by Jon S. Strebler
Jeff Sommer, writing for the New York Times, reminds us that if we had been smart or lucky enough to buy stocks (say, an ETF like SPY) on President Obama's first day in office, our investment would have tripled by now. On January 20, 2009 the country was in the grips of the Great Recession, with unemployment and home foreclosures going off the charts and SPY, representing the S&P 500, sitting at a dismal 80.57 – less than half its value just two years earlier. Things would worsen further, with SPY eventually falling briefly into the 50s, but then began the great bull market that continues even today. Now at 218, SPY hasn't quite tripled; but with dividends added in, it's probably close to that which, in any case, ain't bad at all.