Stock Market Insights: Ambush market

My dog thinks a 100-foot section of our morning walk is “Ambush Canyon.” Two unleashed dogs ran at her barking and scared her a few weeks ago. Now she gives that house the side-eye every time we walk past it, even though she’s had only one bad experience out of a hundred walks this year.

Investors who walked through 2022 are giving the market a side-eye, too.

The market technically started a new bull market in the past few days when stocks rose 20% above the last bear market low point. But there are no parades or silly string celebrating the achievement because investors, like our pup, remember the ambush not long ago.

That market ambush lasted most of last year but was the worst in October 2022 when stocks were down 25% off their all-time highs and inflation was more than 8% (it’s less than 5% now, according to It was a miserable time to invest, but things are much better now.

The market isn’t quite up to its all-time high, but it is 20% above its last low point (YahooFinance), even though everyone says a recession is just ahead. I don’t know if the bear market is over or if this is the start of a new bull market. The market is as unpredictable as a toddler who missed naptime. Up market, down market, up market, down market, up market — on and on.

No one can guess how high the up markets will go or how long they will last, and we don’t know how low the down markets will go or how long they will stay down. The reality is that a short recession is still likely in the next six to 12 months, but it will probably be a pothole in the road and not a ditch.

There will always be up-and-down markets to navigate. Long-term investors should have an investment plan built to ride out multiple up-and-down markets during the years. According to Yahoo Finance, historically, stocks have a long-term trend of going up, with a lot of short-term downturns along the way.

Our 12-year-old dog had a victory this morning. Usually, as we pass by the “ambush canyon,” she walks quickly, continually looking over her shoulder at the scary house. But this morning, she stopped, stared at the house, and peed in its yard, leaving her mark. That’s dog speak for “you don’t scare me anymore.”

Investors need to get to the same point where they can get over the emotions of a down market and enjoy the up markets more. I’m not saying go mark your spot in your financial advisor’s office but get to a place where you can tell the market, “You don’t scare me anymore.”

Have a blessed week.

Fervent Wealth Management is a financial management and services entity in Springfield, Mo. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Opinions are for general information only and not intended as specific advice or recommendations. All performance cited is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and can’t be invested in directly.

The economic forecast outlined in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

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