Stock Market Returns Since 1825

Came across this great graphic in the Economist (with data from Value Square):

The total return of the S&P 500 index fell by nearly 40% in 2008, the second-worst performance by America’s stockmarket since 1825, according to calculations by Value Square, a Belgian asset-management firm. Comparisons to the Depression are clear: only in 1931 and 1937 were there similarly abysmal losses. The firm looked at various predecessors of the S&P 500 from 1923 onwards, and for earlier years took data from a working paper by Yale Management School on the returns of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Since 1825, 129 years saw rising returns, whereas 55 suffered falls—four of them in this century.

stock-market-returns-1825-2008

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1 Response to “Stock Market Returns Since 1825”


  1. 1 Matt H. February 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    There was a great TED Talk at this year’s TED 2009 conference by Juan Enriquez on the current economy and three trends that he thinks can take us out of this. I won’t steal all of his thunder – well worth the 19 minutes if you can spare them. But one piece that I wanted to share was the bank leverage stat he shared. Leverage is how much they borrow vs. how much they have… a measure of the risks that they are taking… commercial banks normally at 9%, investment banks normally at 15%, Bank of America last Sept (2008) was at 32%, while Citibank was at 47%!!! What the hell was going with the regulators? These are commercial banks that were federally insured? Who was minding the shop? No wonder when we are bailing them out to the tune of trillions!


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