This year is turning into one of the worst for the S&P 500. The year-to-date return excluding dividends is an abysmal -21%. Over the past 30 years, this loss was exceeded only in 2008, when the “500” collapsed 39% during the financial crisis, and 2002 when it declined 23%. Previously, the worst years for the S&P 500 were in 1974 (-30%), 1937 (-39%), 1931 (-47%), and in 1930 (-29%). Going back to 1929, there are only a few times when the index got walloped in consecutive years. Those include the bear markets of 1929 to 1932, 1939 to 1941, 1973 to 1974, and 2000 to 2002. Multiple years of gains are much more common, which makes sense because the market rises approximately seven out of 10 years. What is unusual about this bear market is that bonds have been in their own bear market, leaving investors with no place to hide, with the 20+ Year Treasury Bond index falling 35%.