A bull statue in front of a building.

On Wednesday, the bull market turned 3,453 days old. By most definitions, that is the longest bull run on record. Since the financial crisis bottomed on March 9th, 2009, the S&P 500 has risen more than 300%. Quite a historic run!

While it’s important to acknowledge the record bull run. It’s also important to keep it in perspective. While the S&P 500 is up (as noted above) over that time, it has not been a steady rise.

2009:     23.45%
2010:     12.78%
2011:     0.00%
2012:     13.41%
2013:     29.60%
2014:     11.39%
2015:     (0.73%)
2016:     9.54%
2017:     19.42%

Had you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 at the close of business of 2008, it would have grown to $29,600.13 by the end of 2017. An average annual return of 12.81%. To put that in perspective, since its inception (in 1928), the S&P 500 has averaged 11.41% per year – 1.4% lower than the last 9 years.

It’s also easy to get caught up in the historical averages and forget the negative years. Since 2000, there have been 14 positive years and 4 negative years. Those negative years included -9.03%, – 11.85%, – 21.97% and -36.55%. While it’s important to remember the negative years, much like the positive years, it’s important not to dwell on them.

What is important is to have an investment plan unique to your goals, objectives and risk tolerance. The investments chosen should follow a fiduciary process. Once you have your plan in place, ignore the market – even if it’s making history (good or bad) – and stay focused on your plan.