Will There Ever Be Another Correction?

Will there ever be another correction?

An absurd question to be sure, but one I’m fielding with increasing frequency these days.


It’s been more than a year since the S&P 500 declined as much as 5% from a prior high. That’s quite a long time, now the 5th longest period without a correction in history. With recency bias in hand, investors are starting to forget that corrections are a normal occurrence in markets.

Longest streaks of S&P 500 without a drawdown during 1928 to 2017

We haven’t seen such a prolonged stretch of calm in U.S. equities in over 20 years. One could argue that 2017 thus far has been the most peaceful market in history, as measured by record-low volatility and unfathomably low drawdowns.

Image of lowest daily closes of Volatility Index and Max intra year drawdowns of S&P 500

So will there ever be another correction?

I think it’s a safe bet that there will be, unless the laws of risk and return have been repealed. We just don’t know when, we don’t know why, and we don’t know how deep it will be.

That uncertainty can drive one crazy, but it is that uncertainty which is necessary for the risk premium to exist. For without the prospect of risk in equities there would be no reward. It is not another correction that we should fear, then, but instead the widespread belief that there may never be another one.

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Charlie Bilello is the Director of Research at Pension Partners, LLC, an investment advisor that manages mutual funds and separate accounts. He is the co-author of four award-winning research papers on market anomalies and investing. Mr. Bilello is responsible for strategy development, investment research and communicating the firm’s investment themes and portfolio positioning to clients. Prior to joining Pension Partners, he was the Managing Member of Momentum Global Advisors and previously held positions as a Credit, Equity and Hedge Fund Analyst at billion dollar alternative investment firms.

Mr. Bilello holds a J.D. and M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University and a B.A. in Economics from Binghamton University. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and a Member of the Market Technicians Association. Mr. Bilello also holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate.

You can follow Charlie on twitter here.

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