Getting Crushed Financially

Market Moves

I love this chart.

Blow it up, print it out and study!

Jerry created the chart to show nearly a century of bull markets but what caught my eye was the nature of the eight bear markets.

  • Duration of 3 to 34 months
  • Scale of loss (peak to trough) of 22 to 84%

If you’re an investor then it’s important to realize that it is perfectly normal that you’ll get crushed once a decade. Knowing that it’s normal won’t make it hurt less, but it might make you realize that your pain is temporary.

Personally, my worst bear market was 2008. It was a doozy.

In the space of six months:

  • my family’s net worth fell 65%
  • I lost my job
  • My dependents doubled
  • I discovered that my (joint & several) partner was involved with fraudulent activity
  • I was exposed to the risk of civil prosecution

Absolutely awful.

I share this story to help you remember that THE world isn’t ending when YOUR world collapses.

Setbacks are part of life and my making it 20 years without a major financial setback was abnormal. In fact, I had several setbacks along the way (15% hits) that I’d forgotten.

Save the chart for a rainy day and I’ll retweet at the next recession.