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Secular market trend
| The dismal science|
A secular market trend (from the Latin saecularis, "of or pertaining to an age or century," not to be confused with "secular" meaning "not of the church" or "temporal") is the long term primary trend of a market averaging the sequential growth or decline of shorter term market trends. More bull markets then bear markets give the longer term market a general bullish secular market trend, as is true of the reverse. It is very popular with trend following investors and cranks worried about economic apocalypse.
It is very popular for gains and risk management for investors so they can judge when to buy as the market increases, and when to sell when the market decreases. In a secular bull run many people try and judge when the short term lows are to buy items at a discount, where in secular bear markets many look for short term highs to sell stocks off. It is not perfect since it is very hard to tell when the tops and the bottoms are till the market is in the next short term gain/loss.
Cranks especially love the idea since they can state no matter what is happening in the market currently they can peddle their economic collapse theories. Anything a person can say that market conditions are improving or economic indicators are getting better will be countered with a crank stating that the longer term trend is always down...just you wait.
Usually this "trend" is backed up by nothing more than special pleading that they know, instead of a time series graph showing general market trends over time.
This pleading can include cherry picking history from other countries that in some minor way resembles the point they are trying to make, while leaving out some major points of concern. Popular topics include the economic problems in Japan during the lost decade (while leaving out anything about deflation), Argentina's economic problems 1999-2002 (while leaving out the currency being pegged to the dollar), and the break up of the British Empire after 1945 (while ignoring World War II, and various social movements). A few real nutters present the length of time between the credit crunch of 2007, the Great Depression, and the Long Depression (which are similar).
Certainly don't point out that while these examples were tough times for all of the countries, they survived very well and did not decline into a ravaged post-apocalyptic nightmare where only those with gold, guns, and god survived.