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What Causes a Stock Market Crash?

Jul 17, 2008
You can usually predict, well before the event, that a stock market crash is going to happen. There are certain events which happen prior to the crash, and which lead up to it. To begin with the market is quite weak, a situation which is known as a bear market. When this happens many people are eager to invest in shares, believing that the value of those shares is bound to rise and therefore make them a good profit. This interest in the market does indeed cause the share values to rise, and the market becomes a bull market, in other words an especially strong one.

Mutual funds are an especially popular type of investment at this point in the investment cycle. The market is quite stable at this stage, and there are good profits to be had from investment in this early part of the cycle.

More investors join in at this stable part of the investment cycle, as investors are encouraged to buy and to increase their profit in the stock market.

Companies release stocks onto the market during the bull market phase, and it is common for IPOs or Initial Public Offerings to be available in this period before a stock market crash. Companies do very well out of this situation, with the value of their stocks rising steeply, and great confidence from investors in the value of their stocks. More and more money is being invested by people who want to be the first to buy stocks in a particular company.

Those investors who bought shares in the beginning phase of the cycle are now keen to sell them, before they lose their money, knowing that the value of their shares will soon go down. Sometimes during a bull market there can also be various scandals and scams on a corporate level, because people become greedy. The market is becoming flooded with stocks, and yet people feel that the values of stocks will continue to rise.

Eventually the stock market reaches the point where people have invested so much it is 'overbought', and the only way to go is down. This is the beginning of the stock market crash. Stocks start to lose value, and when people become aware of this fact, they then want to sell, and before you know it everyone is selling rather than buying, and this brings about the stock market crash.

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About the Author
Alexander West holds the Financial Planning Certificate. One of his passions is learning and teaching people about finances. To read the rest of this article and to join others creating more wealth in their lives clicking here
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