Four Bad Bear Markets (Chart)

Here’s some good news. We’re sixteen months into the worst bear market in generations but the decline in shares on the S&P still isn’t as bad as the decline we saw in the Great Depression.  So, you know, it could be worse.

The bad news? As you can see from this chart provided by, we could be mired in this bear market for another year and half. The worst bear markets tend to last a very long time.

That’s pretty depressing, so we’ll end on another piece of good news. The bottoms of bear markets can create once in a generation opportunities for buying stocks. So as we continue to slide, keep in mind that some day someone will become incredibly wealthy because of the opportunities created. (Click the chart for a bigger version at

Note: the little chart can be a bit confusing. The bottom of the current market, but in earlier this week, represented a 52.5% decline. Since Monday, however, we bounced back to 50.6%. The little yellow boxes are a bit confusing. Both of those numbers are meant to point to the current market decline, even though the one with 50.6% looks like it points to the Great Depression.