“I’ll know it when I see it,” is a common refrain when you’re at a loss for just the right descriptors or just can’t quite define what it is that should be obvious to everyone.
While there are definitions for what constitutes a recession, for example, an individual may have a very good sense of personally being in one before anyone else recognizes or confirms its existence.
Certainly there’s also a distinction between a depression and a recession, but it’s not really necessary to know the details, because you’ll probably know when you’ve transitioned from one to another.
The same is probably true when thinking about the difference between a market crash and a market correction. While people may not agree on a standard definition of what constitutes either, a look at your own portfolio balance can be all the definition that you need.
I’ve been waiting, even hoping for a correction for over two months now. That hoping came to a crescendo as a covered option writer with the expiration of many May 2013 contracts and finding more cash than I would have liked faced with the aspects of either being re-invested at a top or sitting idly.
Then came Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony and the mixed signals people perceived. Was it tapering or not tapering? Was it now or later?