Everything To Know About Stock Market Crashes

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The pandemic stimulus funding has resulted in a stock market boom which by its inflated pricing leaves it vulnerable to volatility and potentially market crashes.

The general public have dove into the markets to good extent, although most investment is from millionaires and billionaires.  

This group of self-directed investors however, are more vulnerable to market changes.  A stock market price drop can be very destructive to individual 401k portfolios. 

Investing in the stock market without any knowledge of macroeconomics and the companies involved can result in huge losses, more than investors make in a year. A Stock market crash and factors is a very important subject self-directed investors should know more about.

Stock market crashes can be overwhelming in their impact. The last downturn was the Great Recession in 2007, and it was devastating and created the largest losses of wealth in US history. Some sectors still haven’t recovered from the losses of that event.

Different causes of a stock market crash?

If we look at the statistics, stock market crashes often happen after a long period of economic or market growth.  A bull market is a wonderful thing but when it fails, investors being bailing out, and selling their stocks, even at a loss.

That’s why investors should be reading 3 month, 6 month, 3 year, 5 year and even 10 year long term forecasts. Even if such predictions are off the mark, it still keeps you aware of when a market collapse might occur.

There are a number of things that may cause the market to crash:

  • Investor Panic

The panic we refer to here is the most common factor in crashing the market. Sometimes stockholders start believing that the prices of their shares will drop due to media coverage or that mass selling is or may happen.  To save the value of their investments, they sell their shares fast. This can cause the prices to drop, and as the fear spreads, almost everyone starts selling their shares, causing the market to crash. It’s the power of emotion set in motion.

  • Disasters

The stock market depends hugely on how the world is doing. If there are any kind of natural or man-made disasters occurring, it can affect the market directly. This can include all types of catastrophes like floods, wars, pandemics, etc. There is a risk of war and at least trade wars which can be economic disasters.

The COVID-19 too is a natural disaster. As soon as the virus started spreading, the economy of even great nations like the US began deteriorating. Countries made travel limited, businesses were shut down, and a lot was happening. To counter all of the things that were happening, companies began protecting their profits through layoffs, and similarly, investors started selling stocks.

  • Speculations

A certain sector or a product suddenly becomes trendy due to some reason. Its hype is so great that multiple people and companies have started investing in that sector, hoping it will grow in the near future. Bitcoin, Oil, and electric vehicles are such commodities driving stock speculation now.  However, if that sector disappoints badly, it could lead to a mass sell-off.

The housing market is a case in point. New construction can produce too many home going into a high interest rate period. When buyers, through unemployment, rush out of the home market, a housing market crash occurs. Housing stocks then add to the devastation.

What exactly happens when a stock market crashes?

A stock market crash is called so when a stock market or a stock market index loses more than 10% of its value in a day. Some people say that it is just a significant decrease in the market’s value. 

The impact of a crash can vary according to the circumstances. Sometimes the crash is short and the market recovers fairly quickly. Other times it can affect the market for a long time. For example, the crash of 1929, which was a great contributor to the great depression, lasted for almost 10 years.

Today, a correction is a small 5% to 10% dip in the market.  For a downturn to be labeled a crash, it would have to well above 10% and last for at least a year.  We’ve had downturns during the pandemic, but they weren’t crashes, just severe drops.

A stock market crash like the ones in 1929, 1987, and 2007 were devastating events that took down business in America and cascaded out to the world. The US is central in the global markets, and what happens in the US crushes foreign stock markets. The S&P, Dow Jones, and NASDAQ respond similarly to crash events with similar drops in value.

Stock market crash transcend all sectors and countries as investors become averse to any risk and expense. All investment recedes and bonds become the desired investment.


A stock market crash is difficult to predict, however there are many crash signals that warn of risk and weakness.  These factors can fall like dominoes where governments are unable to stop the crash.  These signals are rising interest rates, consumer satiation, falling GDP, trade wars, debt default, and unemployment.

If you take a long term outlook, most investible stocks will recover and you may come out with big gains. The S&P, Dow Jones, and NASDAQ listed stocks have all grown immensely from the last crash and hit all time highs.

Yet it’s when markets hit all time highs that the risk of crashing is heightened. You’d be wise to read a wide variety of commentary from experts and commentators about the state of the stock market.  You’ll want to hedge your investments to avoid a big loss in the next stock market crash whether its next year or in 3 years.

Being informed is the best way to avoid the pain of a crash.

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