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Anatomy of the Bear: Lessons from Wall Street's four great bottoms by Russell Napier

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At the bottom with the bear – Summer 1949

‘We should have a big rush soon. I’m doing a report now. Well, not really a report; I’ve been getting some statistics on aircraft stock ready for the front office. It’s been some job.’

Gore Vidal, In A Yellow Wood

In both 1921 and 1932 there were large slumps in equity prices. The bear market that ended in summer 1949 was very different. From the peak in May 1946, at a 16-year high, the market declined just 24% to reach its low in June 1949. However, despite the lack of drama, this bear market was, in one key respect, similar to that of 1921. In 1929-32, equities crashed from high valuations to low. This sudden lurch from over-valuation was exceptional. As we have seen in 1921, equities had spent ...

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