There has been a lot of talk about how the economy and the stock market resemble the 1930s. That has caused a lot of angst for investors who think the market must have been awful during that time. While there are significant differences between the two periods, it pays to look at actual history rather than assuming. According to this report from Fidelity, the best 5 year period for stocks since 1926 was….from 1932-1937. The market was up 367% during that time. I’m sure that buying during that time was even more difficult than buying now and I would point out that the market by that time had fallen roughly 90% from its 1929 high, but buying during recessions is the right thing to do.

It is counterintuitive to be a buyer during a recession and hard to do psychologically, but it is logical. You can’t buy low if you aren’t willing to buy when things look bleak.