What is a Bear Market?

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What is a Bear Market

A bear market describes the stock market’s upward and downward value trajectories. The phenomenon of bear markets is one of the most frequently discussed topics in the financial media. It seems obvious how important it is to the investment community and the economy.

Bear markets got their name from how bears fight—a bear attacks by striking from top to bottom with its paws. In keeping with this analogy, the price of stocks typically drops quickly when a bear market occurs. in simple words, a bear market occurs when there are more sellers than buyers.

Global stock markets have been in a nosedive for a few months. When the market has fallen more than 20% from its most recent highs, it is said to be in a bear market. It is impossible to predict how long a bear market will last accurately.

Investors experience consistent losses during a bear market until the market eventually recovers. A bear market typically happens every five to ten years. It might also portend the start of a recession, although this isn’t always the situation. As of May 12, 2022, a significant number of economies’ stock markets globally have entered bear market territory (see figure 1).

High inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply-chain issues, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could all contribute to the current bear market.  The U.S. stock market has gone through 13 bear markets since the end of World War II (including the current one). The average loss over the previous 12 bear markets was -32.7%.

Stock market downturns can hurt investors in two different ways: financially and emotionally. Most of that suffering is related to the stock market’s percentage decline, but bear market length can worsen things. Since World War II, the following U.S. stock bear markets have lasted the longest:

In a situation where there is a market crash, it may take a while to break even. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the stock market took four and a half years to complete an entire circuit. After the early 2000s dotcom bubble burst, it took almost seven years to break even. These circumstances frequently force people to sell at the worst time. Investors must wait before acting during a bear market.

Some bear markets do end quickly. The shortest bear market occurred from February 19, 2020, to March 23, 2020, caused by Covid-19.

Since 1945, there have been seven bear markets that have lasted two years or less, based on how long it takes the stock market to recover from all its losses:

Market declines can be brutal. Therefore, one can reduce losses during a bear market by being both patient and wise with their money. some of the common strategies to minimize losses used by investors:


The main component of diversification is distributing a portion of your portfolio among stocks, bonds, cash, and alternative assets. Your risk tolerance, time horizon, goals, and other factors will determine how you divide your portfolio. Using an effective asset allocation strategy, you can avoid the potentially harmful consequences of putting all your finances in one basket.

Average Cost per Dollar

The most crucial thing to remember is that negative years in the stock market are common during economic downturns because they are a natural part of the business cycle. One choice is to use dollar-cost averaging if you are a long-term investor (10+ years).

You end up buying shares at a low price when the market is down if you buy shares regardless of price. Your cost will eventually “average down,” giving you a more advantageous overall entry price for your claims.


During difficult times, defensive stocks typically outperform the market. Regardless of the state of the market, these stocks offer consistent dividends and stable earnings.

Companies that manufacture non-durable household goods, such as toothpaste, shampoo, and shaving cream, are examples of defensive industries because consumers will continue to use these products during challenging economic times.

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