2021: one of the best years in the history of the market

Analyst says last year bore most resemblance to 1995, another year of extraordinary gains

Whatever about 2022, investors should be grateful for 2021, says Ritholtz Wealth Management's Ben Carlson.

There have been 17 years where the S&P 500 gained over 30 per cent, so 2021’s 29 per cent gain may not seem remarkable. However, the worst peak-to-trough drawdown in 2021 was just 5.2 per cent, one of the smallest drawdowns in history. Furthermore, there were 70 all-time highs – the second-highest in history, behind only 1995.

Strong gains, small drawdowns, all-time highs aplenty – 2021 mirrored 1995, which Carlson sees as the easiest year in market history.

Last year wasn’t quite as good as 1995 but it was close, says Carlson. “You just lived through one of the greatest years of all time in the stock market,” he says. “It’s not always going to be this easy.”