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S&P 500 hits longest bull-run in history

Posted by Adrian Lowcock in Press releases category on 14 Sep 18

S&P 500 hits longest bull-run in history, quadrupling UK investors’ money in less than 10 years

  • UK investors see returns of more than 400%
  • Current bull market has only provided the seventh best annualised returns out of 11 since World War II
  • Best & Worst performing US funds during the bull market
UK investors see returns of more than 400%

The current bull market in US equities started on 9th March 2009 with the S&P 500 at 676.53. In less than 10 years it has grown by 418% in sterling terms, (386% in US dollar terms). 

In comparison, the FTSE 100 has only doubled investors’ money, returning 205% before charges and including reinvested dividends. 

Annualised returns, in US dollars and excluding dividends, were 16.4%, which are only the seventh best out of the 11 post-World War II bull markets and below the average return of 19%.

  Market performance   
  Excluding dividends   Dividends reinvested 
  Percentage Return £1,000 invested Percentage Return £1,000 invested
S&P 500 351% £4,508 418% £5,180
FTSE 100 114% £2,138 206% £3,059
Source: FE Analytics, Performance from 9th March 2009 to 22nd August 2018 in sterling

Best & Worst performing US funds during the bull market

Top 10 best-performing US funds

Funds Percentage
Morgan Stanley US Growth 676
Legg Mason Royce US Small Cap Opportunity 640
Baillie Gifford American 571
JPM US Smaller Companies  563
T. Rowe Price US Large Cap Growth Equity 558
T. Rowe Price US Smaller Companies Equity 555
Morgan Stanley US Advantage 542
T. Rowe Price US Blue Chip Equity 534
M&G North American Value  527
Pimco GIS Stocks Plus 525
Source: FE Analytics, Performance from 9th March 2009 to 22nd August 2018 on a Total Return basis in sterling.

Bottom 10 performing funds

Funds Percentage
Eaton Vance Int (Ire) US Value 62
Janus Henderson US Strategic Value 213
Janus Henderson Opportunistic Alpha 261
Neptune US Opportunities 280
Aberdeen Global North American Equity  283
Smith & Williamson North American Equity 286
Legg Mason ClearBridge US Appreciation  292
Marlborough US Multi-Cap Income 298
GS US Equity Portfolio 298
Candriam Sustainable North America 299
Source: FE Analytics, Performance from 9th March 2009 to 22nd August 2018 on a Total Return basis in sterling.

Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing, Willis Owen:

“The vital statistics of this bull market are impressive. However, it is important to remember that they were preceded by some extremely poor years for markets and investors.  It is important to look not so much at the bull market in isolation but rather combine it with bear market periods to get a clearer picture of longer term investment returns.” 

“Although we now have the longest bull market on record with the second highest total returns, the annualised return looks less impressive when compared to those of other runs. This highlights how this bull market has been more drawn out.”

“The Bull market has arguably been extended due to the impressive growth in corporate earnings, which received a boost from Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus programme. S&P 500 companies produced nearly 25% earnings growth in the second quarter of this year alone.

“The bull market has been led by a growth bias with Consumer Discretionary and Technology being the best performing sectors. Value investors have certainly missed out on the bull market and the list of worst performing funds is full of those with a value bias. The bull market could continue for some time if there is just a rotation from growth to value. At the same time, we are currently seeing continued interest in the US as investors switch from other regions they perceive as higher risk as the US’s trade war with China escalates. 

“While valuations are high, they have been for some time and markets can remain overvalued or undervalued for extended periods. Market peaks are created not by overvaluation but by an event or situation that causes investors’ perspectives to change, making them lose confidence or become fearful.”