Chartered Financial Consultant


Comparing Stock Market Returns by Presidential Terms

If I was President Obama’s campaign chairman, I would run would ads showing a crawling line representing the movement of the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index from when President George W. Bush took office to the present. As you can see from the chart below, the S+P increased by 75% during Obama’s 3 3/4 years in office. During Bush II’s first term, the market index declined by 32%. During his second term, the S+P declined 12%.

If you look at the stock market performance by presidential terms going back to 1960, you’ll see that the stock market has performed substantially better when Democrats were in the White House. During the last six Democratic presidential terms, the average return over four years time was 53%. For the seven terms Republicans were in office, the average return was 15%.

These statistics are surprising given that Republicans are generally perceived as better for businesses and the stock market. I’m not advocating for a candidate, though some of you might be aware of my political leanings, I’m just pointing out some surprising statistics. Be sure to vote.

Stock Market Returns by Presidential Terms

Presidential Term S+P 500 Index 4 year Gain/Loss %
Obama +75% (3 years + 9 months)
G W Bush (2nd term) (31%)
G W Bush (1) (12%)
Clinton (2) +73%
Clinton (1) +79%
G H W Bush +51%
Reagan (2) +64%
Reagan (1) +33%
Carter +28%
Nixon/Ford (13%)
Nixon (1) +14%
L Johnson +23%
Kennedy/Johnson +40%

Democratic Administrations are in bold

Source: Yahoo Finance (October, 2012)

Bob Dreizler

Bob Dreizler