This stock market downturn is flirting with the -20% threshold commonly separating corrections from bear markets. More declines could come—maybe a lot, if it is a full-fledged bear market. That is the bad news. The good news: If this is a correction, it is a very long one—so the end is relatively close by. But it’s similar if a bear market. Their back halves in duration are very steep but also very brief. Once halfway down in magnitude, it’s not long, a few months, until the rebound. The lone exceptions: 1929–1932 and 2000-2002, and nothing about today is like then.
We will be beyond this swoon soon. The exact bottom is 100% unpredictable—except by fools. Don’t avoid stocks—not if you need them to reach your long-term financial goals. The rebound is always, always, always bigger. Volatility is always scary. But it isn’t actually very risky, thinking a year and longer into the future. That is what counts now, not the next few weeks or even months.