The stock market hit its financial-crisis bottom 9 years ago — here’s how much you’d have made if you started investing then

  • The S&P 500 hit its financial-crisis low nine years ago.
  • Buying into the stock market at that time would have been a very lucrative investment.

It has been nine years since the S&P 500 hit its lowest point of the 2008 financial crisis. And if you started buying stocks then, as President Barack Obama suggested at the time, you’d have made a very handsome return.

The S&P 500 hit an intraday low of 666.79 on March 6, 2009, and a closing low of 676.53 on March 9. Since then, the benchmark index is up 298% as of Wednesday’s close of 2,691.25.

3 8 spx

One way to look at the stock market’s incredible nine-year comeback is to consider an investing thought experiment: How much would you have if you bought $US100 of an S&P 500-tracking index fund every month starting in March 2009?

As of Wednesday’s close, an investor buying $US100 of an S&P 500 fund at the closing price on the first trading day of each month since March 2, 2009, would have a portfolio worth $US19,333 as of Wednesday’s close, factoring in the price appreciation of the past nine years:

3 8 portfolio value v2

The above portfolio includes the value of the $US100 in principal added each month, which comes to a total of $US10,900 as of this month. Subtracting out that monthly investment and looking purely at the price return gives another illustration of how the stock market has done in the past nine years:

3 8 price return v2