Monday, August 13, 2018

How far can stock prices fall in a bear market?

One of the most frequently asked questions from last week's post (see Major market top ahead: My inner investor turns cautious) was my downside objective for stock prices. While technical analysis could highlight a possible trigger for a bear phase, it is less reliable for quantifying downside risk.

Assuming the trigger for a bear market is a recession, one way to guesstimate downside risk is to examine how the historical record of stock prices behaved in past recessions. Beginning in 1981-82, that bear market was particularly nasty because it lasted over a year, and it was triggered by the Volcker tight money era. The 1990 bear market and recession, which was ostensibly triggered by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, was mild. The Tech Wreck in the aftermath of the NASDAQ Bubble in 2001-02 was also painful, but was preceded by an unprecedented surge in stock prices. The bear market of 2008 was short and sharp, but stock prices fell roughly 50%. In conclusion, the historical record indicates that downside risk is in the 20-50% range.

But that's not the whole story.

The full post can be found at our new site here.

No comments: