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Published: Jun 14, 2022 10 min read

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Illustration of a bear pushing down pillars where a bull is standing, with a negative stock arrow in the background
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After a selloff that's lasted for months, it's official: Stocks are in a bear market.

It's the latest curve on the rollercoaster investors have been riding since the pandemic began. Financial markets plummeted in March of 2020 when COVID-19 hit the U.S., but quickly made a comeback, with the S&P 500 — a benchmark commonly used to measure the overall stock market — up 100% from that low by August of 2021.

But that was when the markets were enjoying the benefits of stimulus money from the government and near-zero interest rates, and those days appear to be over. To battle high inflation that's plaguing the economy, the Federal Reserve has already raised its benchmark interest rate twice this year and has started to reduce its balance sheet.

Now, the S&P 500 is down around 22% so far in 2022 and bitcoin's price has fallen more than 60% from its high of $68,000 in November.

"Seeing account balances down, the ups and downs of the market, and the news cycle coverage can make even the most iron-stomached investors nervous," Colleen O’Callaghan, a financial advisor at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, tells Money via email.

That’s why it is important to identify your goals and stick to your long-term objectives, she adds.

As tempting as it may be to sell your investments in an attempt to avoid further losses, experts stress that it's very important to keep your money in the market during downturns. Other than that, it's often not clear what (if any) moves investors should make in a bear market. But below are some strategies you might want to consider.