Studying S&P 500 returns over a 150-year period reveals an interesting pattern. 

Stocks rebound, providing their best yearly returns at the trough of the business economic cycle, as the economy contracts to its lowest point.  

The characteristics of a business economic cycle in the trough stage are ultra-tight liquidity, bankruptcies, foreclosures and fire sales. 

Central Bank liquidity, monetary policy, is the drivetrain of the four stages of an economic cycle, expansion, peak, contraction and trough.  

So studying S&P 500 returns over a 150-year period reveals the best time to acquire assets at their lowest price is when the economy is in a trough. 

Studying S&P 500 Returns
Stock market chart patterns

“The S&P 500 stock Index outperformed the broad commodity market with a whopping 30.43% return in the same year”


Here are some shockers of studying S&P 500 returns over a 150-year period

During the Great Depression of 1933, the market soared almost 54%.

In 2023, almost a century later when the US economy fell into a trough, a depression, with unprecedented auto repossession, bankruptcies and surging record-breaking homeless rates, with 653,000 people (official rate) without shelter in 2023. Modern Hoovervilles, homeless camps are booming again. 

Yet despite the modern Hoovervilles and the economy in a trough, the S&P 500 bounced 24% in 2023. 

Studying S&P 500 returns over a century and the sociopathic, masochistic mindset of the crème de la crème investors 

Legendary classic value investor Warren Buffett famously said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful.”

Then there is the buy on the sound of gunfire view.   

“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful”


“The best time to buy is when there is blood in the streets, even if it’s your blood” Rothschild.

So, with war breaking out on nearly every continent, talks of escalation, and more sounds of gunfire, that should be bullish for stocks in 2024.  

Monetizing misery?

Economists and analysts tend to get it wrong, which is what studying S&P 500 returns over a longer timeframe reveals

“I’ve never seen the consensus as wrong as it was in 2023”

Andrew Pease, Chief Investment Strategist, Russell Investments

Economists are schooled and trained in pseudoscience, always trying to explain outcomes with logical reasoning

But a socio system is based on a human hierarchy of power, control and the unpredictability of human behaviour. 

The economy could go into freefall, and stocks could still rally because the system is neither logical nor equitable.

You are more likely to comprehend the system by watching 

The Godfather, or some other gangster movie with the theme of dirty politics of a kingpin maintaining his throne of power. 

For those who like the classics, The Prince by Machiavelli is a good read. 

Even in 2023, a string of economists and analysts got their forecast badly wrong. 

“I’ve never seen the consensus as wrong as it was in 2023.”

-Andrew Pease, Chief Investment Strategist at Russell Investments.

Last year, 2023, was supposed to be a bad year, with the consensus on the Street being 5 to 10% returns for the S&P 500; the actual return for the S&P 500 was 24.2%.

The takeaway is don’t listen to mainstream noise. Fortune favours the brave, so avoid playing with scared money. 

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