Bull vs Bear Market Guide: What Is the Difference?

Both bear and bull markets will have a large influence on your investments, so it’s a good idea to take some time to determine what the market is doing when making an investment decision. Remember that over the long term, the stock market has always posted a positive return. In addition, investors may benefit from taking a short position in a bear market and profiting from falling prices. There are several ways to achieve this including short selling, buying inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or buying put options.

InvestingReviews provides you with independent reviews and comparison services to help you on your investing journey. Similarly, there are risks and opportunities in a bear stock market. It’s worth noting that both markets are characterised by long-term financial market movements. Small market swings over the space of a few days are not typical of either. But some investors are predicting cloudy skies ahead with the struggling labor market and higher interest rates in real estate. Plus, the recent bank failures could foreshadow impending troubles for small businesses seeking out credit.

In a bear market, however, the chance of losses is greater because prices are continually losing value and the end is often not in sight. Even if you do decide to invest with the hope of an upturn, you are likely to take a loss before any turnaround occurs. Thus, most of the profitability can be found in short selling or safer investments, such as fixed-income securities. In a bull market, there is strong demand and weak supply for securities. In other words, many investors wish to buy securities but few are willing to sell them. As a result, share prices will rise as investors compete to obtain available equity.

  1. “Bull markets are typically accompanied by a low number of individuals needing employment and investors who are flush with cash to buy into the markets.”
  2. Not surprisingly, it also provided the highest returns, as measured by the S&P 500.
  3. This difference can be seen over time in different types of trading charts, in which one line goes up while the other falls.
  4. It is during a bear market that investors can often find the best long-term opportunities because prices are falling to more reasonable valuations.

Bear markets can certainly spark anxiety among investors as no one likes to experience losses. Passive investors seek to maximise returns by investing in a diversified portfolio of index-tracking and other exchange traded funds (ETFs). Active investors, on the other hand, seek to beat the market by picking stocks, timing trades and actively managing their portfolios. While there is no precise definition of a bear market, it is generally considered to occur when stock prices fall by 20% or more from their previous peak. Investors use animal names to refer to the dominant characteristic of financial markets and the opinions that investors hold about them. Probably the two best known examples of this are bull versus bear markets.

Are We Currently in a Bear or Bull Market?

We encourage you to always conduct your own due diligence before trading or investing, such as looking at fundamental and technical analysis, latest news and analyst commentary. Remember that your decision how much can i make with $100 in forex to trade or invest should depend on your risk tolerance, expertise in the market, portfolio size and goals. Always have a trading or investing strategy in place, making use of risk management tools.

Bull v bear markets summed up

In other words, when the market is going down, we love to be a buyer. 5 simple steps to find, evaluate, and invest in wonderful companies. Just choose the course level that you’re most interested in and get started on the right path now. When you’re ready you can join our chat rooms and access our Next Level training library. We have members that come from all walks of life and from all over the world. We love the diversity of people, just like we like diversity in trading styles.

In addition to stock markets as a whole, a bear market can also apply to individual shares or other assets such as commodities. Most experts agree that a bear market is one in which securities prices have fallen 20% from recent highs, if not more, spawning widespread pessimism from investors. When we’re in a bullish market,  yields on securities and dividends will be lower than those of a bear market. We want higher yields and dividends in a bullish market to lure investors in with the promise of higher yields later. But most experts agree if the fall is 20% or more, it’s a bear market.

While you should try not to sell during a downturn, a bear market may also provide a reminder to revisit your investing strategy once the market recovers. Even though you know a market recovery will happen, you may realize that your willingness to take on risk is less than you thought. Here’s what you need to know about bull and bear markets, including key differences between them. You need a bullish trading system (the right tool) to ride a bullish market. The bull market is the one that appears strong and powerful, rising in value. When the bull attacks it starts from a low point swiping up to a high point.

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Rather, many experts recommend that they have an asset allocation that reflects their risk tolerance, their investing time horizon, and their long-term goals. Working with a financial advisor to help you develop an investing strategy that fits your situation can help you to stay on track. A market is usually not considered a true “bear” market unless it has fallen 20% or more from recent highs. This results in a downward trend that investors believe will continue; this belief, in turn, perpetuates the downward spiral.

The strategies provided below shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your own research. Always conduct your own due diligence before trading or investing. Keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future returns. Other markets like forex and commodity futures tend to move in and out of bull and bear markets more regularly due to higher volatility. That said, if you’re particularly concerned about stock market returns in retirement, you might opt for withdrawing only 3% of your portfolio. A financial advisor or tax expert can help you figure out the right withdrawal rate for your assets and risk tolerance.

During the bull market, any losses should be minor and temporary; an investor can typically actively and confidently invest in more equity with a higher probability of making a return. Information provided on this website is for guidance only and should not be deemed as financial advice. If in doubt, seek professional advice from an FCA regulated advisor. The value of your investment may fall as well as rise and you may get back less than your initial investment. As with all investing strategies, there are several advantages and drawbacks when investing in bull markets. For example, the dot-com bubble crash was arguably the longest bear market in recent history, lasting for over two years.


A rising unemployment rate tends to prolong a bear market since fewer people earning wages results in reduced revenues for many companies. According to the formal definition, a bull market takes effect when stock prices have broadly increased by at least 20% since the last market downturn. Bull market conditions can last for decades, and many successful investors have bet very wrongly by trying to predict the end of a bull market. Investors who purchase stocks or other holdings during a bear market must be prepared for the prices of these holdings to drop further before bottoming out. Using a robo advisor like M1 Finance will enable you to keep your investing costs low.

Market experts, on the other hand, believe that given the current geopolitical environment and macroeconomic factors, we may witness a further decline. When you toss a coin, the occurrence of heads or tails is based purely on chance and is, therefore, unpredictable. If you continue flipping a coin 100 times, there may be instances of successive heads or tails. Now, relate https://g-markets.net/ this to the short-term movement in the stock market, like the downward movement to tails and upward movement to heads. During the bear market fueled by the financial crisis of 2008 that included a major crash in the housing market, virtually every market sector was impacted. There were few if any safe havens for investors in the bear market that ended in early 2009.

Because prices are trending upward, bull markets typically reflect an overall sense of optimism and confidence in the stock market. More people tend to invest in the market during bull periods to potentially profit. That increased demand for securities increases their price, which can then spur more even demand as even more people want in, sending stock prices—and gains—higher. In a bull market, stocks are typically rising in value, so it may be a good time to buy shares that are undervalued and have good potential for growth. However, bear markets can also present opportunities to buy stocks at a discount, so it is important to weigh all your options before making any investment decisions.

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