Boom and Bust Cycles

Boom and Bust Cycles Definition

Boom and Bust Cycle is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) cycle of upward and downward movements along its long term trend and helps identify the level of production in the economy and the performance of the associated economic indicators such as employment, inflation, stock performance, and investor behavior.


Below is an image of the GDP Cycle, The straight line is the potential GDP, which is upwards sloping implying progress in overall production technology and scientific innovation, while the crests are the boom periods and troughs are the bust periods.


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Source: Boom and Bust Cycles (

Causes and Impact of Boom and Bust Cycle

#1 – Money Supply

#2 – Investor Confidence

#3 – Fiscal Intervention

  • This is the government side of actions that lead to expansion or contraction in the economy.
  • Taxation and Subsidy are the two most important tools that the government has at its disposal. Reduction in taxation or providing a tax holiday for a given period of time can induce expansion and providing utilities at subsidized rates can also encourage producers to undertake a higher level of production because the cost of production falls. The opposite measures are undertaken when the economy is overheating.
  • There are many regulations that are liberalized by the government to attract foreign investment such as the FDI & FPI norms, Exchange rate policies, Repatriation laws, and so on. Auto-correction in the economy takes a lot of time, so fiscal or monetary intervention is required otherwise the economy may go into depression leading to immense dissatisfaction and geopolitical instability.

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How to protect yourself from Boom and Bust Cycle?

Pre-empting boom and bust cycles is a very difficult task and therefore market timingMarket TimingMarket timing is the plan of buying and selling the securities on the basis of decisions made by financial investors. They do security analysis to earn a profit on selling and it is the action plan to cope up with the fluctuations in the market more is an important concept in the stock market trading domain. Most retail investors are not able to time properly as they are not aware of the actions of institutional investorsInstitutional InvestorsInstitutional investors are entities that pool money from a variety of investors and individuals to create a large sum that is then handed to investment managers who invest it in a variety of assets, shares, and securities. Banks, NBFCs, mutual funds, pension funds, and hedge funds are all more. Therefore they may only be able to figure out when they start seeing a clear indication of the direction in which the economy is moving.

However, this doesn’t mean that retail investorsRetail InvestorsA retail investor is a non-professional individual investor who tends to invest a small sum in the equities, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other baskets of securities. They often take the services of online or traditional brokerage firms or advisors for investment more can’t achieve good enough returns from the uptrends and save themselves from the downtrends. Retail and institutional investors alike can take the following steps to not lose capital in the cyclical change by undertaking the following steps:

#1 – Diversification

It is always good to have some level of diversification in the investment portfolioDiversification In The Investment PortfolioPortfolio diversification refers to the practice of investing in a different assets in order to maximize returns while minimizing risk. This way, the risk is kept to a minimal while the investor accumulates many assets. Investment diversification leads to a healthy more and income portfolio. For example, a good mix of equity, bonds, commodities will protect the investor from high inflation periods or bust cycles and provide good returns during boom cycles. Investors who are heavily dependent in any one sector for their income, should not take on financial investments in that sector only so that their risks to that sector are diversified.

#2 – Savings

Maintaining a healthy level of savings in a retirement fund and for the bust, cycle periods is a good strategy because that can come in handy when the economy is not doing very well. Postponing consumption which is not needed immediately is a good strategy.

#3 – Hedging

It is always a safer strategy to forgo some of the profits by investing in hedging instruments such as derivativesDerivativesDerivatives in finance are financial instruments that derive their value from the value of the underlying asset. The underlying asset can be bonds, stocks, currency, commodities, etc. The four types of derivatives are - Option contracts, Future derivatives contracts, Swaps, Forward derivative contracts. read more which help the investors in controlling their losses in unforeseen events. In the case of a Boom market, the instruments expire out of the money and therefore only the cost of these instruments is a drag on the return.


Boom and Bust Cycle is a part of the economic framework and is unavoidable. Therefore it is best to stay aware of the changing economic scenario and taking necessary actions as the circumstances demand to minimize the loss during busts and maximize the gains during the boom. Tracking the Fiscal PolicyFiscal PolicyFiscal policy is a government policy that is used to control a country's finances and revenue, and it includes various taxes on goods, services, and individuals, i.e., revenue collection. It has an impact on spending levels, so it is referred to as monetary policy's sister more and monetary policy could be a good start for staying aware and thereby staying ahead of dire circumstances or pre-empting profitable situations and modifying savings, investment, and consumption strategies accordingly.

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