Where Was the Marching Band?

9 years ago we were in the middle of the worst market downturn since 1931.   We had no idea when the pain would stop.

All we did know is that from its peak in October 2007, the Dow Jones had lost 7,617 points over 17 months - that's 53%!  

Retirees who weren't invested properly were dusting off their work shoes.   College students were looking toward a future of massive student loans and no job with which to pay them.  Worst of all, even the one thing we thought we could all count on - our ever-increasing home value - sank.

That was the reality we were living with when we woke up on Monday, March 9, 2009.  It was a relatively quiet day in the market.  The Dow was only down 80 points.  Trading volume was low. After the previous 17 months of panic, it felt like a pretty uneventful day.

No one knew that unassuming morning would mark the end of our misery. 

A week later the Dow was up over 10%.

A month later the Dow was up over 20%.

3 months later the Dow was up over 30%.

And a year later on March 9, 2010, the Dow closed at 10,654.   That's over 40% in a year. 

What's the lesson?   Market recoveries aren't announced with a marching band.   It happens when you least expect it.