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Bear and Bull Markets

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on, after others let go.” – William Feather

Winners don’t quit the stock market. Period. Investors always win over the long term. It’s quite easy to see in the chart, History of  U.S. Bear and Bull Markets. Any stock trader that quit during a bear market missed out on the bull market to come.

The only way for a stock trader to beat an investor is if one sold at the all-time high, and bought at the all-time low. If CNBC interviews someone that has successfully done this repeatedly, please let us know. Individuals that talk about trying to “time” something financially usually end up missing out over the long run. Trading a stock once or twice for a profit in a bull market is often just lucky versus an intelligent decision. Recently, I’ve had a number of neighbors that sold their homes a year or two ago that said they are going to “time” the market, rent for a bit, and buy back when housing prices tank. So far that hasn’t worked out. Looking back on those financial decisions, more often than not, one would have been better off just holding on for the long term.

Instead, this is a time to stay invested, and make small adjustments around the fringes of your portfolio. When stocks go down, we’ll add to positions in a portfolio when the asset allocation allows, and when interest rates go up, we’ll add to bonds that pay higher rates than currently. We’ll skip all of the technical market chatter around the fed, interest rates, inflation, GDP, and jobs reports. There are plenty of headlines out there attempting to make those predictions. While there are many pursuits that have valid reasons for quitting, the stock market is not one of them. Stick to your financial plan, be a long term market winner, and enjoy the many years to come in your retirement.

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