Many investors ignore this sort of data, but its too important not to occasionally remind people about.
The table below looks at the nature of asymmetrical gains and losses, especially, the returns necessary to recover from losses. A 25% loss requires 33% gains to get back to break even, a 50% loss requires a 100% gain, etc.
Consider the following Bull, Bear and In-between scenarios for return to break even:
Source: BLS, FactSet, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Data reflect most recently available as of 6/30/11.
Source: JP Morgan funds