It’s been a brutal few weeks on Wall Street. But what do all these record-breaking drops really look like? This calls for some graphs!
In the Last Month:
Down 23.6% in one month. Ouch. Yeah, that’s a brutal looking graph. But we need more perspective.
Last 6 Months:
Down 31.5%. Clearly 2008 hasn’t been the best year.
Down 39.4% in the past year. Ouch. I’m not helping much am I?
Last 5 Years:
Hey, now we’re only down 10%.
Last 10 Years:
Hey, now we’re up almost 8.6%! Things are looking up.
Last 15 Years:
Now we’re talking perspective—it’s up almost 140%. Score.
Last 38 Years:
And going all the way back to 1970 (as far back as Google Finance goes) we see a 960% increase. It’s all about the long view. Of course that’s not much encouragement if you’re reaching the end of your long view.
One Month (inverted) vs. 38 Years:
And just for fun I took the 38-year-view and the 1-month view, flipped the 1-month graph vertically and stuck them together. Pretty similar curves. Not exactly reassuring that the drop in the last 30 days is comparable to the rise in the last 38 years, but it’s interesting.
It came right under the “Is this the start of another Great Depression?” headline and it’s good to be reminded that in these hard times it’s about more than money. Poor 82-year-old Hugh has to suffer through a break-up with his 28-year-old model-actress girlfriend. That leaves old Hugh with only two girlfriends, down from seven in 2001. See, the Dow isn’t the only thing tumbling.