Comparing major S&P 500 crashes of the last 100 years

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by jerschneid

Since we just crossed back into record high S&P 500 territory, I thought I would download the S&P 500 historical data going back over 100 years to compare the major market crashes. It turns out the Covid-crash had the fastest recovery of any 25%+ market drop, lasting only about 6 months. The second fastest was after the 1987 Black Monday crash, where the market dropped about 30% and the recovery took about two years. By comparison, during the Great Depression the market dropped about 86% and took 25 years to recover.

Here’s a look at the data charted:

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And I should add, that while the crashes make headlines, it’s important to remember that over longer periods of time, the market always goes up. Here’s my preferred way to visualize the growth of the S&P 500 over the last 100+ years:

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  • Source: I downloaded weekly S&P 500 data for the last 100 years from Yahoo Finance
  • Tools: Imported into this google sheet, charted, then screenshotted and pasted into Photoshop for final annotation

Edit: For those who find this interesting, I often post stuff like this over on my instagram.


Disclaimer: This information is only for educational purposes. Do not make any investment decisions based on the information in this article. Do you own due diligence or consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.


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