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History Tells Us The Secular Bear Is Not Over Yet

THE ALMOST relentless advance in stock prices off the lows of spring 2009 continues to frustrate the bears. Although the resulting underweight position in equities has proved beneficial to investment performance over a horizon of four to five years, it is beyond dispute that watching from the sidelines in recent quarters can only be described as an error of judgment.

It comes as no surprise that the major stock market averages have bounced from the somewhat extreme levels of two years ago, but the magnitude of the recovery has been totally unexpected and has caused even the most ardent pessimists to question whether the secular bear that started during the spring of 2000 is over. Perhaps a satisfactory answer to this pertinent issue can be gleaned from the annals of history.

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