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How to Invest in a Bear Market

Don't hide in a cave when the market is down. Find stocks that will pay off when the bull makes its return.


  • Step 1: Don't buy stocks on margin, which means buying them with borrowed money. This is always risky, but more so in a bear market, when stocks tend to decline due to a sluggish economy.
  • Step 2: Buy currencies of mature economies, which may increase in value during a bear market because they often stay more stable during periods of decline.
  • Step 3: Buy stocks now at limit price below market, which means placing an order to buy stocks if and when they fall to a certain price. These orders come with a time limit.
  • Step 4: Sell any emerging-market stocks, which often do poorly when the world economy is suffering.
  • TIP: One rule of thumb is that the percent of your portfolio invested in bonds should match your age.
  • Step 5: Buy small-cap stocks, also known as emerging-growth stocks, which tend to go up in a bear market because they are not owned by mutual funds.
  • Step 6: Buy initial public offerings, known as IPOs. In a bear market, only the most financially sound companies have the luxury of going public.
  • Step 7: Sell your mutual funds, which tend to drop in a bear market because everyone is selling the same stocks.
  • Step 8: Play it safe with bonds and dividend-paying stocks, which usually offer steady returns.
  • FACT: After the 1929 stock market crash, stocks did not return to their pre-Depression levels until 1954.

You Will Need

  • Stocks at limit price below market
  • Small-cap stocks
  • Bonds
  • Dividend-paying stocks
  • IPOs
  • Currency of developed countries

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