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Feature Article

Utility Stocks and Bear Markets: What to Expect

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 8, 2022

You’re not an experienced investor until you’ve seen a real bear market. I define that as a selloff for stocks deep enough to do real damage to wealth, and long lasting enough to change investor behavior. The last was back in 2007-09. And it got quite ugly by the bottom in early March 2009. Even utility stocks eventually lost almost half their value top-to-bottom, despite largely dodging damage up until the last six months of the decline. It also took the Dow Jones Utility Average until the first half of 2013 to fully recover its losses. That’s a sharp contrast with the early 2020 selloff, which was nearly as severe in terms of the decline but was basically over in a few weeks.

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