10 Things You Should Know About Bear Markets

Cory Mitchell, Chartered Market Technician, is a day trading expert with over 10 years of experience writing on investing, trading, and day trading for publications including Investopedia, Forbes, and others. You may change your billing preferences at any time in the Customer Center or call Customer Service. You may cancel your subscription at anytime by calling Customer Service. Eric ReedEric Reed is a freelance journalist who specializes in economics, policy and global issues, with substantial coverage of finance and personal finance. He has contributed to outlets including The Street, CNBC, Glassdoor and Consumer Reports. Eric’s work focuses on the human impact of abstract issues, emphasizing analytical journalism that helps readers more fully understand their world and their money.

bear and bull meaning

Sounds as plausible as any other explanation, but I can’t vouch for it myself. Instead of referring specifically to short sale traders investors began referring to anyone who expected price dips as bearish, and declining prices as a bear market. A bullish investor, also known as a bull, believes that the price of one or more securities will rise. Sometimes a bullish investor believes that the market as a whole is due to go up, foreseeing general gains. In other cases an investor might anticipate gains in a specific industry, stock, bond, commodity or collectible. If an investor is, say, bullish about ABC Corp., this means that he or she thinks that specific company’s shares will climb.

What Is A Bear Market?

The strategies used in many hedge funds fit in this category, as do tactical asset allocation approaches and absolute return strategies. Based on our definition, opportunistic strategies are mainly focused on taking advantage of asset class market timing opportunities, and not necessarily on opportunities related to individual companies or stocks. While bull and bear markets track back for decades, we’ve already experienced a couple key ones in the 20th century.

It is characterized by a general sense of optimism and investor confidence, with the stock market gaining value. Investment strategies are dependent on the holding period for an investment, meaning day traders will try to profit from a bull market that may last an hour, while investors hold positions through Pair trading on forex bull markets that can last more than a decade. Any opinions presented here are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments.

bear and bull meaning

Some even think the name has more finance-focused origins than outdoor ones. Instead of referencing an animal, the term “bull” may have originated at the London Stock Exchange. One of the first formally recognized stock exchanges in the modern world, London’s 17th century exchange featured Venture fund a board of bulletins that could signal when a market had improved — and “bull” became quick short-hand for the concept. Driven by the first wave of the internet boom, the 1990s became a famous bull market — The S&P 500 stock index rose 418% from October 1990 to March 2000 before dropping.

The average length of a bear market is 289 days, or about 9.6 months. That’s significantly shorter than the average length of a bull market, which is 991 days or 2.7 years. The term bear may derive from the proverb about “selling the bearskin before one has caught the bear” or perhaps from selling when one is “bare” of stock. While there are no universal metrics used to identify a bull market, In a more technical sense, it is considered to take effect when stock prices increase by at least 20%, usually after a drop of 20% and before a second 20% decline. Ideally, investors would wish to use market timing to buy low and sell high, but they may end up buying high and selling low. Contrarian investors and traders attempt to „fade“ the investors‘ actions .

For example, the 2008 financial crisis was driven by mostly by speculation and unsustainable debt in the real estate market, causing the stock market to rapidly drop. The S&P 500 lost over half its value in just over a year — That was enough to turn a short period of time in the stock market’s history into a bear. A bear market is essentially the opposite of a bull market, meaning that it is a prolonged period of declining prices. A bear market generally occurs when prices have declined by at least 20 percent from a recent high. Bear markets have historically not lasted as long as bull markets in the stock market. The U.S. stock market entered a bear market in March 2020 when prices fell more than 30 percent in just a matter of weeks.

Focus on your long-term goals and a financial plan to help get you there. Daily market fluctuations may have more of an impact on your investments. The daily market ups and downs are most likely noise you may choose to ignore, but longer-term trends can affect your returns. For this reason, a market that is experiencing a sustained drop in price will be referred to as a bear market, whereas one that is increasing in price is a bull market. Bearish traders believe that a market will soon drop in value, and will attempt to profit from its drop. This puts them in contention with bulls, who will buy or go long on a market in the belief that doing so will return a profit.

That’s why financial advisors recommend you revisit your portfolio many times over your life to adjust your portfolio allocation and to rebalance as needed. That may mean buying or selling different securities to maintain an appropriate mix of stocks, bonds and cash to meet your financial objectives and risk tolerance level. One of the worst bear markets in U.S. history was precipitated by the stock market crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression and a bear market that lasted almost three years. While both the Barings bank and the Bulteel bank did in fact exist, there are a couple problems here. The first is that the only Bulteel bank around this era wasn’t prominent at all, certainly not enough to spawn such a term. Second, and more importantly, is that both the Barings bank and the Bulteel bank were founded well after “bull” and “bear” were already common stock market terms.

In the end, there is no way to ensure gains in the investment market. All you can do is maintain strong investment tendencies and make prudent decisions. In addition, try to avoid trading on emotion, as that can lead you down a dangerous path. We’ve witnessed this and have been impacted by the stimulus and rescue packages issued by the government in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. This usually happens in the midst of a bear market because something’s wrong, says Young. “There was some sort of shock to the system, or some sort of crisis at play.” Besides the pandemic, this happened during the mortgage crisis.

Bear market rallies occurred in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, leading down to the market bottom in 1932, and throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Japanese Nikkei 225 has had several bear-market rallies between the 1980s and 2011, while experiencing an overall long-term downward trend. William O’Neil reported that, since the 1950s, a market top is characterized by three to five distribution days in a major stock market index occurring within a relatively short period of time. Distribution is a decline in price with higher volume than the preceding session.

Markets Redefined As Bear, Bull, Wolf, Eagle

While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. In trading, you buy something if you believe its value will increase. When the stock goes up again, is great because that’s when we start to collect the profit. In other words, when the market is going down, we love to be a buyer. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

  • By managing your risk effectively, you’ll be able to protect your capital and minimize your losses irrespective of whether your outlook is bullish or bearish.
  • Strategic Asset Allocation strategies designed for diversity may keep pace with the market, but they are unlikely to significantly outpace it (because by definition they will be tracking it – at least roughly).
  • The next great bull market occurred between 1954 and 1969, but this time investors‘ optimism was based not on speculation but on real growth in the profits of U.S. corporations.
  • For example, the 2008 financial crisis was driven by mostly by speculation and unsustainable debt in the real estate market, causing the stock market to rapidly drop.
  • A bear market is often caused by a slowing economy and rising unemployment rates.

Short selling occurs when an investor borrows a security, sells it on the open market, and expects to buy it back later for less money. Bear claws are downward meaning when the the stock are “bearish”, stocks are low or down while the horns of a bull are upward meaning if the stocks are “bullish” the stocks are high. Spain did eventually grant the South Sea Company rights to trade in the regions held by Spain, but only one ship load per year total was allowed in exchange for a percentage of the profits. By the early 18th century, when people in the stock world would sell something they didn’t yet own , this gave rise to the saying that they “sold the bearskin” and the people themselves were called “bearskin jobbers”. History of the stock market has proved, the economy will recover, and your holdings will begin to appreciate again. The chance of losses in a bear market is greater because stocks are continually losing value, and any turnaround is hard to forecast.

„The stock market loses 13% in a correction on average, if it doesn’t turn into a bear market“. It is very difficult to identify a bottom (referred to as „bottom picking“) before it passes. The upturn following a decline may be short-lived and prices might resume their decline. This would bring a loss for the investor who purchased stock during a misperceived or „false“ market bottom. Tends to be higher during a bull market as companies hire more, but lower in a bear market as companies let go of workers to cut costs. We’re not zoologists, but bulls tend to use their horns to thrust upward, while bears push down with their paws.

A bull market begins when investors feel that prices will start, then continue to rise; they tend to buy and hold stocks in the hope that they are right. The investors’ belief about stock prices influences the prices themselves in a self-fulfilling prophecy – where investors create market circumstances. Every trader should understand what long, short, bullish, and bearish mean. These terms are used frequently in financial news, trading articles, market analysis, and conversations. Regardless of whether you’re day trading or investing, trading soybeans or speculating on foreign currencies, you will read or hear one or all of these terms every time you check your portfolio or talk about investing.

Alternately, they may just have an opinion that the price will rise, but have decided against making any trades based on that opinion. Bullish stances can be extremely specific opinions about a single stock, or they can be broad opinions about the overall market. „Shorting“ is the trading term for selling borrowed shares of stock, believing that the stock price will drop, with the intention of buying the shares back later at a lower price. SmartAsset Advisors, LLC („SmartAsset“), a wholly owned subsidiary of Financial Insight Technology, is registered with the U.S. SmartAsset does not review the ongoing performance of any RIA/IAR, participate in the management of any user’s account by an RIA/IAR or provide advice regarding specific investments. Consider talking with a financial advisor who can help you understand if an investment decision or strategy is based on emotions or something more objective.

How To Survive And Prosper In A Bear Market

Traders employ a variety of strategies, such as increased buy and hold and retracement, to profit off bull markets. Trading on Nadex involves risk and may not be appropriate for all. Members risk losing their cost to enter any transaction, including fees. You should carefully consider whether trading on Nadex is appropriate difference between bull and bear market for you in light of your investment experience and financial resources. Any trading decisions you make are solely your responsibility and at your own risk. None of the material on nadex.com is to be construed as a solicitation, recommendation or offer to buy or sell any financial instrument on Nadex or elsewhere.

bear and bull meaning

To say „he’s bullish ongold,“ for example, means that the trader believes the price of gold will rise. One of the most famous examples of a bear market takes the form of the 1987 market crash, which saw a 29.6% drop that lasted roughly three months. While it can be defined as an increase of at least 20% over a two-month period, it largely can be anything that’s positive movement in the stock market, explains Young.

Bull Vs Bear

Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. The 4% Rule states that you can safely withdraw 4% of your retirement portfolio the first year you retire. Then you can safely withdraw the same based amount each year, adjusted for inflation, without running out of money for at least 30 years and in some cases up to 50. Notably, the research that established the 4% Rule found this to be true through both bull and bear markets.

Bull, Bear, & Hog Market Terminology

Bear markets almost never last as long as bull markets and can create buying opportunities for investors. A bear marketis one in which the prices of securities in a key market index (like the S&P 500) have been falling for a period of time by at least 20%. This isn’t a short-term dip like during a correction when there are price declines of 10% to 20%. A bear market is a trend that leaves investors feeling pessimistic about the future outlook of financial markets.

Understanding “Wolf” and “Eagle” markets, in addition to the traditional “Bull” and “Bear”, and how select investment methods tend to perform in each environment. When an extremely high proportion of investors express a bearish sentiment, some analysts consider it to be a strong signal that a market bottom may be near. David Hirshleifer sees in the trend phenomenon a path starting with under-reaction and ending in overreaction by investors / traders. The bear market, then, is measured retrospectively from the recent highs to the lowest closing price, and its recovery period is the lowest closing price to new highs. Another commonly accepted end to a bear market is indices gaining of 20% from their low. The rush of cash into businesses without complete business plans resulted in sudden market contraction.

Baron Rothschild is said to have advised that the best time to buy is when there is „blood in the streets“, i.e., when the markets have fallen drastically and investor sentiment is extremely negative. A long-term bear market occurred from about 1973 to 1982, encompassing the 1970s energy crisis and the high unemployment of the early 1980s. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, which erased 89% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s market Venture capital capitalization by July 1932, marking the start of the Great Depression. After regaining nearly 50% of its losses, a longer bear market from 1937 to 1942 occurred in which the market was again cut in half. The most famous and one of the longest bull runs before the current one, investment in the first consumer-focused digital companies with the adoption of the internet led to the S&P 500 rising nearly 417% over the decade.

Market Phases

Refers to the environment and behaviors of a company and its employees – It forms from a firm’s core values and beliefs. Is a measure of the money that a business makes from its primary operations, minus the expenses it incurs to make that money, such as wages and . Is a term in economic theory that refers to a country’s efforts to protect the merchant class from foreign competition. Worries about inflation and the computerized trading contributed to the famous Black Monday crash. The S&P 500 ultimately lost a third of its value in just a few months before recovering.

What Is A Bullish Stock?

Once you know your goals and their timeline, you can build your portfolio’s asset allocation. This involves choosing the selection of investments within your portfolio and what percentages they’ll hold. For instance, someone nearing retirement may want to steer clear of individual stocks since they can be quite volatile.

Jesse Mackey is the Chief Investment Officer and a shareholder of 4Thought Financial Group Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser and money manager that utilizes Multi-Method Investing® as the theoretical basis of client portfolio management. Quantitatively defined as any period exhibiting trailing 1-year returns of +30% or greater without an intervening 10% or greater downward price correction. „Labelling markets as either Bull or Bear is probably a gross oversimplification of financial market realities.“ The Governance & Culture Reform hub is designed to foster discussion about corporate governance and the reform of culture and behavior in the financial services industry.Need to file a report with the New York Fed? Working with a financial professional can help you keep emotions in check, whether the market is a bull or a bear.

Author: Daniela Sabin Hathorn

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