Is there ever a good time to invest?

The end of the year is fast approaching, and there is a general feeling of apprehension as investors wonder how much further markets can fall, and whether now is a good time to buy or get out.

It’s a sad reality that nobody has consistently and accurately been able to forecast the right time to enter or leave the stock market.

However, given that investment in property or shares is a long-term commitment, it may be worthwhile to think back on the last hundred years and ask yourself, “Was there ever a good time to invest in the stock market?”

1919 – Post-WWI hyper-inflation

1920 – Global recession

1921 – AU dollar deflation after post-war hyperinflation

1922 – Italy invaded Libya – Mussolini took Rome

1923 – German mark hyperinflation – France invaded Germany

1924 – Hitler released from gaol to rebuild his party

1925 – Australian debt default feared

1926 – US interest-rate cuts fuelled boom

1927 – US rate cuts rates and quantitative easing fuelled stock market bubble

1928 – Collapse in global commodities prices

1929 – October stock market crash

1930 – US Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act started tariff war – share prices collapsed further

1931 – Global collapse in production, jobs – Australia defaulted on debts

1932 – Australian shares rose – US shares fell further

1933 – Hitler became German Chancellor and won German election

1934 – US dust storms, US dollar devalued 41% – Hitler became Fuhrer

1935 – Hitler built up war machine – Italy invaded Ethiopia

1936 – Spanish Civil War – Australian import restrictions and military build-up

1937 – Recession due to tax hikes and spending cuts

1938 – War clouds gathered – Hitler incorporated Australia into the German Reich

1939 – War began in Europe

1940 – WWII continued – France fell

1941 – WWII continued – Pearl Harbour

1942 – WWII continued – Japan bombed northern Australia and Sydney harbour

1943 – WWII continued – Industry mobilised for war effort

1944 – WWII continued – consumer goods shortages – Soviets defeated German attack

1945 – WWII ended – post-war recession predicted

1946 – Dow Jones Industrial Average tops 200, market too high

1947 – Cold War began

1948 – Berlin Blockade

1949 – Sterling crisis – IMF emergency loan for Australia

1950 – Korean War

1951 – 25% inflation in Australia – stock market collapsed

1952 – 15% inflation in Australia – stock market fell heavily

1953 – Russia exploded H-Bomb

1954 – Dow topped 300 – up 44% – market too high

1955 – US President Eisenhower ill

1956 – Suez Crisis

1957 – Russia launched Sputnik

1958 – Recession – disastrous ‘Great Leap Forward’ in China

1959 – Castro seized power in Cuba

1960 – Severe credit squeeze and tax hikes in Australia

1961 – US ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion of Cuba (failed)

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis

1963 – US President Kennedy assassinated

1964 – Indonesia-Malaysia war

1965 – US started air raids and ground forces in Vietnam War

1966 – Australia followed US into Vietnam War

1967 – US Newark race riots – Israel/US invaded Jordan, Egypt & Syria in ‘6 day war’

1968 – US effectively off gold standard

1969 – Money tightened to fight inflation – US stock markets fell

1970 – Mining shares crashed in Australia

1971 – Nixon abandoned gold standard – Wage Price Freeze

1972 – Largest US trade deficit ever

1973 – US dollar devalued

1974 – Australian interest rates above 20% – steepest stock market fall in 40 years

1975 – Vietnam War ended – Clouded economic prospects

1976 – Economic recovery slowed – Britain bailed-out by IMF

1977 – US interest rate rises – US stock market slumped

1978 – US interest-rate rises – US dollar collapsed

1979 – Oil prices skyrocketed

1980 – Interest rates at all-time high

1981 – US interest-rate rises – steep recession began in US

1982 – Worst recession in 40 years

1983 – Stock market hit new highs – Latin-American debt crisis

1984 – Record US deficits – 4 US rate rise – Australian cash rates above 15%

1985 – Economic growth slowed – Plaza Accord deal forced down US dollar

1986 – Dow neared 2000 – ‘Banana Republic’ crisis in Australia – AU dollar collapsed

1987 – Record-setting stock market decline – October 1987 stock market crash

1988 – Election year – Rate hikes rises resumed in Australia and US

1989 – October stock market mini-crash

1990 – Estate Mortgage, Pyramid, Trico, SBSA all collapsed

1991 – US attacked Iraq – USSR General Secretary Gorbachev sacked

1992 – Global recession – Sterling crisis

1993 – Health care reform – Metallgeselschaft oil futures trading losses

1994 – 6 US interest rates rises – US bond crisis

1995 – Dow topped 5000 – Oklahoma bombing – Russian bank panic

1996 – Dow topped 6000 – Australian Treasurer Costello slapped tax surcharges on compulsory superannuation

1997 – Asian currency crisis

1998 – Russian default crisis – LTCM collapsed (US)

1999 – NASDAQ High Tech Index doubled in a year

2000 – Tech stocks crash

2001 – 9/11 attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon

2002 – US ‘War on Terror’ expanded into Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’

2003 – US/UK invasion of Iraq

2004 – US interest rate rises

2005 – Seven more US interest rate rises

2006 – Rising inflation and interest rates across the world

2007 – Sub-prime losses and bankruptcies started in US – share prices peaked globally

2008 – US sub-prime crisis becomes global banking crisis

2009 – Deepest global recession since 1930s Depression

2010 – European banking crisis – Greek debt crisis – ‘flash crash’

2011 – Japanese tsunami and nuclear crisis – US credit-downgrade crisis

2012 – Greek debt ‘haircut’ – Central banks ramped up emergency quantitative easing

2013 – Rise of extremist political chaos in Europe – North Korea nuclear threat

2014 – Russia invaded and captured Crimea – negative interest rates in Europe

2015 – China slowdown crisis – global commodities collapse – US rate rises began

2016 – Brexit vote in Britain, Trump elected in US

2017 – US President Trump cut taxes and initiated government cuts + spending spree – three more US rate rises

2018 – US President Trump started trade wars

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