The US stock market index, also known as the S&P 500, has dropped by 25% since its highs in November 2021. US bonds have also posted large losses this year, marking the worst year on record for some bond indexes. As investors well know, these declines have resulted in some rather large reductions in portfolio values. Price declines are hard on investor psychology. Even though we know that bear markets are a normal part of long term investing, they are not fun. It can be tempting to run away or sell. But if we use rational thinking and strategic planning, we can actually take advantage of them and improve returns in future years. To do this, we need both perspective and time-tested approaches.