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The Stock Market's Biggest Crashes

By Dian Vujovich

There are plenty of pundits out there who feel that this year will be a good performance one for stocks. I hope so.

But if you’re a thinking person with an ounce of common sense, that little voice in your head that’s oh-so easy not to listen to is probably trying to tell you that the 2009 investment road will likely be a bumpy one no matter what happens.

With that in mind, history often provides us with info that we may or may not like to think about. But, since it seems to repeat itself so often, and as such is hard to ignore, what follows is a look at the results of the 10 worst stock market crashes in our US history.

  • In the10th position, a crash that began on 1/15/2000 and ended 10/9/2002 with the DJIA falling 37.8 percent.
  • In 9th position is a crash that began 11/21/1916 and ended 12/19/1917. During it the DJIA lost 40.1 percent.
  • In 8th position. It began on 9/12/1939 and ended on 4/28/1942 with the Dow losing 40.4 percent.
  • In the 7th slot was the crash that began on 1/11/1973 and ended 12/06/1974. The Dow lost 45.1 percent.
  • In 6th position is the oldest crash on record because DJIA records weren’t available before 1900. This one began 6/17/1901 and ended 11/9/1903 and the DJIA lost 46.1 percent.
  • The 5th worst stock market crash was the one that began 11/3/1919 and ended 8/24/1921. During that time period the Dow lost 46.6 percent.
  • In 4th position was the shortest crash to date and began on 9/3/1929, ended two months later on 11/13/1929 with the Dow losing 47.9 percent of its value.
  • The 3rd worst stock market crash began on 1/19/1906 and ended 11/15/1907. Total loss was 48.5 percent.
  • In 2nd position: The crash that began on 3/10/1937 and ended 3/31/1938. During that year the Dow fell 49.1 percent.
  • And the No.1 worst stock market crash in Dow history was the one that began on 4/17/1930, ended 7/8/1932 and brought the Dow down 86 percent.

Sort of makes you think things aren’t so bad after all, doesn’t it?

Then again, if you’re an oldie and had invested $1,000 on 9/3/1929, that grand would have fallen in value to $108.14 by July 8, 1932. Twenty-two years later, in 1954, your one-thousand bucks would be whole again.

Source: All of the 10 worst crashes data came a story written by Dustin Woodard, for About.com about stock market.

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