It’s natural for us to try to glean meaning from the short term movement of stock markets – however more to try to predict future movements rather than to understand the past and the unpredictability of markets and related economy. Financial blogger Ben Carlson provides a history of “bear” markets (a 20% decline in peak to trough stock prices) in the post linked below. After reading about each 20% + decline ( 13 since 1929) you’ll begin to see very few things in common.
This past year (2018) was perhaps the strangest year I’ve experienced in my career as a financial advisor. Most importantly, it was one of the truly great years in the history for the American economy, (a significant part of our global portfolios) and not so bad for the Canadian economy. It was also by far the best year since the global financial crisis of 10 years past from an economic perspective – which, given how the equity markets ended up is a little unreal.