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Ben Carlson

Prepare Now for the End of the Bull Market

Adjust your expectations for market turmoil before it occurs, not during or after the fact.
Be prepared for when the bull market ends.

Be prepared for when the bull market ends.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

I recently appeared on Bloomberg Television’s “What’d You Miss?” with Joe Weisenthal, Scarlet Fu and Julia Chatterley, and was asked what I thought could be the catalyst for the end of this bull market in stocks, which is now the second-longest in history at eight years. That’s dangerous territory, given that investors and pundits who have been predicting a crash for a number of years now have a batting average of zero. Stocks have continued to rise in the face of mounting concerns over monetary policy, weak economic growth, geopolitical instability, concentrated gains in technology stocks and a host of other risks.

There doesn’t always need to be a legitimate reason for a pullback, but it can be helpful for investors to work through different scenarios to figure out how it could affect their portfolios. The time to prepare or adjust your expectations for market turmoil is before it occurs, not during or after the fact. I have no idea what will be the exact trigger that causes this bull market to end, but here are some possible scenarios to consider: