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How Long Does It Take for The Stock Market to Recover from a Crash?

January 05, 2023
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Due to the global pandemic, the U.S. economy has been on quite a turbulent path. With rising inflation and layoffs in tech companies, you may be wondering if a stock market crash is eminent. Many investors are alarmed by stock market crashes and sell their stocks at a loss, only to see the market rebound a short time later. So, how long does it take for the stock market to recover from a crash?

The answer, unfortunately, is that there is no easy answer. It depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the crash, the underlying cause of the crash, and global economic conditions. However, there are some general principles that can be applied to most stock market crashes.

Severity of The Crash

The first factor to consider is the intensity of the crash. A milder crash will typically take less time to recover from than a severe crash. For example, it took the stock market just over two years to recover from the 1987 stock market crash. However, it took the market almost six years to recover from the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. For the financial crisis of 2008, it took close to five years for the stock market to bottom out and start recovering. So, as you can see, the severity of the crash is a major factor in how long it takes for the stock market to rebound.

Underlying Cause of The Crash

The second factor to consider is the underlying cause of the crash. Crashes caused by one-time events or "black swan" events tend to be shorter in duration and have a quicker recovery than crashes caused by systemic problems or structural issues. For example, the 1987 stock market crash was caused by a one-time event—a change in tax laws that led to heavy selling by institutional investors—and therefore had a relatively quick recovery. On the other hand, the Dot-com bubble burst was caused by structural problems—such as overvaluation of tech stocks and widespread fraud—which took longer to fix and resulted in a longer period of recovery for the stock market.

Accommodative Monetary Policy

Lastly, another factor that can influence how long it takes for the stock market to recover is whether or not monetary policy is helpful during that period. When central banks provide liquidity and keep interest rates low after a stock market crash, it tends to help spur economic activity and hasten recovery. For example, after both the 1987 stock market crash and 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates and engaged in quantitative easing (QE) programs—which pumped money into the economy—in order to help jumpstart economic activity and prevent further decline. As a result, both times saw a relatively quick recovery in asset prices.

There is no simple answer when it comes to how long it takes for the stock market to recover from a crash. It depends on a number of factors however, history has shown us that the markets always come back eventually. So, if you're patient, you will likely be rewarded in due time.

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