Friday, October 10, 2008

1929 to 2008 Stock Market Crash Comparison

Click Here for an updated version of this blog

It seems everyone is comparing our current financial crisis to the Great Depression. I thought I would compare this stock market "crash" to the one in 1929. Basically I found the day that stocks (Dow Jones Industrial) dropped to 80% of a recent high (October 24, 1929 and Oct 7, 2008). These are day 0. The bottom axis is relative to these days so that we get a good overlay.

The 100 day view shows that the two track closely. The 3 year view shows that this might take a while. (Click on images to see larger graph).

Updated December 5, 2008. Now using two axes to display actual dollar values.
An alternate viewpoint here

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thanks Mom and Dad

Financial crisis and uncertain political future have been on my mind recently. After the stock market dropped further today, I was noticing that I actually felt a calm about the upcoming challenges facing our nation and world. I thank my mom and dad for this for two reasons.

First: Tonight I was looking for my brown lunch bag. I've been using it for two weeks, even though it is slightly torn and wrinkled. I decided to start bringing lunch to work like I used to do. In school, I remember saving lunch sacks as encouraged by my mother. I always liked the pharmacy bags; they lasted the longest.

My mom and dad always taught me to make due with what I have. That's one of the reasons I started playing tennis around the age of 12. I could ride my bike with my cheap racket to a public court, and I could entertain myself and a friend at no cost. We would find balls in the bushes and make them last. I've started playing tennis again (like I've started bringing lunch and saving the bag). With Tennis, I'm more extravagant than when I was 12. I have tennis shoes I bought for $29 (on sale), my racket from Costco ($39) and I now buy my balls ($1.99 a can).

My dad made all kinds of cool stuff and could repair just about anything to extend its life. My mom was just as thrifty, sewing amazing things, cooking, etc. Recently I was in a group and the question was asked "what is your family heritage?". I drew a blank at the time, but since I've realized the part of my heritage is to be thrifty; finding value in and appreciating all resources.

Second reason I am feeling calm is the eternal perspective my parents taught me. I feel that this is in complete harmony with my parents thriftiness. There is a greater purpose that extends beyond life's obstacles and set backs. Actually, these challenges make life more valuable. While going through a challenging period a few years ago, I remember praying and my thoughts were drawn to my father. The details are very private, but I realized that his life was an example of integrity and consistent with the principles he taught. I realize the same is true with my mother.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 38 verse30 it reads: "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear".

Thanks Mom and Dad for preparing me.