The whole market is constantly worried about market peaks: the idea of stocks reaching a top and then dramatically falling, wreaking havoc across portfolios. However, the WSJ says, in reality, that does not happen. Peaks are usually only visible in hindsight and market declines tend to happen slowly and steadily. Additionally, the trend is not universal, as some sectors or parts of the market will behave differently, meaning that even if one were to leave the market on the day of a peak, they could still lose a lot of money. Even during the Financial Crisis, market tops for different benchmarks were almost a year apart!
OxWFD: Fair point that market reversals happen slowly, but that is also what makes them so dangerous, as the small losses make it so much easier to hold on in hope rather than bail out.
Source: Wall Street Journal