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Most investors save for retirement using company sponsored 401(k) plans -- making investments into the account every month. This is a form of dollar cost averaging. For this type of investment, a bear market might be the best situation, as it will enable investors to buy more shares at lower prices. Since we want to "buy low and sell high," this downward volatility might actually help us. This is counter to what many people would think. See a related article here, Wall Street Journal.