Bye-bye bull market – but remember, bulls are longer and stronger

The longest S&P 500 bull market in history is over, ending three days after its eleventh birthday. It’s the ‘worst birthday ever’ for a bull run that was often described as “most hated”. The clock now starts running on the length of the new bear market. The next bull market won’t begin until the bottom is known – and then only in retrospect. Bear markets aren’t comfortable, and things will not move in a straight line, but it’s important to remember that bull markets generally run longer and create vastly more wealth than bear markets destroy. Going back to 1942, the average duration of S&P 500 bulls is 63 months and bears just 15 – the average cumulative return is 171% versus -33%. It’s a better strategy to navigate through bear markets rather than trying to navigate around them (said another way – stay invested). The past few weeks have demonstrated a familiar pattern: the worst daily losses are often accompanied by some of the largest daily gains.

Bar chart showing that bull markets last longer than bear markets.

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This commentary represents GLC’s views at the date of publication, which are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that any trends described in this material will continue or that forecasts will occur; economic and market conditions change frequently. This commentary is intended as a general source of information and is not intended to be a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, nor tax or legal advice. Before making any investment decision, prospective investors should carefully review the relevant offering documents and seek input from their advisor.