is hard to stay patient and hold when Wall Street analysts, investment gurus and financial TV pundits spout endless gloom and doom at the troughs and exuberant optimism at market peaks. Short-term thinking like this only guides you to do the wrong things at the wrong time.
This is why it may help to work with a financial professional– someone to help cool your head when irrational exuberance strikes, and work with you to stick to your plan in the face of uncertainty.
Although it can be difficult to watch your portfolio dip with the market, it’s important to keep in mind that downturns have always been a temporary part of the process.
No matter what the markets are doing, assure yourself that this time is not different.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The NASDAQ-100 is composed of the 100 largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market. The Index reflects companies across major industry groups including computer hardware and software, telecommunications, retail/wholesale trade and biotechnology, but does not contain securities of financial companies.
S&P 500 Index: The Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index tracks the performance of 500 widely held, large-capitalization US stocks.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by FMeX.
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