Handling the Bear

Whether you or certain pundits want to acknowledge it or not, we are in a bear market at a moment. What does that mean? It means the markets have fallen–for an official bear market the prices need to fall at least 20%–and investor sentiment reflects that downturn. You’re probably familiar with the term and understand it to be the opposite of a bull market, which is what we were in up until early March. In short, a bull market means things are on an upswing. A bear market is tough to stomach, particularly when it’s not clear when exactly things have or will bottom out, much like the situation right now. At the moment, it seems as though the markets are charting a new course almost hourly during the week. Much of this inconsistency has to do with the ever changing reports coming out of the government and the medical community regarding what is happening/going to happen with Coronavirus as well as the physical shuttering of a large portion of the economy. Being in a bear market can be scary and it’s something that should be taken seriously. However, it can also open up some opportunities to buy into the market at a low and watch your portfolio grow when the market eventually rises. Keep in mind that taking advantage of a bear market requires a long-term approach as it can be hard to tell when the markets will recover. Furthermore, the recovery itself may take some time–quite possibly years–and may not be obvious. You may need to reassess your portfolio in the process, but if you do so with a long-term approach, you may just set yourself up for some success when things recover. As always, I’d strongly encourage you to talk with a certified financial planner or wealth manager if you have questions regarding your portfolio or just discuss ways to financially make it through these difficult times.