5 Ways To Look At Stock Market Performance

Stock market performance from alternative perspectives

Stock market performance can be shown in many different ways. There are rolling returns, tables, charts, and graphs, and even things called stock market maps.

Here you’ll find five ways to view past stock market performance; some bright and colorful, others that take a more intellectual viewpoint.

The Perfect Way to View Stock Market Performance - Best & Worst Rolling Returns

Various views of past stock market performance.
Rolling returns give you a better picture of historical stock market returns. SaulGravy/GettyImages

The charts in this series show you stock market performance in the form of rolling index returns. Rolling returns give you a much better indication of stock market performance than most other ways of looking at market returns.

Rolling returns do not go by calendar year; instead, they look at every one year, three year, five year, etc. time period beginning each month anew over the historical time frame selected. More

Presidential Elections and Stock Market Performance

Financial Advisor and Client
Some people feel the Presidential election always means one scenario. A conversation with a market researcher may show you both sides of the story. Andrew Olney / Getty Images

Every four years, the same question, “It’s an election year, what will the stock market do?” The table in this article shows the return of the S&P 500 Index for each election year since 1928. More

Stock Market Maps - A Colorful, Interactive Way To View Stock Market Performance

Bubble map of stock market performance.
Market maps are a fun way to view market performance. FinViz

A stock market map provides a unique and colorful way to view the performance of stocks, asset classes, sectors, or an entire country’s stock market relative to its peers. You'll find any of these five market maps quite interesting. More

Historical Bear Markets and Subsequent Stock Market Performance

Bear market and graph
Every bear market is different and only time will tell how long it lasts before a new market high is attained. Adam Gault / Getty Images

Bear markets, defined as a period of time where the market goes down 20% or more from peak to trough, happen frequently. This article provides some great statistics on how often they occur, how long they last, and how quickly the market typically recovers. More

A Year by Year Look At S&P 500 Stock Market Performance Since 1973

Financial advisor with cient
Navigating a volatile market requires confidence and courage, not all markets will be what you hope to see. Martin Barraud / Getty Images

This article contains a table which shows you the historical stock market performance from 1973 through the end of last year, on a year by year basis. Negative stock market returns occur, on average, one out of every four years. Over time, you will see the positive years outweigh the negative years. More

Past Performance Does Not Equate to Future Performance

The most common thing you see on investment disclosure documents is a statement that says, "Past performance does not guarantee future results." This is so true - and yet no one seems to believe it. Just because a stock or fund went up over the past few years does not mean it can't go down next year. Base your investing decisions on long term averages, on risk, and on your goals. Don't use past performance to invest in the things that had the highest returns over the last few years. This is not an effective approach to investing.