History of United States Recessions by mraziz

Looking back at the last 100 years or so, one can notice a pattern in the economic recessions that's been happening over and over again.

Name Start Date Time since previous recession (months)
Great Depression August, 1929 1 year 9 months
Recession of 1937–1938 May, 1937 4 years 2 months
Recession of 1945 February, 1945 6 years 8 months
Recession of 1949 November, 1948 3 years 1 month
Recession of 1953 July, 1953 3 years 9 months
Recession of 1958 August, 1957 3 years 3 months
Recession of 1960–61 April, 1960 2 years
Recession of 1969–70 December, 1969 8 years 10 months
1973–75 recession November, 1973 3 years
1980 recession 1/1/1980 4 years 10 months
Early 1980s recession July, 1981 1 year
Early 1990s recession July, 1990 7 years 8 months
Early 2000s recession March, 2001 10 years
Great Recession December, 2007 6 years 1 month

Reference:  Wikipedia

The shortest took a year and the longest is 10 years. Unless history decides to break a new record, this means a new one is coming anywhere from now until the end of 2017.

The interesting thing about recessions is that the majority of people get into panic mode - selling stocks, switching to gold and/or bonds, a natural reaction of fear towards a collapsing economy. However, this behavior creates a massive opportunity for people with cash; just imagine buying great companies like  Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola for half of their intrinsic value, this usually happens during recessions, and this is exactly why one needs cash for such great opportunities.

If you manage to live for a 100 years and that's above the average life span of humans, you will at least experience 10 recessions during your lifetime, so they are not going to happen very often nor should they be ignored. Keep some cash for these opportunities, or perhaps buy stocks that give out good dividends so you would have some cash when the time comes.