Performance of the S&P500 Under US Presidents


I was curious what the performance of the S&P500 has been under different US presidents but surprisingly could not find a simple visual. In my head, I visualized a single graph with various focus points representing different US Presidents across time. After checking the top 5 links on Google, and not finding it, I decided to just make it myself for fun. Here it is:

Key Takeaways

This is an interesting visual but it’s important to note that it is extremely difficult to make any significant conclusions from it. The S&P500 is just one data point. One could easily look at the numbers and say that George Bush did horribly as President, but that would be completely ignoring the fact that the 9/11 attacks happened during his first year on the job. Another person could look at these numbers and say that Bill Clinton knocked it out of the park, but that might give him too much credit for the dot com boom.

There is one fact: the stock market tends to perform better under Democrat presidents. However, it is not a cause-and-effect situation. The President rarely has any significant impact on the stock market compared to wide-spread business cycles. Investors do much better when they stick to smart strategies rather than trying to predict movements based on politics.

Related Links

Google links I tried:

  1. Macrotrends (Google Link 1): ugly graph with too many ads
  2. Forbes (Google Link 2): fantastic article but no simple graph
  3. (Google Link 3): no simple graph, and for some reason a CAGR table instead
  4. First Trust (Google Link 4): Great PDF with straight-forward table, but segregates by every 4 years instead of by President. Also no simple graph
  5. Fortune (Google Link 5): No simple graph at all and like a million ads

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