From Howard Marks’ latest quarterly letter The Outlook for Equities. Looks like someone posted the full letter here. It’s only nine pages and worth your time.
Bull Market Stages
- When a few forward-looking people begin to believe things will get better
- When most investors realize improvement is actually underway, and
- When everyone’s sure things will get better forever
Bear Market Stages
- When a few prudent investors recognize that, despite the prevailing bullishness, things won’t always be rosy
- When most investors recognize things are deteriorating, and
- When everyone’s convinced things can only get worse
As for where we’re at today (in US Equities) he thinks we’re somewhere in the first half of stage two of a bull market – pessimists no longer control market prices, but certainly neither have carefree optimists taken over.