Here’s another title President Obama might be able to claim: trader-in-chief.
In the midst of the Great Recession, the president basically called the exact point where stocks bottomed out. It’s a difficult prediction for any investment professional to make correctly, let alone a president.
“What you’re now seeing is profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it,” President Obama said.
That was at a press conference on March 3, 2009.
The stock market hit its low point less than a week later on March 9, 2009.
Since then, the stock market has risen dramatically. If you invested $100 in a fund that tracks the S&P 500 around the time the president advised, your money would now be worth about $300 today. That’s a return of about 200%.
At the press conference all those years ago, President Obama made it clear that he doesn’t believe his job is to track the “day-to-day gyrations” of the market.
“The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong,” he noted, echoing advice of many prominent investors like Warren Buffett.
Unfortunately in this case, many Americans did not follow the president’s advice. Only half of Americans have any money invested in the stock market and most of that is through their retirement accounts. Too many Americans have missed out on the fourth longest bull market in U.S. history.