Are you betting on the return of the buy and hold strategy?  You might want to think again.  The last three secular bear markets lasted an average of 17 tears….

Source: UBS


Got a comment or question about this post? Feel free to use the Ask Cullen section, leave a comment in the forum or send me a message on Twitter.

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:


  1. Looks bullish to me. Notice even during secular bears, the market will make multiple runs up to previous peaks. We are looking at 40% upside for S&P to get back to around 1500.

  2. You know crap like this cracks me up. I could put out these predictions and probably be just as close to right as these yahoos. Save it!

  3. It’s always soooo easy to draw lines on an old chart and claim you Know what is going on.

  4. My fellow commentators – The chart is interesting but not the be all end all. The publishers did not tell you to sell the farm based on this one chart. What they did do was give us one more piece of information to evaluate and, if necessary incorporate it into your trading plan. What, you don’t have a trading plan? Better get busy and stop sending cheap shots at people who take the time to do a little work in their stock market analysis.

  5. The fact that so many believe stcks will continue up is a large reason that they will fall.
    I have seen a simular chart which went back further then 1906.
    What is going to raise stocks?Uempluyment 12.7 % thopusands of houses under water, states in trouble, national debt to the sky. So tell me, you guys, exactly what is going to cause this boom you expect?
    Yeh, seven more years down, down, down

  6. Don. Try less than zero real return parking your money in the bank year-in year-out. Pretty compelling.

  7. You optimists sure sound like stock brokers suffering the pain of a bad market and hoping small investors like me will do business with you to alleviate your pain regardless of the market’s chances to advance. Info like this chart, combined with other daily bad news about the market, will keep lots of investors like me on the sideline with our money intact. The only thing I want to analyze to death is my bottom line.

  8. Look at the scale on the chart. Non-linear charts can be made to look anyway you want them to. This chart is useless. The market may track sideways for a time but that is not what I would call a bear market.

  9. Awesome! You commentators are making me feel VERY secure in my short market positions – Please keep up the bullish sentiment! Thanks again!

  10. Let me be clear. Anyone who looks at this chart will conclude that after a time of moving sideways, the market always resumes it’s upward trend. This non-linear chart appears to support that premise. A linear chart, on the other hand, shows something completely different! We have completed a spike and formed a top that can only be described as a spectacular bubble. That bubble has been burst and we are in for an eventual long and crushing bear market that will completely strip the wealth that the middle class boomers have acquired. In order to keep those boomers invested in their mutuals, another rally is undoubtedly going to occur but the long term outlook for American stocks is dismal.

  11. Yes. The outlook for U.S. stocks is dismal because the outlook for America is dismal. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and there will not be until the American people awaken to the fact that their government, and financial and corporate America are stripping them and the country of its capital, its assets and its future in their selfish, greedy drive for more personal wealth, power and relentless pursuit of the ever fading dream, which they refuse to accept, of expanded empire.

  12. I would have to agree with Don. Unemployment is going higher. Earnings are higher than the “expert” anticipated, but maybe the anticipated amount has been lowered and maybe companys are cutting expenses by eliminating jobs.
    Insiders are dumping stocks like no tomorrow. I’ll keep my shorts and inverses thank you….

  13. My point is that I am tired of hearing this maybe, could be, might be. I can guess that well! I have no doubt that things will not get better anytime soon but cut the crap and save the bandwidth.

  14. The only problem I see is crooked administrations of the last couple decades, and the socialistic moves of the present administration that is only looking for control with no regard for prosperity. There are so many new exciting developments and discoveries awaiting the freedom and regulatory climate to take place. Perhaps November will start the desired change.

  15. Everyone has missed the essential thing wrong with this chart. It is not adjusted for inflation so does not represent what the investor actually gets. When adjusted for inflation, as Robert Shiller of Yale does with his charts, there are no sideways bears. The bear market dropped 92% in real terms from 1906-1921 [15 years], 94% in real terms from 1929 to 1949 [20 years], and 74% in real terms from 1966 to 1982 [16 years]. You’ll get similar results if you go all the way back to the 1600’s. It’s certain that we are in a bear market now and if history is correct…. and it always is….. the market will bottom somewhere between 74% to 94% below it’s 2000 highs.

  16. “Will bottom somwhere between -74% and -94%”……well yes, if,
    and it’s a big “if,” past performance predicts future performance…

  17. There will be a long bear market because of the 100 Trillion plus
    highly leveraged derivatives that have not been accounted for so
    get ready for it! Make decisions based on facts not blind faith
    and false hope that do not have good fundamentals to support growth!
    If it wasn’t for the 401k the modest recovery would never have happened
    now wall street wants the social security money to do the same thing
    which is subsidize their losses with public money and privatize their
    gains! Basically when adjusted for inflation the market has been flat
    the last 20yrs or so just peaks and valleys but no real growth! Wall
    Street is just like the government in the sense that most of it’s paper
    assets are fiat creations with no real resources or assets backing
    them up!

  18. Elections do not matter at this point but partisan continue to believe
    that there side is better when the truth is all sides have contributed
    and collectively caused the massive problems that we have now! It started
    about 40 yrs ago with Nixon taking us off of the gold standard and his
    infamous detente that helped China! Reagan added to it and finished the
    blueprint that all presidents have built upon in their own ways! It is
    absolutely absurd to think those that caused these massive problems,
    namely all the politicians in office can somehow solve them when by
    their incompetent collective polices they have shown irrefutable evidence
    that they cannot! Our currency will become worthless and we will default
    on our national debt because it is a mathematical certainty! But feel free
    to think “your side” will do better because history has shown that it will
    not or cannot! Americans hate to face harsh reality and bitter truth
    which is America will never return to her former glory of being number1
    because the world has changed with globalism and the dynamics of this
    does not support us returning to number 1 no matter how much wishful
    thinking and irrelevant political rhetoric!!!