March 9th, 2012 marked the 3rd anniversary of the post financial crisis market rally. From the market low on 3/9/09 the S&P 500 has risen 122% through the end of 1Q2012 (cumulative total return) and more risk-oriented equities, such as small caps and emerging markets, have rallied even further. The rise has been very impressive; however, equities have yet to return to the 2007 peak and the rally has not been without bumps in the road including a few 10+% declines. Despite the robustness of the rise in equity prices, valuations remain below longer term averages with the forward P/E on the S&P 500 hovering at 13.0x as compared to the 20-year average of 16.2x.
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