CLOUDY CRYSTAL BALL

September 16, 2008
Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 2

Many market forecasters havegotten tired of predicting a turnaroundfor stocks, especially since itnever seems to arrive. A newresearch brochure from IbbotsonAssociates looks at past bear marketsin predicting a recovery instock prices. The Ibbotson brochurepoints out that the current 3-yearstring of losses is matched only bythe period from 1939 through1941, and that only once in historyhave stocks lost ground for 4 yearsrunning—from 1929 through 1932(the Great Depression). There havebeen 14 declines of more than 10%since 1926 and the stock market hascome back from all of them exceptthe current setback. Although historysuggests that stocks will recover,some experts warn that all bearmarkets and their recovery patternsdiffer. Sometimes relief comes fast,but sometimes it takes years to gainback bear-market losses.