Useless Quote of the Day

Today’s quote of the day comes to us from the latest Kirk Karlgaard column in Forbes. This is the opening paragraph to his piece:

In early 1966 the Dow topped 1000 for the first time. In August 1982 the Dow was at 777. The apparent 22.3% loss in value over 16.5 years is actually much worse when adjusted for inflation—figure a 70% haircut, excluding dividends.

Why is this useless? Because he left out dividends.

I don’t have total returns for the Dow Jones Industrial Average but I do have the monthly total returns for the S&P 500 that we can use as an example. Based on my findings, using to the monthly total returns from January 1966 (the Dow crossed the 1000 mark during the day on January 18, 1966) through July 1982, the S&P had a total return of 130%. If inflation is included using the monthly CPI data, the total return over the period is -25%. No, it is not good. But, it is better than the numbers Kirk used in his column.

I have an email in to Dow Jones Indexes to see if I can get the actual total return numbers for the Dow. We will see if they come through for me.

OT Quote of the Day from John Adams

Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. Let every order and degree among the people rouse their attention and animate their resolution. Let them all become attentive to the grounds and principles of government, ecclesiastical and civil. Let us study the law of nature; search into the spirit of the British constitution; read the histories of ancient ages; contemplate the great examples of Greece and Rome; set before us the conduct of our own British ancestors, who have defended for us the inherent rights of mankind against foreign and domestic tyrants and usurpers, against arbitrary kings and cruel priests, in short, against the gates of earth and hell. Let us read and recollect and impress upon our souls the views and ends of our own more immediate forefathers, in exchanging their native country for a dreary, inhospitable wilderness. Let us examine into the nature of that power, and the cruelty of that oppression, which drove them from their homes. Recollect their amazing fortitude, their bitter sufferings, — the hunger, the nakedness, the cold, which they patiently endured, — the severe labors of clearing their grounds, building their houses, raising their provisions, amidst dangers from wild beasts and savage men, before they had time or money or materials for commerce. Recollect the civil and religious principles and hopes and expectations which constantly supported and carried them through all hardships with patience and resignation. Let us recollect it was liberty, the hope of liberty for themselves and us and ours, which conquered all discouragements, dangers, and trials. In such researches as these, let us all in our several departments cheerfully engage, — but especially the proper patrons and supporters of law, learning, and religion!

I have been reading William Bennett’s “Our Sacred Honor.” The above quote is from John Adams’ Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law. I wish we (me included) would take our country and government more seriously.

Have a good weekend.