How Are Stocks Really Performing?

Written By: Alex Hammersley, CPA

For as long as the stock market has been around, there has been no shortage of shakeups. It seems like once a month, there is a new surprise in the stock market. The most recent to many investors was the remarkable performance of the stock market in 2023. Considering the events and tribulations our country and the world have experienced, the market was resilient in 2023! High inflation, high gas prices, high interest rates, multiple wars overseas, and plenty of domestic and foreign political turmoil typically have been the opponents of the stock market. The stock market beat those opponents in 2023. According to Y Charts, in 2023, the S&P 500 (SPX) was up 24% while the Nasdaq composite (IXIC) was up 43%. In our portfolio, some of the biggest performers in 2023 were Nvidia (NVDA) up 239%, Meta Platforms (META) up 194%, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) up 128%. These stocks soared last year!

However, I want us to remember 2022 when we saw the stock market take a nose-dive. In 2022, the S&P 500 was down 19% and the Nasdaq composite was down 33%. So many ups and downs…How has the stock market really done over the last two-to-five years? Let’s take a look.

  • Over the last two years (2022 & 2023), the S&P 500 was up 1% and the Nasdaq composite was down 4%.
  • Over the last three years (2021-2023), the S&P 500 was up 27% and the Nasdaq composite was up 16%.
  • Over the last five years (2018-2023), the S&P 500 was up 78% and the Nasdaq composite was up 117%.

The stock market is a great place to have some of your money. I hope these numbers encourage you. The key is to have the right allocation because stocks can be down short-term, but holding stocks longer-term can lead to the growth needed to bolster your nest egg.

As I write this article, the S&P 500 is a skosh away from hitting its all-time high while the Nasdaq has a little bit more to go. In other words, stocks are almost back up to where they were in 2021! Investors should be fired up to see the stock market doing what it always has done – go up!

A site that is free to use is You can look up any stocks or indices to see how they are doing.

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