Buffet on Market Cycles, December 10, 2001

“In the next period, we had the market boom of the ’20s, when the Dow jumped 430% to 381 in September 1929. Then we go 19 years–19 years–and there is the Dow at 177, half the level where it began. That’s true even though the 1940s displayed by far the largest gain in per capita GDP (50%) of any 20th-century decade. Following that came a 17-year period when stocks finally took off–making a great five-to-one gain. And then the two periods discussed at the start: stagnation until 1981, and the roaring boom that wrapped up this amazing century.

To break things down another way, we had three huge, secular bull markets that covered about 44 years, during which the Dow gained more than 11,000 points. And we had three periods of stagnation, covering some 56 years. During those 56 years the country made major economic progress and yet the Dow actually lost 292 points”.


Image By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Charles Jensen with Warren Buffett, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78400938

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