Saturday, May 12, 2007

Eight lousy years for the market - not just your imagination

Measured in dollar terms the S&P has returned to its 1999 peak. Measured in other ways, the bubble is still pretty flat:
The Big Picture | Looking at the S&P500 (Relatively)

... against the Japanese yen, S&P500 is up 18 percent during this decade. But in British pounds, its down 22%. Even worse, in Euros, the SPX lost a third of its value.

The impact of inflation on commodity prices is even more stark: Compare what a unit of S&P500 bought at the end of 1999 versus today. The S&P500 index buys only 58% as much corn, only 57% as much house (based on the Case-Shiller index) as it used to, only 40% as much Oil, and only 32% as much gold as it did in 1999.
Only 40% as much oil. For most index fund investors it's been a lousy 10 years, reminiscent of the crummy stock markets of the 1970s. Remember when financial planners used to assume 6-8% annual returns? Ahh, those were the days ...

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