Everyone is sitting on the sidelines waiting for the stock market to slide lower again. But what happens if it never comes?

  • Investors are patiently waiting on the sidelines for another downturn so they can buy stocks cheaper.
  • What if it the correction never comes and the stock market goes back to all-time highs?
  • Smart investors should at least consider the fact that we really are back in a bull market for stocks.

Everyone is waiting for the stock market to come back down again.
I get it. Wouldnt it be great if the stock market fell just one more time so you could buy the dip?
Even the billionaires are sat on the sidelines screaming for another stock market crash and praying for a better entry.
But what if it never comes?
Everyone is waiting for the stock market to drop again
The last two months were crazy. Stocks collapsed into the fastest bear market in history. And then bounced right back out.
The S&P 500 has retraced 66% of the painful March selloff. Source: Trading View
This is a classic dead cat bounce, isnt it? Its got to come back down again, surely?
Most traders think so. Just look at these numbers:
68% of investors think were in a bear market rally (i.e. a temporary bounce before the next move lower).
61% of high-net investors (more than $1 million investable assets) say theyre waiting for another pullback before buying.
Theres more cash on the sidelines right now than during the worst point of the 2008 crisis.
Everyone is waiting for this so-called relief rally to end so they can buy lower. Everyone thinks were at the return to normal phase of this classic chart:
A majority of investors think were in the return to normal phase. Source: Hofstra University
You might never get a chance to buy a deeper correction
When everyone is waiting for the same thing on the financial markets, it almost never comes.
The S&P 500 has already reclaimed 66% of its decline. Most technical analysts would admit thats significantly higher than the typical bear market rally of 50-62%.
And is it really a bear market if the biggest companies in the world (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft) are at all-time highs?
A prudent investor would at least entertain the idea that March 23rd was the bottom and this really is a recovery.
What if this isnt a return to normal phase on the previous chart? If anything, this feels a lot more like disbelief on the Wall Street psychology map.
What if were actually in the disbelief phase and the start of a new bull market? Source: Wall Street Cheat Sheet
We are in stock market limbo right now
Making a decision right now is tricky. Do you risk buying right at the top of a dead cat bounce? Do you wait for another correction that might never come?
How will you feel if the stock market goes back to all-time highs and you didnt get any exposure at all?
Investors will always find a reason to be bearish, but it usually pays to be optimistic. Source: Twitter
Theres no right answer to these questions. Absolutely no-one, and I mean no-one can tell you whats going to happen next. Billionaire investor and Warren Buffetts business partner Charlie Munger summed it up pretty well last month:
Everybody talks as if they know whats going to happen, and nobody knows whats going to happen.
Buffett and Munger missed the dip too. Theyre sitting on a cash pile of $138 billion and they didnt spend a penny through the March selloff. If two of the worlds best investors dont know where the markets going, its okay to admit that we dont either.
Dont try to time the market
The only time-tested way to make sure you dont miss out is to dollar-cost-average your way through. If you want exposure to the market, buy a little bit every week, every month, no matter what the price.
Yes, you might buy at the top of the market, but youll buy at the bottom too and itll even out over time.
Dollar cost averaging has a powerful compounding effect over time. Source: US Global Investors
If you believe the stock market will be higher in five or ten years, this is a fairly proven strategy to build wealth over time.
Plus, it takes away the stress of trying to time the market, which is almost certainly not going to happen.
Unless you went all-in on March 23rd, in which case, why are you even reading this?
Disclaimer: The article represents the authors opinion and should not be considered investment advice from CCN.com. The author holds no investment position in the above-mentioned securities.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.