The Wall Street proverb that “bear markets slide down a slope of hope” is cited in print from the 1990s. It is said that bear markets begin when there is great hope and optimism.
An older, opposite proverb is “Bull markets climb a wall of worry.”
Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate (October 20, 1990)
Watching investors’ moods and predicting the market
If bull markets climb up a wall of worry, then bear markets slide down a slope of hope. A bull, or rising, market often begins in an atmosphere of gloom and skepticism when all sorts of reasons why prices should not rise prevail. The majority of market participants are bearish, thinking that prices will fall. On the other hand, when a bear market starts and prices begin falling, it is often in an overwhelming spirit of hope and optimism. The majority expects prices to rise.
International Herald Tribune
You May Need Crisis Strategies Sooner Than You Think: 2 Experts’ Views
By Marc Faber
Published: SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 1996
The last great bear market took place in 1973-74 and brought down the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in the United States by 50 percent. Throughout the bear market, however, investors remained bullish and every rally was perceived to be a buying opportunity as the economic and profit outlook remained bright. The market was continuously sliding a slope of hope until at its late 1974 low it felt as if the world was coming to an end.
Google Groups: aus.invest
From: “Damian Cresp”
Subject: Re: Congratulations Travis !!! China troubles ???
It is more likely investors are climbing the “Slope of Hope” rather than the “Wall of Worry” at the moment. The “Slope of Hope” being that one must be in the market to ensure the next bull market phase is not missed. I do not believe investors are considering what global economic events are around at present, they simply have a ravenous need to hold stock. Good or bad in the long run, who knows?
Bernie Schaeffer: Magazine Covers and The Slope of Hope
by Bernie Schaeffer 3/26/2001 9:23 AM
“Bull markets rise on a wall of worry”
Unknown (but very wise) author
“Bear markets decline on a slope of hope”
Robert R. Prechter, Jr.
Bernie Schaeffer: The Slope of Hope - Part Deux
by Bernie Schaeffer 4/25/2001 8:23 AM
In my March 26, 2001 special commentary entitled “Magazine Covers and the Slope of Hope”, I played off Bob Prechter’s observation that “bear markets decline on a slope of hope” by pointing out why the so-called bearish magazine covers being cited by the bulls as signs of a market bottom were based on a flawed argument.
I focused most specifically on the Time cover story, as this piece actively discouraged investors from selling. I concluded that “this wasn’t a bearish article; it was a ‘bottom hunting’ article!”
At the Crest of the Tidal Wave:
A Forecast for the Great Bear Market
By Robert R. Prechter, Jr., Robert Rougelot Prechter
Published by Elliott Wave International Inc.
If bull markets climb a Wall of Worry, I would add that bear markets slide down a Slope of Hope.
Buy the Rumor, Sell the Fact:
85 Maxims of Wall Street and What They Really Mean
By Michael Maiello
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional
Bear Markets Slide Down a Slope of Hope
A corollary to the Wall of Worry—the “Slope of Hope”—represents all of those temporary and ephemeral market rallies that take place while the bears are ruling the market. It basically represents investors throwing good money into a bad market.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, October 02, 2008 • Permalink