Chapter 7. 1990: A Sneaky Bear Market

"In the long term, America and the stock market have a wonderful future. As history as my guide, things clearly get better over the generations. Always have. Always will. Technology improves pervasively. Work ethics swing back and forth, and right now are swinging forth. I sure wouldn't want to go back to any prior decade—any."

"A Sitting Bull," February 19, 1990

"Sprinkled throughout my bearish columns of the last 15 months are long-term reminders to my readers that the Nineties will be a fine decade and that bearishness cannot be justified longer term. That's still my opinion. . . . Yes, we are in a recession, but remember: Stocks always bottom out long before the economy does."

"Buy Now," December 24, 1990

Ken called for a market top in his September 18, 1989 column "The End Is Nigh," and he got it right. Only most people didn't know it yet. "The start of the bear market since October has been quiet, and twice as big as most folks realize. I am unusually proud of my September 18 bear market call, featured on the magazine's front cover. It was right." ("A Sitting Bull," February 19, 1990.) Virtually all US stock market averages peaked just a few weeks after Ken's prescient column ran, but the downturn in the Dow and the S&P 500 didn't last long. In fact, they were hitting new highs by the first trading days of 1990.[23] The next few months would be choppy, but the Dow and the S&P 500 didn't reach their ultimate 1990 peak until July.[24] Was ...

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