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A bear market is one in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment to be self-sustaining. As investors anticipate losses in a bear market and selling continues, pessimism only grows. Although there is no strict definition of a bear market, a downturn of 20% or more in multiple broad market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) or Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500), over at least a two-month period is often considered to be a bear market. A bear market should not be confused with a correction, which is a short-term trend that has a duration of less than two months.
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While we normally focus on individual stocks, from time to time we like to look at mutual funds that focus on turnarounds. Mutual funds can be attractive for many investors because a single fund can provide fairly broad diversification across a large number of stocks. There will be years that large, mainstream stocks will perform badly, and that's when contrarian funds like these can really shine.
Turnaround Stock Strategies
George Putnam has always followed the same straight-forward and highly-profitable investment philosophy. He published his first Turnaround Letter issue back in 1986, and readers have seen extraordinary long-term stock profit ever since.
In fact, 12 of 2014's 13 closed-out purchase recommendations saw gains--with five of those enjoying total returns greater than 100%. The Turnaround Letter's average return for 2014's stock picks is +82%:
2014 Closed Out Purchase Recommendations
* Calculation includes dividends and price changes between purchase recommendation and current price.
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