The chart below from this item at Business Insider is one of a number of charts that have popped up in recent days in celebration of the five-year anniversary of the bull market in stocks that began back in March of 2009.
Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without some massive help from the Federal Reserve in their record setting money printing gambit and not everybody is celebrating.
One thing that is misleading about graphics like this is that there is often an important relationship between the magnitude and course of the rebound and the decline that preceded it. When it’s not shown, as is the case above, that context is completely lost on whoever looks at the shape of the curves that follow.
For example, the recent rebound in U.S. home prices looks pretty impressive when it’s shown from 2009-2010 onward, but those same price gains pale in comparison to what came a half decade or more before – both the boom and the bust.
There’s also Here’s how the S&P 500 gets to 2,600 next year from Marketwatch for those who are curious about how that black line above is possibly going to keep going up. A graphic similar to the one above is included, this one showing the (sometimes) disastrous performance during year six.