Bear vs Bull Market: Here’s The Difference And What To Know

what is the difference between bull and bear market

For the past seven years, Kat has been helping people make the best financial decisions for their unique situations, whether they’re looking for the right insurance policies or trying to pay down debt. Kat has expertise in insurance and student loans, and she holds certifications in student loan and financial education counseling.

what is the difference between bull and bear market

Bull markets tend to be longer than bear markets, although the duration can vary from a few months to several years. However, not all long movements in the market can be characterized as bull or bear. Sometimes a market may go through a period of stagnation as it tries to find direction. In this case, a series of upward and downward movements would actually cancel-out gains and losses resulting in a flat market trend.

How to Invest

This indicates that Indian markets are not yet in the grip of a bear market. Market experts, on the other hand, believe that given the current geopolitical environment and macroeconomic factors, we may witness a further decline. Regardless of the current state of the stock market, it’s important to stay focused on the long-term prospects of the companies in which you are invested. Companies with great business fundamentals are likely to produce significant returns for your portfolio over time.

  1. It may also cause investors to sell their investments for less than they paid for them, which can hinder their abilities to reach their financial goals long term.
  2. We often hear the terms bull market and bear market in reference to stock market conditions.
  3. Therefore, defensive stocks are stable in both economic gloom and boom cycles.
  4. Let’s take a closer look at some typical hallmarks or signs of bull markets vs bear markets, and what investing strategies tend to be better suited for each one.

Because the market’s behavior is impacted and determined by how individuals perceive and react to its behavior, investor psychology and sentiment affect whether the market will rise or fall. In a bull market, investors willingly participate in the hope of obtaining a profit. As investors sense a bear market coming on, this might be a good time to buy stocks, mutual funds and ETFs at a low price.

Fidelity Smart Money℠

Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. A declining unemployment rate is consistent with a bull market, while a rising unemployment rate occurs during bear markets.

There were few if any safe havens for investors in the bear market that ended in early 2009. Are you wondering why these phases are named “bull phase” and “bear phase”? One of the most common reasons for this naming convention is the way these two animals ferociously attack. A bull charges ahead, thrusting its horns up in the air and a bear will use its claw to grab and drag its victim down. This movement is metaphorically the characteristic of the market condition.

He has been writing on stocks for over six years and has also owned his own investment management and research firms focused on U.S. and international value stocks, for over 10 years. In addition, he worked on the buy side for investment firms, hedge funds, and investment divisions of insurance companies for the past 36 years. Lately, he is also working as Chief Strategy Officer for a tech start-up company, Foldstar Inc, based in Princeton, New Jersey. So, in that sense, markets can charge higher, wildly, and with great power, just like a bull.

Bull markets, on the other hand, can trigger a sense of euphoria as you see stock prices surge. But rushing to invest in something simply because it seems to be “doing well” is not a thoughtful strategy for wealth building. You may not know the financials of companies you’re buying or you may purchase stock close to its peak. Investors also need to realize that few if any investors can call the top of a bull market with any consistency.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq are also in bull markets, having entered them on Nov. 30, 2022, and May 8, 2023, respectively. An investor may also turn to defensive stocks, whose performance is only minimally impacted by changing trends in the market. Therefore, defensive stocks are stable in both economic gloom and boom cycles. These are industries such as utilities, which are often owned by the government.

It’s important to note, though, that even during bear markets, the stock market can see big gains. For instance, in the last two decades, over half of the S&P 500’s strongest days happened during bear markets. After being in a bear market since June 2022., the S&P 500 entered a bull market on June 8, 2023, after rising 20% from its October 2022 lows.

What is a bear market?

So, to make the most of both phases, investors can invest gradually in a calibrated way that does not lead them to suffer steep losses. The stock market can be bearish even while bull markets are occurring in other asset classes and vice versa. If the stock market is bullish and you’re concerned about price inflation, then allocating a portion of your portfolio to gold or real estate may be a smart choice.

The key determinant of whether the market is bull or bear is not just the market’s knee-jerk reaction to a particular event, but how it’s performing over the long term. Small movements only represent a short-term trend or a market correction. Whether or not there is going to be a bull market or a bear market can only be determined over a longer time period. That being said, a robust economy—one with low unemployment, increasing wages, healthy levels of consumer spending and production, and moderate inflation—tends to coincide with a bull market. But it’s difficult to determine if the economic benefits are the reason for or the result of the bull market. A good economy can drive investments in the stock market, which in turn can boost the economy.

However, in the long term when a series of upward or downward movement occurs in succession, a trend can be seen, and this is denoted as a bear market or bull market. Bear markets can certainly spark anxiety among investors as no one likes to experience losses. Some of the best strategies investors can employ to protect their portfolios during times of uncertainty are with defensive plays, like those found in utilities, consumer staples, and healthcare stocks.

The longest bear market in history ended in March 1942, lasted 61 months, and cut the S&P 500 Index by 61%. By and large, investors look for a 20% gain from a low point and steady gains over at least a six-month period to understand when a bear market has ended. A bull market is a term given to a stock market condition when it is rising or expected to rise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *