The COVID-19 outbreak has put tremendous pressure on stock prices, prompting some investors to blindly and indiscriminately sell positions at a time when the entire market is trending lower. Worried investors believe "this time it's different." When the market drops, some investors lose perspective that downtrends, and uptrends, are part of the investing cycle. When stock prices break lower, it's a good time to review common terms that are used to describe the market's downward momentum.
Pullbacks. A pullback represents the mildest form of a selloff in the markets. You might hear an investor or trader refer to a dip of 5-10% after a peak as a “pullback.”
Corrections. The next degree in severity is a “correction.” If a market or markets retreats 10% to 20% after a peak, you’re in correction territory. At this point, you’re likely on guard for the next tier.
Bear Market. In a bear market, the decline is 20% or more since the last peak.
All of this is normal. Pullbacks, corrections, and bear markets are a part of the investing cycle. When stock prices are trending lower, some investors can second-guess their risk tolerance. But periods of market volatility can be the worst times to consider portfolio decisions.
Pullbacks and corrections are relatively common and represent something that any investor may see from time to time in their financial life, often several times over the course of a decade. Bear markets are much rarer. What we are experiencing now represents the start of the ninth bear market since 1926. This bear market follows the longest bull market on record.
How is this bear market going to affect me? That’s a good question, but it’s something that you won’t fully understand in the here and now. The average bear market lasts 146 days for the Standard & Poor’s 500.
A retirement strategy formed with a financial professional should have market volatility factored in. Do you have someone there for you to make adjustments and help you make decisions along the way?
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.
The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Published for the blog on April 21, 2020 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.