Stock returns are volatile, but nearly a century of bull and bear markets shows that the good times have outshined the bad times.
- From 1926 through March 31, 2020, the S&P 500 Index experienced 17 bear markets or a fall of at least 20% from a previous peak. The declines ranged from —21% to —80% across an average length of around 10 months.
- On the upside, there were 17 bull markets or gains of at least 20% from a previous trough. They averaged 56 months in length, and advances ranged from 21% to 936%.
- When the bull and bear markets are viewed together, it’s clear equities have rewarded disciplined investors.