You Know You’re In A Bear Market When…

You Know You’re In A Bear Market When…

As stock prices continue to fall across the globe, you will inevitably be hearing the term “bear market” bandied about in the media. While the definition is vague, as is its etymology, broadly speaking the term signifies a general decline in the stock market over a period of time, coupled with a transition from high investor optimism to widespread fear and pessimism. You may even hear quantitative measures applied, such as a 20% price decline of the DOW 30 or the S&P 500 indices over a two-month or greater period.  Regardless, no one enjoys seeing their hard-earned savings shrinking on a daily basis.  After all, you invested in the stock market precisely for the opposite reason.

Being that we are currently in the midst of what might be viewed in future hindsight as a bear market, and on the assumption that humor is the best antidote to fear, here is a tongue-in-cheek review of our current situation. Thanks to Ben Carson, a New York financial planner, for stimulating this idea.

You know you’re in a bear market when…

  • You wish you had put more of your portfolio in bonds.
  • You refuse to visit your mailbox when your monthly account statements arrive.
  • You wish you had listened to that guy who had been predicting this since 2010.
  • You no longer want to be a long-term investor.
  • When the media once again predicts the DOW will drop to 5000 you start believing it.
  • You prefer discussing “Say Yes to the Dress” or the current World Wrestling Federation season with your investment club.
  • It feels like the market will never go up again.
  • You stop paying attention to Jim Cramer and start paying attention to Donald Trump.
  • This seems much worse than that correction you were waiting for when the markets were going up.
  • You create a family budget for monthly expenses and actually start following it.
  • You no longer feel like the genius you thought you were in 2013 when the S&P 500 was up over 25%.

In all seriousness, it may help to keep in mind that on an annual return basis the stock market has risen almost 70% of the time, and that diversification and rebalancing do help to mitigate the effects of a so-called bear market in stocks. Furthermore, it’s uncommon to experience multiple negative years in a row.  So sit tight…

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