Stocktake: 2021 is ‘as good as it gets’ for investors

Market volatility non-existent amid recurring new highs

A public screen displays the Nasdaq and S&P 500 figures in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

A public screen displays the Nasdaq and S&P 500 figures in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

 

Stocktake noted recently that 2021 has been an unusually easy year for investors. Since then, things have got even easier.

How easy? Well, the S&P 500 enjoyed nine all-time highs in August alone – the most for any year since 1929, LPL Research strategist Ryan Detrick noted last week. The index hit its 50th record high for the year, putting it on pace to beat 1995’s record of 77 new highs in a single year.

Stocks have hit new highs every month this year; only once (in 2014) did stocks enjoy a new high every single month.

The S&P 500 is up more than 20 per cent in 2021 – not much better than 2020’s 18.4 per cent gain, notes Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Ben Carlson, but 2021’s gains “have been much easier to come by”. Last year, stocks suffered an epic collapse before roaring back; this year, the worst peak-to-trough drawdown has been just 4 per cent. This year has seen just three days where the S&P 500 fell by 2 per cent or more, compared with 25 last year.

“Volatility is basically non-existent this year”, says Carlson. For investors, 2021 is “about as good as it gets”.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.