The S&P 500 closed at a record high today. We’ve officially entered a new bull market.
For some, it’s a major psychological milestone. Things still feel far from normal, but the market has successfully summited a mountain of worry. And when a new high follows a major decline, momentum tends to be on the market’s side. Since 1950, the S&P usually hits multiple record highs in the month after reaching its post bear-market peak.
Others may interpret this as another sign of a top. The S&P 500 has never been higher than it is right now, and things don’t feel great. But it can pay to be patient. Over that same period, the S&P 500 has climbed an average of 7.9% each year in the five years after a record high (versus an 8.5% average annual return otherwise). Sure, market gains have tapered off after records in the past, but returns have been robust over longer time periods, even if you buy at the top.
We’re all still investing in uncertain times, and the best approach is to make decisions based on your own investing goals. If you have time on your side — 5 years or more — it may be best to ignore market ups and downs for now. If you need cash before then, it’s always worth considering moving some money into conservative assets like Treasuries or online savings accounts.
Bull or bear, we’ll be here to help you make sense of this new milestone — and whatever comes next.
The opinions expressed here are not meant to be used as investing advice. For more information, visit our website.
Lindsey Bell is Ally’s Chief Investment Strategist, responsible for shaping the company’s point of view on investing and the global markets. She is also President of Ally Invest Advisors, responsible for its robo advisory offerings. Lindsey has a broad background in finance, with experience on the buy-side and sell-side, in research and in investment banking and has held roles at JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, and CFRA Research.
Lindsey holds a passion for teaching individuals how to become successful long-term investors. She frequently shares her knowledge as a guest on national news outlets such as CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg News. She also serves on the board of Better Investing, a non-profit organization focused on investment education.