Historically, such shares have returned an average 15% or better annually to investors, still good enough to double one's investment roughly every five years. Even though the financial climate may not show such benefits in the short-term, a patient, consistent approach of adding value is likely to be successful over the long-haul, just as was true for Berkshire Hathaway investing, notwithstanding periods like this when the news appears bleak.
Ideally, one can invest in high book value, cash paying companies once a year, quarter, or month, depending on personal preferences, 401k plans, etc., ignore all the news of market volatility in the meantime, and smile all the way to the retirement "bank."
Personally, it is appealing as well to set an annual target for increasing my total book value holdings. This can provide a sense of genuine accomplishment regardless of what the crazy markets may be up to. Thus, if for instance I have set a goal of increasing total portfolio book value by at least 12.5% a year and of having average stock dividend yields of 2.5%, I can see a total increase in my value plus cash of 15% a year, whether or not in a bear market.
Fortunately, markets over the long haul tend to go where the most value is, so if my total book value has risen to $100,000 but the market value of my stocks is down around $80,000, then in the short- to medium-term (or at most the long-term), they will very likely increase their traded prices 25% or more, bringing them back into greater parity with their real values.