Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poor Stock Market

I just ran into this Business Week article. It is pretty stunning just how bad a decade the stock market has had:

During the darkest 10 years of the Great Depression, from September 1929 to September 1939, the stock market dropped roughly 50%, adjusted for inflation. With today's drop in the stock market, the U.S. has now matched that unfortunate milestone. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, adjusted for inflation, is now down about 50% over the past 10 years from Feb. 17, 1999 to Feb. 17, 2009.

Of course all the Great Depression comparisons are still pretty silly when we don't even have double digit unemployment rates. Still, it is shocking to me just how bad the stock market has been hammered. Many really safe investments are starting to sound like a better, and better idea because of it.

Deep inside me though lurks a voice screaming "buy low, sell high!" I thought the same a year ago though since the stock market had already had one of its worst decades ever. Apparently having one of the worst decades ever does not imply that it can't get much much worse. Still, I have trouble believing that there really will be another decade drop like the last one.

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