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The Best- And Worst-Performing Stocks Since The March 2009 Start Of This Historic Bull Market

Erik Conley profile picture
Erik Conley

The current bull market is now 9 years old. That's an interesting fact, but how significant is it? Not very, in my opinion. Age isn't very relevant when trying to anticipate what lies ahead. More relevant are things like valuation, the health of the economy, the geopolitical landscape, and the mood of consumers and investors.

I have my own views about where we are likely headed from here, and I've shared those views often, as many of you know. My approach is based on probability estimates of possible outcomes for the economy and the stock market. I use a 12-month time frame in my models, and when the probabilities of improving conditions are high, I advise clients to be aggressive with their risk profiles. As the probabilities begin to fade, I advise dialing back on risk in stages.

You can read about my methodology by visiting my blog or my articles on Seeking Alpha and Advisor Perspectives. Today, I want to address the winners and losers since the last bear market ended in March 2009. What I hope to learn from this exercise is two things. First, are there any underlying trends that have endured throughout this 9-year bull market? And second, are there any stocks that seem well-positioned for continued success in an aging bull market? Conversely, are there stocks that should be avoided?

In an attempt to keep this research project manageable, I limited my search to the 1,500 stocks that are included in the S&P 1500. After eliminating those that were added to the index after the bull market began, I ended up with 1,322 names. They include large-, mid-, and small-cap companies. They represent 16 market sectors (there are 11 "official" sectors, but I expanded that to 16 to get a little more granularity).

The Excel

This article was written by

Erik Conley profile picture
Trader, analyst & portfolio manager, from 1975 - 2001. Former head of equity trading at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago. Now a private investor, founder of a nonprofit investor advocacy firm, and private investing coach. It gives me great satisfaction to teach retail investors the same skills and strategies that I used with my high net worth clients as a private wealth manager. It may be a cliche, but giving something back to the community is more rewarding to me than helping very rich people get even richer.

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Comments (11)

I like Dnr and am long since $26 oil. It got real hairy for them in 2017 and still not quite "there" yet.
I also own SWN and know the company well. No 10 Bagger, but possibly a 3 Bagger over the next 3 years. What more could you ask for!
ronaldosantiago profile picture
Long DNR
Long ESV
Erik Conley profile picture
Well said, Buyandhold. I too like boring.
Buyandhold 2012 profile picture
Excellent article.

I own one of the ten worst stocks since the financial crisis. Frontier.

And I own none of the ten best stocks since the financial crisis.

I wish I had bought Patrick Industries during the financial crisis.

Who would have thought that a boring stock like Patrick Industries would run circles around all of the high tech high flyers since the financial crisis?

What does Patrick Industries prove?

Boring is beautiful.
diomrn profile picture
Many shall be restored that now are fallen, and many shall fall that now are in honor.
[Horace - Ars poetica from Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham & David Dodd]

Long ESV! ;)

Erik Conley profile picture
Great quote. Here's another one:

How quickly all things disappear. - Marcus Aurelius
It is difficult to ponder 2009 is roughly 10 years ago. And it is also difficult 10 years in the future will travel the same path and deal with the same environment. If only we could stop time, then we could strategically invest in today's winners and ride them for all they are worth. The big difference in my opinion for the ten years hence is pick your top performers but know when to dismount a floundering horse or industry segment. Day trading is not being suggested, but traditional methods are subject to fast changing conditions.
Good Article Erik,
AVP, it just isn’t cool any more. In the 70’s,80’s and into the early 90’s Avon was very popular with women. My mother sold Avon for years and did quit well doing it. Then Mary Kay really started taking away its busy on the make up side. Fast forward to 2018-Ulta, Bare minerals, and Sephora are where women are shopping now. AVP isn’t cool any more and with the internet no one needs a AVP rep to stop by and deliver like they use to.
Unless AVP changes it’s branding it will eventually go to Zero.
I think the best stocks to own in this space would be Coty and Ulta.
Good Luck everyone in 2018!
Erik Conley profile picture
Thanks for contributing, Roger. I would be very interested in seeing a short list of other legacy companies that are no longer cool. That would make a good watch list for the shorting crowd.
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