HomerJ wrote:There's a rough generational pattern if you look back... but I don't know if that means anything going forward...
1913-1929 Bull market
1929-1946 Bear market
1946-1966 Bull market
1966-1982 Bear market
1982-2000 Bull market
2000-???? Bear market
All cycles lasting about 16-20 years. Generational.
I think they can only be determined looking back... The two big bull markets in the recent past (1946-1966) and (1982-2000) saw the market increase 700% (DOW went from 140 to 1000) and 1000%. (DOW went from 1000 to 10,000).
That's how I'd define a secular bull market... A huge run-up over multiple years.
From 2000-2013, we're nowhere near those numbers... We'd have to see DOW hit 70,000 or so to rise 700% above it's 2000 high water mark.
Those numbers seem insane don't they? But that's what people experienced in real bull markets in the past... 700%, 1000% gains over 20 years. We may never see those numbers again... But I'd expect the next big bull market to at least triple or quadruple the stock market.
Right now, we're still getting the last excesses from the 1982-2000 bull out of our system... We may see another crash, or stocks may start trending sideways again for a while... At some point, it's possible another big bull market may take off, and all the money we've invested over the last 13 years will really be worth something then...
But maybe not. History doesn't HAVE to repeat itself.
It's amazing to me how so many 401k investors don't understand market history. Seems to me the average person says, "The stock market is same level as 2000, therefore stocks are a bad investment now...."