Cycles are long term fluctuating activities with 4 distinct periods: improvement, prosperity, recession, and depression. These periods may assume different names, but the basic concepts remains the same. In the improvement phase we turn from depression to prosperity. We typically see rising economic activities, increased production and investment and a rise in income and employment. In the prosperity phase we typically see rising interest rates, inflation, overall economic optimism, economic activity and high income.
In the recession phase we turn from prosperity to depression. We typically see falling demands, decline in income, low economic confidence and falling stock markets. In the depression phase we typically see a decline in consumption and demand, falling interest rates, deflation, economic pessimism and low income. Cycles can be used to find the best stocks to invest in, based on what kind of sectors and companies perform better in which period, e.g. cyclical stocks in the improvement phase and defensive stocks during the recession phase.