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Greetings, Raydeeds, and welcome. You asked:

<<In your 5 year cushion discussion you mentioned the longest bear market since 1950 was 69 months. What criteria did you use? This old time retiree vaguely recalls the period from 1956 to 1982 as having a total overall return of 5% for the entire 16 years. Has my memory finally gone?>>

No, I doubt your memory has gone. It depends on how you define "return." If you look at that period as 26 years, then the appreciation in price only of the S&P was but 4.33% on an annual average. However, total return (capital -- or price -- appreciation plus reinvested dividends) was 8.43%. It's also interesting to note that seven of the nine bear markets over the last 50 years occurred in that time period, and they averaged 20.4 months from peak to trough back to original peak. The bear markets on average occurred roughly every 3.5 years from the end of the previous one.

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