Focusing on growing your savings during a bear market is also helpful, Stucky says, because it's important to “make sure that you can handle these swings” when buying stocks, because there will be more volatility to come.
The average bear market lasts 359 days, and Stucky adds that it can take a full 38 months to go from the bottom of a bear market to a new all-time high. Luckily, the one thing you can be sure of about a bear market is that it will end eventually, Laura Veldkamp, a finance and economics professor at Columbia University, tells me.
“Have faith that it’s going to come back in due course well before you retire,” she says. “Usually, it takes a couple of years to recover some losses like this.”
The main thing to avoid is selling your investments when you see them losing value. Instead, hold steady until the bear market is over.
“Do not sell right now unless you absolutely need that money,” Veldkamp says. “If you’re a young person who’s putting some stocks in a 401(k) for retirement, don’t worry about this. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”