Last Updated: Jul 12, 2022 Value Broking 6 Mins 1.5K

A stock market drop can be described in a variety of ways by investors. On the other hand, a stock market correction refers to a particular drop in total value of 10% (but no more than 20%) from the latest market peak. The most recent example of a stock market correction happened on February 22, 2022, in reaction to geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which brought the S&P 500 into the correction zone. The following are not examples of corrections:

  • A dip is any temporary reversal from a long-term uptrend. For example, the market may rise 5%, then fall 2% over the course of a few days or weeks.
  • A crash is a quick and dramatic collapse in stock values, which usually occurs in a single day or week. A market crash may often predict a period of economic depression, such as the 1929 crash, which saw the market drop 48 percent in less than two months, starting off the Great Depression. However, this is not always the case. Stocks fell 23 percent in a single day in October 1987, the greatest drop in history, before rebounding back the following year. Crashes are uncommon, but they generally follow a long-term upswing in the market.
  • A bear market is a protracted and steady drop in the stock market. A bear market is declared when losses exceed 20% from the market’s most recent high.

Investors use these expressions to characterize the market as a whole, but individual equities undergo the same phenomenon but with considerably greater volatility. Whereas a 10% drop in the market is significant, it is not uncommon for a stock to fall 20% or more over that time frame.

Stock market corrections (and other forms of market falls, for that matter) happen as investors are more inclined to sell than to purchase. That is straightforward supply and demand, but it does not explain why investors are selling.

Investors are a forward-thinking group. They’re attempting to figure out if their investments will grow in value. Investors look for clues about how the market will move, such as news, rumors, and anything in between. It moves for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the economy is failing or because of investors’ thoughts or emotions, such as fear of loss.

How to Prepare For Stock Market Correction?

After more than a decade of strong stock market gains, it’s important to remember that market corrections are an unavoidable aspect of investing. Stock market corrections often catch individuals off guard, but the fact is that they occur on a regular basis.

While that may seem frightening, here’s the good news: market crashes may be a wonderful chance for investors to buy stocks “on sale.” Broad stock market drops tend to lower the price of your preferred assets for a short period of time—until indexes rise to new highs.

Knowing when a correction will occur can be difficult, but it doesn’t stop individuals from doing it. If you are concerned that the stock market may have a short-term correction, you can take the following steps:

  • If you feel stock prices may fall, you might consider selling some of your assets that are trading around their highs. Alternatively, you may develop a selling strategy that governs when you sell equities and remove emotion from the choice.
  • Diversification is a good investment strategy since it may help you balance your market risks. In general, this implies having a diverse mix of holdings in your portfolio, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and cash.
  • Preparing for a possible stock market correction can also be a good time to freshen up your investment strategy. 
  • If you’re significantly engaged in specific equities, ETFs may be better for diversifying your portfolio. This will help you to reduce your investment risks as well.

Why stock market corrections happen

While the causes of a one-day dip might vary, a longer-term fall is typically driven by one or more of the following factors:

  • A sluggish or falling economy: This is a strong, “fundamental” reason for the market to fall. Companies will earn less if the economy slows or enters a downturn, and investors will bid down their stocks if the economy slows or enters a decline.
  • Lack of “animal spirits”: This old expression refers to the rushes of investor sentiment and risk-taking that occur during a bull market. People rush into the market when they sense an opportunity for profit, driving stock prices upward. 
  • Fear: Fear is the inverse of greed in the stock market. Nothing stokes investors’ concerns quite like a 24-hour news cycle that screams how much the markets are falling. If investors believe the market will decline, they will stop buying stocks, forcing sellers to cut their prices in order to find buyers.
  • Outside (and outsized) events: This category includes anything else that might unsettle the market, such as wars, terrorist attacks, oil supply shocks, and other non-economic events.

These factors frequently interact. For example, if the economy overheats, some investors anticipate a recession and wish to sell before a wave of investors departs the market. As a result, they sell, lowering stock prices and depressing animal spirits. If the downward trend continues for a long enough period of time, it may cause investors to get concerned, driving equities farther down.


Stock market corrections are a natural part of the market cycle, and the best thing you can do during one is to stay the course. Stick to your financial strategy, and don’t allow fear to influence your judgments.
A correction is defined as a 10% or larger drop in the price of the security, asset, or financial market. 

Corrections might last anywhere from a few days to many months, if not longer. While harmful in the near term, a correction may be beneficial in the long run by correcting overpriced asset values and creating purchasing opportunities.

Remember that corrections are often short-lived, so selling during a decline does little to improve your portfolio and may even lock in your losses. Instead, view a decline as an opportunity to acquire more assets at a reduced cost and reap the benefits when the stock market heals.