Despite the fact that stocks have moved steadily higher over long periods of time, history tells us that bear markets (an extended 20% or more decline) and other difficult patches aren't permanent. The good news is that corrections (a 10% or more drop), bear markets (extended periods of 20% or more declines), and other difficult patches haven't lasted forever.
According to data from 1952-2021, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index has dipped 10% or more about once a year, and 20% or more about every six years. Although past results are not indicative of future results, downturns have been followed by recoveries and, over time, new market highs.
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