Well, it happened.
We knew that markets were going to continue their wild ride, and here we are.
Stocks slid into bear market territory after a bad May inflation report showed that prices rose at the fastest pace since 1981.1
It's clear that the Federal Reserve's efforts to cool inflation haven't borne fruit yet, and investors are nervous.
In response to these concerns about inflation, the Fed raised the benchmark interest rate by another 0.75 points, the most aggressive hike in nearly three decades.2
Their move will hopefully yield relief from rising prices but also means the cost of borrowing will go up, which could dent business and consumer spending.
Cautious, yes. Wary, perhaps. Afraid or worried? No.
To give you some historical perspective here’s what happened during the last few bear markets:
You can see that in a couple of cases, markets bounced back within months. However, the 2008 bear market was a sustained pullback that lasted much longer.
Is history always an accurate predictor of the future? Definitely not. But we can look to it for hints about what may come.
Markets will likely continue to be extremely volatile over the next weeks and months as investors digest the Fed's aggressive rate hikes as well as concerns about an economic slowdown.
The latest estimates still don't point to a recession in 2022, but that could change.6
On the other hand, the next rounds of inflation data might show that prices are cooling off, which could give the Fed breathing room and avoid more aggressive hikes later.
We'll have to wait and see.
Great question, I'm so glad you asked. First of all, don't panic.
We've been expecting wild market behavior and we've prepared for it.
The absolute worst thing you can do right now is to hit the eject button and bail on your investment strategy.
It's impossible to perfectly time your reentry into markets and missing the ride back up could have a painful impact on your returns.
Market downturns can also create opportunities for selective bargain hunting if we stay flexible.
Bottom line: markets like these are natural and expected.
If you feel the need to sell or make drastic changes – please, please, please talk to me first.
I'm here, I'm watching markets, and I'll reach out with specific recommendations as I have them.
Questions? Just hit "comment" below, and let me know.
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P.S. Need a break from the markets? Watch jellyfish float at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
1 - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/10/consumer-price-index-may-2022.html
2 - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/15/fed-hikes-its-benchmark-interest-rate-by-three-quarters-of-a-point-the-biggest-increase-since-1994.html
3 - https://www.wsj.com/articles/bull-markets-winners-dragged-the-s-p-500-into-a-bear-market-11655184522
4 - https://www.schwab.com/learn/story/market-volatility
5 - https://www.hartfordfunds.com/practice-management/client-conversations/bear-markets.html
6 - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-u-s-is-likely-to-fall-into-recession-in-2023-says-survey-of-economists-11655111407
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged composite index considered to be representative of the U.S. stock market in general. Returns based on closing price performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. For illustrative purposes only. Chart source: https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-dow-jones-bitcoin-fed-rates-06-14-2022/card/how-the-s-p-500-performs-after-closing-in-a-bear-market-yBwgfJwW8HGSNJaKg6LB
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