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The 50 Worst Months in S&P History and What Followed

By JLP | October 31, 2008

This is a follow-up to my last post.

Below is a listing of the 50 Worst Months in the S&P history along with the 1-month, 6-month, 1-year, and 5-year returns that followed:

The 50 Worst Months in S&P History and What Followed 1 Month, 6 Months, 1 Year, and 5 Years After.

Nineteen times (40% of the time) the one year returns following the bad month were negative. It’s also interesting to note that the 5-Year total returns were negative following 7 of the 50 worst months (not including inflation) or 16% of the time.

Remember: Stocks for the LONG RUN!

Topics: Investing | 7 Comments »


7 Responses to “The 50 Worst Months in S&P History and What Followed”

  1. Oblivious Investor Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Wonderful chart.

    “Remember: Stocks for the LONG RUN!”
    I’ll sign that statement. :)

  2. That One Caveman Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for adding the 5-year column. That really does help emphasize the long-term aspect. Now, I guess we can add Oct 08 at -16.56% if I calculated it right.

    (BTW, you’ve duplicated April ’37)

  3. Shadox Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Taking 50 months is less useful than looking at 10 or 20 months. The sample size may be too large given the size of the whole population. However the 5 year column shows that in the long run, investing in stocks is a good idea – even if you tend to forget this during the pain of a massively down month….

  4. Learn Says:
    November 3rd, 2008 at 7:58 am

    That is a great list, quite useful for future estimation.

  5. J.D. Says:
    November 3rd, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    JLP, do the 50 *best* months in S&P history, and what happened after. Please please please please please. :)

  6. Writer's Coin Says:
    December 10th, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I would still point out that, “long term” is way more than just five years later. So, while I like the premise of the post, I hope people don’t get scared off if they expected to see 100% rosy returns for the years following these calamitous drops.

  7. Cebes Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    “Nineteen times (40% of the time) the one year returns following the bad month were negative. It’s also interesting to note that the 5-Year total returns were negative following 7 of the 50 worst months (not including inflation) or 16% of the time.”

    So all this means absolutely nothing. Thank you.

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