Lucky 13-Year Investment Returns

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U.S. stocks have performed extremely well in the past 13 years, but bonds have not. Stock performance is in the top decile of all 13-year periods over the past 96 years. Quantitative easing (QE) has been the driver. What will happen when QE ends?

It’s official. The return in the 13 years following the 2008 stock market crash has been terrific. In this article I examine the history of 13-year returns on stocks and bonds to put the most recent 13-year period into perspective. It has indeed been extraordinary.

A phenomenal recovery

Aside from a quick down blip in the first quarter of 2020, since 2008 the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, has skyrocketed, growing approximately 600% when dividends are included. In addition to the steepness of this recovery, it’s the longest recovery on record if you don’t view the 2020 blip as ending the recovery.

It should feel to most investors like this past 13 years is the best ever. It almost was. The following section examines all 85 13-year time periods ending in December.