When you lose people's trust it's really hard to win them back. Second, investors have short memories. Many investors were burned by the 2008 bear market just as they had been in the dot.com bear market beginning in early 2001. But, with all systems green in 2003 and 2009 respectively, short memories, greed and good marketing sucked investors back in. The "flash crash" in 2010 shattered investor confidence. QE2 pushed stock prices higher once again but in retrospect the rally now seems hollow.
But, there's another problem, demographics. During the 1980s until now markets were dominated by baby boomers. They're entering retirement making investing for them commonly more conservative. Succeeding generations in developed countries are smaller, making the investing audience more challenging for the industry. Most of what younger generations have experienced is two bear markets. A third bear market in a decade would be a complete turn off. So, the bullish hope must spring from emerging markets with better demographics and some with "we're better than you" pride. In developed countries there's little to cheer about economically, fiscally and politically. There's much more to it than this but these to me seem important.
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