Perhaps Carl Swenlin and I think alike and I will take that as a compliment. This afternoon, he published one of his periodic articles on his site, the data packed DecisionPoint.com, showing his long, long-term historical view of the stock market and how we have to understand the big picture when acting in the hear and now.
This morning, some nine hours earlier, I referenced a chart I published back in 2002 for a Nightly Business Report interview. It was virtually the same chart! Both showed that we are in a secular bear market now and for several years to come (Swenlin said 10-15, I am much on the low side of that range). When you see the charts, you get a good idea of the big picture.
Will it change you attitudes towards the stock market? Only if you trade. If you are a buy and hope type of investor then your world - as you have already seen --- twice this decade ---- has been rocked. Your time horizon has been reduced from years to months and while that certainly is not close to day trading it is a switch. You will have to be an active investor whether you like it or not. No, not in and out every week but cognizant of the fact that at some point you will have to step away from the market.
Carl's chart with link to the full story - as always a very good read.
My chart from 2002
FWIW - my chart was created with Athena Charting on a BridgeStation. Both gone like the dodo bird.