Investor Recap: 2021 Has Been a Great Year for Long-Term Stock Investors

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Market declines are inevitable, and they’re never a welcome event. In fact, a slew of news ranging from political turmoil to higher interest rates recently sent the S&P 500 down 5% from highs for the first time all year. Nevertheless, when zooming out and looking at the bigger picture, it has undeniably been a fantastic long-term run for the stock market. In this segment from “The 5” on Motley Fool Live recorded Sept. 30, contributor Brian Withers talks about the market’s moves.

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Brian Withers: It’s been a good decade for stocks with the S&P up 356% over the last 10 years. Toby sticking around joining Nick and I to run through the five. Let’s just kick it off. I want to remind everybody, S-L-I.D-O in your web browser, backstagepass all one word, we got a few questions last last hour would love it. Usually for “The 5” we take whatever you’re interested in. There’s really no question off limits and at least for stocks, companies and all things Foolish. Feel free to give us, drop us a line or let us know what you’re interested, curious, or worried about.

The stock [laughs] market today is a little bonkers, and I’m not surprised. The Yahoo! News says as investors are eyeing the treasury bond yields and debates in Washington over a host of measures. Well, you could have said that all week. This is not new news, so I’m not sure why the market chose to do what it did today. The S&P is actually on track to post decline for September. That’s the first monthly decline since January. Yet the market is up more than 16% year-to-date as of yesterday’s close.

The market’s danced around quite a bit. I have a chart that I want to show you that is really interesting. You would think that with the market bouncing around as much as it did, the graph wouldn’t necessarily look like this. You can’t draw a straighter line here up and to the right. This is the S&P 500 index. It was down a little bit over the last month or so. Let’s look at that as a pullback from its high. Let me show you, if you add in the 52 week high here, this is crazy. The market has hit new highs throughout the entire year. Then you can see these slight pullbacks and then bouncing up to new highs again. Tremendous year for the market.

Let’s look at it as a percent off the high because this looks like it’s a big pullback here. Let’s look at it. 5%, it’s a pullback of 5% off the high. We haven’t had a 5% pullback all year. If you had told me that before I looked up this number, I wouldn’t have believed you. This is the first time the market as a whole has fallen 5% from a high. By the way, do you remember what I just showed you? The market is hitting highs all years. We’re like back to July time frame. Just a couple of months back. There’s a question here guys, I promise. I just wanted to show the graphs, because I thought it was really really interesting. Given all this crazy stuff in the market and you know what, if you’d have closed your eyes in beginning of the year and not looked at your portfolio from January to now, you’d say, “Oh the market’s up 16%. Awesome.”

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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