According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, the 2000s are on track for a dismal record: the worst performance of U.S. stocks in any decade on record.
According to data from the Yale International Center for Finance, stocks have fallen about 0.5% per year, on average, during the current decade. Unless stocks stage a healthy rally in the next two weeks, the 00s will thus come in behind each of the past 17 decades, including the -0.2% average annual return of the 1930s.
As the article notes, this comparison is partly driven by a “quirk of the calendar, based on when the 10-year period starts and finishes.” For example, stocks fell more in the ten-year period ending in 1938 than they did in the 00s. For a nice year-by-year display, see the WSJ’s graphics (which include the chart to the right).
Let’s hope the 2010s do better.