What is a Bear Market? Definition and Types

What is a Bear Market? Definition and Types

The bull market and bear market are terms that stock investors are familiar with. A bull market is often defined by rising stock prices, whereas a bear market is characterized by falling stock prices over an extended period of time. When exploring the concept of a bear market in India, it becomes evident that understanding its definition and types is crucial for investors navigating the complexities of market fluctuations

A bear market is specifically recognised when the price of an investment decreases by at least 20% from its prior peak. People occasionally mix up the bull market with the bad market, though. So let's take a closer look at what the bear market is in India  in order to better understand the subject and dispel any misconceptions. A focused examination of the bear market in India sheds light on its implications, providing readers with a well-rounded perspective on market trends and their potential consequences.

How Does a Stock Bear Market Work?

A bear market is a prolonged period of declining stock prices. When a bear market begins, investors start to sell their stocks in anticipation of further losses. This selling pressure drives prices down even further, creating a vicious cycle. As prices fall, investor confidence declines, which leads to even more selling. Here's how a stock bear market works:

The market starts to decline. 

This can be caused by a number of factors, such as an economic recession, rising interest rates, or political uncertainty.

Investors start to sell their stocks. 

As the market declines, investors become more pessimistic about the future and start to sell their stocks in anticipation of further losses.

The decline accelerates. 

As more and more investors sell their stocks, the decline accelerates. This can create a vicious cycle, as the decline in prices leads to even more selling.

Investor confidence declines. As the market declines, investor confidence declines. This can make investors even more likely to sell their stocks, which can further accelerate the decline.

The market reaches a bottom. Eventually, the decline will stop and the market will reach a bottom. This is often a time of great uncertainty, as investors are not sure if the market has bottomed out or if it will continue to decline.

The market starts to recover.

Once the market has bottomed out, it will start to recover. This recovery can be slow and gradual, or it can be rapid.

The market returns to its previous high. Eventually, the market will return to its previous high. This can take months or even years, but it is a normal part of the market cycle.

Start Your Stock Market
Journey Now!

50 Years Trust |₹0 AMC |₹0 Brokerage *

Table of Content

  1. How Does a Stock Bear Market Work?
  2. Phases Of Bear Market
  3. Causes Of Bear Market
  4. Types of Bear Markets
  5. Market Correction Vs Bear Market
  6. How To Invest In A Bear Market?
  7. Conclusion

Phases Of Bear Market

There are four phases of a bear market:


This is the initial phase, when only a few investors realize that the market is in a bear market. Most investors are still optimistic and believe that the market will recover soon.


This is the second phase, when more and more investors start to sell their stocks in fear of further losses. This selling pressure drives prices down even further, creating a vicious cycle.


This is the third phase, when the market starts to stabilize and prices begin to level off. Investors start to become more cautious and less willing to sell their stocks.


This is the final phase, when investors start to anticipate the end of the bear market and start to buy stocks again. Prices start to rise and the market begins to recover.

Causes Of Bear Market

Economic recession

 A bear market is often caused by a recession, which is a period of economic decline. When businesses start to fail and unemployment rises, investors become pessimistic about the future and start to sell their stocks.

Rising interest rates

 When interest rates rise, it becomes more expensive for businesses to borrow money. This can lead to slower economic growth and lower corporate profits, which can trigger a bear market.

Political uncertainty

Political uncertainty can also trigger a bear market. When investors are worried about the future of the economy or the government, they may sell their stocks in anticipation of further losses.

Technological disruption 

Technological disruption can also lead to bear markets. When new technologies make old businesses obsolete, it can lead to job losses and lower profits, which can trigger a bear market.

Investor psychology

Investor psychology can also play a role in bear markets. When investors become fearful or greedy, they may make irrational decisions that can lead to market declines

start to decrease when it turns negative, even if they are all individually reporting positive news and increasing earnings. 

Types of Bear Markets

Depending on their characteristics and reasons, numerous types of bear markets can be identified. Here are three sorts of bear markets that are typical:

1. Secular Bear Market

A secular bear market is a protracted period of time, usually spanning several years or more, during which time stock values either endure a long-term decrease or remain level with no discernible rise. Economic, social, and political elements work together to produce an atmosphere that is unfavorable to long-term stock market growth during secular bad markets. 

Secular trends that provide a persistently gloomy perspective may discourage investors from taking advantage of important investing opportunities. High interest rates on low-risk securities like treasury bills and bonds during these periods frequently entice investors away from stock market investments, diminishing the total demand for such securities and causing a negative market.

2. Cyclical Bear Market

Economic cycle fluctuations, which take place every 7–10 years, are frequently associated with cyclical bear markets. These markets usually develop when the economy is experiencing persistent growth and all of the major economic sectors are thriving. At such times, a cyclical decline in stock prices is typical as investors become more risk-averse and adjust their investment portfolios. 

However, these bear markets frequently terminate quickly and correct on their own after a few months when stock prices resume their upward trend.

Market Correction Vs Bear Market

FeatureMarket CorrectionBear Market
DefinitionUsually lasts for a few weeks or monthsCan last for months or even years
DurationUsually lasts for a few weeks or monthsCan last for months or even years
CauseUsually caused by a specific event, such as a natural disaster or a political crisisCan be caused by a variety of factors, such as an economic recession, rising interest rates, or political uncertainty
ImpactCan cause significant losses for investors, but the market will usually recoverCan cause major losses for investors, and the market may not recover for several years


How To Invest In A Bear Market?

In a down market, the majority of your investments demand more than just an effective trading account. It calls for persistence, investigation, and—most importantly—the appropriate level of market expertise. Here are some key ideas you should keep in mind to help you make the best investments in a market that is declining:

You can better manage your assets when the market becomes bearish now that you are aware of bear market meaning  and what it signifies. Bear stocks don't force you to sell; they only indicate that other investors are. The best course of action is to remain patient and wait for the bear market to conclude if you have invested in high-quality equities after doing extensive research.

1. Conduct extensive research: It's crucial to learn everything there is to know about a company you are considering investing in. But this study becomes crucial when the market is experiencing a very unfavorable trend. Once you have selected a smaller number of stocks to consider, thoroughly research the management team, future prospects, and overall financial performance of the firm.

2. Buy cheap, sell high: Falling markets also follow the traditional advice to purchase shares when the price is low and sell them when the price is high. Falling buying prices for a stock under normal circumstances might indicate a number of factors. It's possible that the company's fundamentals are deteriorating or that the market is unfavorable. However, this could not be the case in times of declining market circumstances. During a negative trend, investors can purchase even highly valued firms with high-quality stocks for prices that are below average. This may lead to exceptional chances to make substantial earnings.

3. The safety margin: The idea of margin of safety, or MOS, is very important to investors who value reducing their market risks. The Margin of Safety may be defined as the discrepancy between an equity's market price and the investor's assessment of its true intrinsic value. You can adjust your Margin of Safety in accordance with your level of risk tolerance as an investor.

4. Be Patient: It might be tempting to follow any current trend in the market when things become chaotic during a collapsing market. For instance, you could find that your family and friends are panic selling and urging you to follow suit. Nevertheless, bear in mind that each investment portfolio is unique. Instead, it is advised to exercise patience, pay close attention to the foundations of your assets, and take action only when necessary. It could be wiser to hang onto your investments until the decline ends if you intend to keep them for the long term.


A bear market is characterized by a severe and protracted loss in the price of assets, usually of 20% or more from recent highs. A stock bear market is characterized by gloomy investor attitude, potentially worsening economic data, and a general lack of trust in the market's future performance. Different things, such as economic downturns, geopolitical unrest, or changes in market sentiment, can start bear markets. 

In order to safeguard their investments and limit losses, investors frequently respond by implementing defensive measures. Even though they can be difficult, bear markets are a normal part of the market cycle since they help to adjust values and open the door for ultimate recovery and resurgent growth. You can check out the many share market apps in order to invest in the share market.

What is Bear Market FAQs

When prices in a financial market continue to decline over an extended time, it is referred to as a bear market. 

Economic downturns, unfavorable investor sentiment, and other external factors that produce continuous and severe drops in stock values are frequently the root causes of a stock bear market.

For investors with a longer time perspective, downturn markets might really present chances.

Bear markets often happen occasionally, but on average every few years, and they are impacted by economic cycles, financial crises, and changes in investor mood.

When market circumstances improve, investor mood changes for the better, and economic indications point to a rebound, bear markets often come to an end.