Does this year mark the start of a new decade, or does that not happen until 2021?  My brain starts to cramp when I think too hard about it, but after a little research into the origin of the modern Anno Domini (AD) calendar system, it would appear we’ve not quite gotten there yet.  I’ll spare you some mental anguish by sharing the fact there was never actually a year zero.  We jumped right from 1 BC to 1 AD to kick off the first decade, century, and millennium; therefore, it makes sense that each subsequent decade, century, and millennium would start with a year ending in 1, right?  On the other hand, we tend to refer to decades gone by as the thirties, forties, fifties, and so on; but I’m sure we’re not all excluding 1930, 1940 or 1950 from their respective groupings.  Then again, we’d be factually correct if we stated the 1900s began on January 1, 1900, right?  My head is hurting again… Rather than continue this mental punishment, let’s shift to some fun facts from the previous year and decade…or would it be the current decade?


  1. The Year 2019The S&P 500 Index, which is a stock market index that measures the performance of approximately 500 large domestic companies, was up 31.49% (including dividends) for the year. This marks the ninth time since 1970 the index was up more than 30% during a calendar year, and the 18th time it was up more than 20%. (Standard & Poor’s)
  2. Another 10, Please Over the past 10 years, the S&P 500 has gained an averaged of 13.55% per year (including dividends). During those 10 calendar years, the S&P 500 has been positive 9 times and negative just 1 time, an astounding 9:1 ratio. (Standard & Poor’s)
  3. Make It Another 50Over the past 50 years, the S&P 500 has gained an average of 10.6% per year (including dividends). During those 50 calendar years, the S&P 500 has been positive 40 times and negative just 10 times, a still quite impressive 4:1 ratio. (Standard & Poor’s)
  4. Share the WealthThe total market capitalization of the S&P 500 at the end of 2019 was $28,125,589,000,000.  Based on an estimate of 330,000,000 people living in the United States, this equates to $85,229 of value per person. (Standard & Poor’s/Census Bureau)
  5. What About the BondsThe Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which tracks a basket of intermediate-term domestic government, corporate, and agency bonds was up 8.72% (total return) for 2019. This was the best year for the index in the last 10 years. (Morningstar)
  6. I Know What You Did Last Year2018 narrowly avoided making history. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index finished the year up 0.01% relative to the S&P 500, which finished down -4.38%.  Had the bond index not finished positive on the final trading day of the year, it would have been the first time since the bond index’s inception (1986) that both indexes finished negative for a calendar year. (BTN Research)
  7. Through Good and Bad If an investor missed each of the 10 best days in the market over the past 10 years, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, they would have lowered, their average annual return from 13.55% to 9.20%. Conversely, had the investor missed just the 10 worst days their average annual return would have jumped to 18.85%. (BTN Research)
  8. Hey There, Champ!For the second year in a row, the best performing stock in the S&P 500 was Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). During 2018 the stock was up 79.57%, then finished up another 148.43% for 2019. (Morningstar)
  9. We Like Their UniformsIf you’re still looking for a team to root for in Super Bowl LIV, consider this. The last year The Kansas City Chiefs won the NFL championship was 1970, a year in which the S&P 500 finished up 4.01%.  The last year the San Francisco 49ers won the NFL Championship was 1995; a year in which the S&P 500 finished up 37.58%. (Standard & Poor’s)
  10. We Like Their Uniforms Even BetterOver the past 10 years, the S&P 500 has averaged 19.81% per year when a team from the AFC (Kansas City Chiefs) wins the Super Bowl. By comparison, the S&P 500 has averaged 8.50% per year when the champion comes from the NFC (San Francisco 49ers). (Morningstar)