For the first time in more than a decade, investors experienced a bear market in March 2020. If you blinked, you might have missed it. Within about a month, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY ) transitioned back into a bull market, making the 2020 sell-off the shortest bear market in U.S. history. Historically, S&P 500 bear markets have lasted about 13 months on average and have come around about once every 6.2 years. Investors who bought into the market since 2009 have only experienced the 2020 mini bear market. Investors who bought in for the first time last year have only ever experienced a bull market. Here are eight tips for investors looking to make sure they are prepared to navigate their first full-length bear market, whenever it arrives. 1. Have Plenty Of Cash For The Near-Term It may be tempting to pour all of your savings into stocks to buy the next bear market dip, but there’s a very good chance the next bear market will last longer than 30 days. The previous bear market back in 2008 and 2009, for example, lasted nearly a year-and-a-half.