September 11: TEN YEARS LATER

The past week was filled with remembrances of that tragic day 10 years ago when we lost nearly 3,000 of our loved ones and the country lost its feeling of peace and security. We will never forget the grief, the heroism, and the pulling together of the nation as we all tried to heal in the days and months following that fateful event.

Much has changed since then and, in a way, we all lost some of our innocence and perhaps some of our optimism. But, as Americans, we are a resilient nation. We’ve endured tragedy and war before and we always found the strength and the courage to overcome. The pain of the terrorist attacks is still with us, the images still vivid, the effects still lingering, but persevere we do and prevail we will. 

While it pales in comparison to the human toll of 9/11 and its aftermath, the U.S. financial markets and the economy have been relatively weak in the years since that day. Here are some examples:

  • Over the 10 years between September 10, 2001 and September 9, 2011, the S&P 500 index rose only 5.6 percent — that’s a compound average annual return of only 0.6 percent excluding dividends. Source: Yahoo! Finance
  • Over the 10 years between September 10, 2001 and September 9, 2011, the price of one ounce of gold rose 581.8 percent — that’s a compound average annual return of a whopping 21.2 percent. The rise partly reflects inflation concerns, currency debasement, and a general flight to safety. Source: London Bullion Market Association
  • The U.S. experienced two recessions since 2001. Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

From the terrorist attacks and their aftermath to the sluggish economy, it’s been a difficult 10 years for our country. And, just like it has taken time to process the 9/11 tragedy, it will take time for our global financial system to deleverage and cleanse itself. As this unwinding continues, there will be setbacks. But, over time, our human spirit will strengthen, our economy will improve, and the world will be a better place. 

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

Best regards,

Jonathan K. DeYoe

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added.  The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by The DJ/AIG Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998. The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market. The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones. Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods. This newsletter was prepared by PEAK. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.