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Decade in Review

by Fred Snitzer

The end of a decade brings with it a flood of retrospectives. Like the end of a year, or a century, we cannot resist the human need to impose meaning on the past, even if we apply a rigid frame like a decade to a past that is inherently random and chaotic.

There is nothing sacred about a decade. None of us woke up on January 1, 2010, and thought to ourselves: “time to create a new zeitgeist, it’s 2010”! Instead, with the events of 2008 still fresh in our minds, we wondered if we were going to experience another cataclysmic event anytime soon. And there were plenty of experts, including the ones who had correctly foreseen the events of 2008 (or at least some version of them), who blanketed the media, telling us that another one was coming, soon.

Nevertheless, the temptation to give meaning to a decade, especially one that has just ended, is just too strong. With that in mind, let’s review the years 2010 through 2019, from the perspective of the financial markets.

Measuring solely by stock market returns, it was a very strong decade.

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