Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


Obama's time in office scores really big with the stock market. Really.

By Dian Vujovich

Depending upon which side of the political fence you prefer—right, left or sitting on top of it—one thing you can’t deny about President O’s first three years in office is this: The stock market has performed like a roaring bull.

This morning I came across a most insightful piece that included a terrific graph showing how the first three years of a President’s term impacted the stock market. That market in this case is represented by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The folks over at Bespoke Investment Management looked at the performance of the DJIA during the first three years of each US President since 1900. To calculate the Dow’s performance, measurements began on the President’s first full day in office and ended three years later on the date of their inaugural.

Since last weekend marked the third anniversary of President Obama’s term, what the research revealed will no doubt surprise many. Heck, even cause shock-and-awe for some.

“As of last Friday, the DJIA has now risen 60% under President Obama, making him one of only five Presidents to see the Dow gain 50% or more in their first three years in office!” wrote the researchers at Bespoke.

If you’re finding that 60 percent gain particularly hard to swallow perhaps it’s because you’ve been listening to only the harsh words swirling around about this President. Or, it might be because the Great Recession caused you to rethink your investments and pull out of the stock market all together. Or, because you’re still remembering how the huge drop in the value of your 401(k), IRA or investment accounts made you feel after the markets crash a few years back. Or, whatever.

In any event, there are investment lessons to be learned from this research. Here are three of them: First, markets aren’t stagnant—they rise and fall. Always have. Always will.

Second, keep your mind and investment efforts focused on you. In other words, don’t believe everything you hear or read about market performances. What counts most, in fact the only thing that counts, is how your investments are working for you.

Third, watch your feelings. If you’re ruled by emotions, the stock market may cause you more pain than prosperity. It’s no place for whiners or those who can’t feel, digest and move on.

FYI, the five past presidents who’ve seen the DJIA soar the most during their first three years in office include: FDR, up 190.1 percent; Eisenhower, up 61.2 percent; Obama, up 60 percent; Clinton, up 59.9 percent; and Bush 1, up 45.6 percent.

On the downside, during Hoover’s first three years the Dow fell 72.6 percent.

Check out the chart at: http://tinyurl.com/7txpgqd

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]