The World Stock Markets Lost $17 Trillion in 2008

The Standard and Poor’s global stock market index was down 44.01% in 2008 after all was said and done. This translates into a total loss of right around $17 trillion dollars. To put that into perspective, that would be enough money to give every single person in Canada $50,000 a year for the next 11 years (and that includes children).

It’s amazing to think that this massive change in perceived value basically comes down to the market discovering some bad news coupled with the market’s mathematical and psychological reaction to that news.

Another interesting number pulled from Standard and Poor’s “World by Numbers” report:

  • The 10 year annualized return of the S&P 500 was -3.03% to the end of 2008.

Imagine holding for 10 years with the end result being you have lost money. Hopefully if you needed the money now, you weren’t too heavily weighted in equities. If you have time on your side, hopefully you are licking your chops!

From an industry perspective, there is lots of “money in motion”, as they say. Investors are changing strategies, changing advisors and changing expectations. Personally, I’m increasing my exposure to equities to 100%, but I suspect more people are going the opposite direction.

Anyone care to discuss if they are making changes or not?

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 2 comments
  • TStrump

    I’ll be staying in equities.
    I think now is a good time to buy, although I’d like to see the market fall even more.

  • Maxtron

    I have been reading Hagstrom (Buffet approach),Graham and Fisher, getting to understand in depth the value approach of investing. Making me realize that there couldn`t be any better time to get into the eye of the storm and picking those great businesses that have been caught in it.