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Bear Markets of the Past 100 Years

Founder & Chief Editor of Gold Eagle
January 22, 2001

(*) Dow Jones Industrial Index


There have been 23 Bear Markets during the last 100 years. Bear Market declines ranged from -16% (1998) to -89% (1929-1932).

Consequently, if the current DJII Bear Market were to fall the average amount (34%), one would expect the DJII to find its nadir at about 7800. HOWEVER, since market excesses in the late 1990s approached those of 1929, we believe this Bear Market will be far worse than the 100 year average. The numbers suggest this Bear Market will be at least as bad as the 1973-1974 debacle (-45%), which translates to a Dow of 6500.

And if indeed the evolving Bear Market equals the 1973-1974 time length (23 months) , the DJII should reach bottom in January 2002. But then again, this secular Bear Market may well last a number of years longer in order to work off all the excess exuberance.

There is ample precedent for a protracted secular bear market. Recall the Dow first topped 1000 (intra-day) in 1966. And it languished there for the next 17 years (till 1982), when the Dow finally broke the shackles of the 1000 level. To be sure there is nothing on the economic horizon suggesting this Bear Market will be short-lived.

Following is a semi-log chart of Bear Markets during the last 100 years.

Note: Blue shaded areas are Bear Market periods


"The study of history,

while it does not endow with prophecy,

may indicate lines of probability."


John Steinbeck



22 January 2001

Founder of Gold-Eagle in January 1997.  Vronsky has over 42 years’ experience in the international investment world, having cut his financial teeth in Wall Street as a financial analyst with White Weld. Vronsky speaks three languages with indifference: English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.  His education includes a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, a Liberal Arts degree from Hartnell College and a MBA in International Business Administration from UCLA – qualifying as Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi for high scholastic achievements.  Vronsky believes gold and silver will be recognized as legal tender in all 50 US states and many countries worldwide.  You may reach I. M Vronsky at: [email protected] and/or [email protected]

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