Of Bears and Bulls

I just got a notification in my newsfeed that American stocks are officially in a “bear market.” If you haven’t heard the terms “bear market” and “bull market,” they are used as context to what’s happening in the stock market. A bear market is when stock prices fall and a bull market is when prices go up.

More specifically, a bear market describes any stock index or individual stock that drops 20% or more from its recent highs. A bull market, on the other hand, typically rises 20% from recent bear market lows and reaches record benchmark highs.

The fact that stocks are in a bear market is not good news for me. About three-quarters of my retirement nest egg is invested in the stock market via 401(k) accounts and IRAs, which are essentially retirement vehicles.

During your working (income producing) years, you can put aside money, tax-free (i.e., before payroll taxes are withheld) and invest that money into these retirement accounts, most of which is invested in stocks and bonds. And, if the stock and bond markets go up, the value of your retirement nest egg goes up, too. Yay!

But when it’s a bear market, your retirement funds shrink considerably, potentially putting into jeopardy, the comfortable retirement lifestyle you works so hard to achieve.

I just checked my specific accounts and the news is not great. I’m not quite ready to panic, cash out all of my retirement funds, and stuff it all in a mattress. But if this bear market doesn’t go bull soon, I may have to give that some serious consideration.

17 thoughts on “Of Bears and Bulls

  1. Paula Light May 20, 2022 / 1:09 pm

    My 401K has decreased .17%, which sucks, but hopefully I have enough time before I retire to see it go up significantly. It’s really stressful…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong May 20, 2022 / 1:41 pm

    I guess we’re lucky since we have no investments in anything — except each other and our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. J-Dub May 20, 2022 / 1:48 pm

    I keep telling myself you’re buying cheap, stay the course. I don’t want to make the same mistake I made in 2008. So let it ride it is.

    Liked by 2 people

      • J-Dub May 21, 2022 / 7:22 am

        Yeah the other part of my brain tells me these are unprecedented times. But then again maybe they were always unprecedented times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • RuthScribbles May 21, 2022 / 5:48 am

        My aunt panicked in 2008 and then had to move in with her brother in 2011 because she was out of money but social security.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Carol anne May 21, 2022 / 2:21 pm

    that doesnt sound good at all! I hope your retirement nest egg funds return to a higher value soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen May 21, 2022 / 10:43 pm

    I check in on the cnbc people from time to time. Recently, they were managing to keep upbeat day after day even with the volatility. I don’t remember what day it was, but they just couldn’t keep it up anymore. They’d smile and come up with words. Then the frowns were inescapable. I gotta say, it was a little entertaining. (This is a bit odd for me. I empathize with the team that lost to my team. But I’m fed up with mega companies getting big ducking bailouts whenever our country goes through a crisis.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 22, 2022 / 1:59 pm

      … As the latest in a long line of Democratic presidential flacks who have become corporate lackeys and mouthpieces, how can we have any faith in this insane system?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 22, 2022 / 9:33 pm

      Housing crisis will get worse with
      everything bought by corporations.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lolsy's Library May 22, 2022 / 12:37 am

    During COVID our Ministers at the time, encouraged people to take out their Supers to pay for bills and stuff. Now they have no money in their Supers =/

    Liked by 1 person

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