The current bull market celebrated its eighth anniversary on March 9, 2017. Since it began in the aftermath of the “Great Recession,” the Standard & Poor’s 500 benchmark index has gained 249%. While there are some pundits who point to evidences of a bubble, particularly after the post-election rally, other signs point to a global economy that’s been picking up steam fueled by promises of corporate tax cuts and a fiscal spending boost.
How does this bull market compare to those of the past? As bull markets go, this one is neither the best performer nor the longest. The dot-com bull market of 1990 to 2000 is the longest on record and is also the best-performing with a 417% gain. In the area of valuation, the current bull market comes in second to the dot-com bubble, though it’s getting close. The S&P 500 was trading at a multiple of 30 times earnings when the dot-com bubble popped in 2000.
Long-term investing, however, puts the spotlight on what really matters – the growth of economic value and competitive advantages of a business.