The Decade in Review

As financial advisors we’re constantly advocating for investors to maintain a long-term view. We consider it to be fundamental, not only as an example of good investor behavior, but as a way of minimizing the emotional toll of “riding the rollercoaster”.

But what does it mean to have a long-term perspective? How long is long enough?

With the decade quickly coming to a close, we believe it’s a good time to look back on some of the defining events of the past ten years. What happened, and how did it affect societies’ actions? Furthermore, how did those events come to define what is now widely considered to be the longest bull market in the history of the United States?

In compiling this data, it was interesting to see what events moved markets. From Federal Reserve actions to Presidential elections, NASA announcements to natural disasters, some events had a surprising impact (whether big or little).

Regardless, the trend was undoubtably upward. This is our point. Zoom out far enough on any U.S. stock market chart – the Dow Jones, S&P500, Nasdaq… and they all trend the same way. Losses are temporary, while those with an optimistic, long-term perspective are rewarded.

We invite you to explore the chart we’ve created. Each of the numbers represent a significant event. While we couldn’t capture everything (Game of Thrones premiered April 17th, 2011 by the way), we tried to include most of the major events. Clicking on the number in the chart will open the associated Wikipedia page if you’d like to learn more.

S&P500 Decade

Following the financial crisis, the period from Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 15, 2019 resulted in the longest bull market of all time, effectively tripling the value of the S&P500.