Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Real S&P 500 Story

There is a common though that the market peak occured in October of 2007, which is true from a nominal perspective.  The odd thing to me is that, unlike bond investing, people seem to magically forget that inflation exists and is constantly eroding their dollar value, hence the need for a yield in excess of inflation in order to increase net worth expressed in real terms.  The financial media focuses a great deal on bond investments having "significant risk" due to the possibility that their fixed rate securities may not keep pace with inflation, yet, this issue tends not to be brought up in regards to stocks.  In fact, many point to stocks as being an "inflation hedge", with the idea that, as the value of the dollar erodes, nominal earnings go up at an equal or greater pace.  This would be great if it was actually true, but it is unfortunately not, as demonstrated below:

In order to hit the market peak in real terms, the S&P would nominally need to go to ~2425.  It's currently hovering at around 1300.