On October 11, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new high of 14,198.10 in intraday trading.
At the time, it would have been impossible to know, but such a peak wouldn’t again be matched until 2013, almost six years later. Investors were in for a roller coaster, and a slow and unpredictable recovery – how would their portfolios fare?
Investing at the Market Peak
Hypothetically, let’s say that you bought $1,000 of shares in some of America’s best-known companies, right during these pre-crisis highs in October 2007.
Today’s chart from HowMuch.net shows how you would have fared based on share price alone, not including the re-investment of dividends. Each blue dot below shows the $1,000 investment, and each pink circle represents the value of that investment today.
If you’d had invested in Netflix around the time company launched its streaming service in the United States, you would have brought in 50X your initial investment.
Meanwhile, Amazon shares jumped over 10X in value, and even “boring” blue chip companies like FedEx or McDonald’s at least doubled in value. The only company worth less (on the above list) is GE, though it’s worth noting that they would have also paid a dividend over this timeframe.
Historically speaking, over long-term windows, the stock market has almost always increased in value. But for people that bought in October 2007, it would have felt like the world was ending and that a recovery was nearly impossible.
While it can certainly be argued that asset prices were inflated through QE, record-low interest rates, and other controversial central bank tactics from the crisis onwards, in hindsight it is also clear that a portfolio formed at the 2007 peak would have turned out alright today.
Of course, I think we all would agree that it would have been a lot nicer to invest at rock-bottom prices in 2009. However, it’s nice to know that holding stocks through the crisis ultimately paid off for those that had the patience to do so.
As the current market gets more and more expensive, this may be something worth keeping in mind.
Ranked: The World’s 50 Top Countries by GDP, by Sector Breakdown
This graphic shows GDP by country, broken down into three main sectors: services, industry, and agriculture.
Visualized: The Three Pillars of GDP, by Country
Over the last several decades, the service sector has fueled the economic activity of the world’s largest countries. Driving this trend has been changes in consumption, the easing of trade barriers, and rapid advancements in tech.
We can see this in the gross domestic product (GDP) breakdown of each country, which gets divided into three broad sectors: services, industry, and agriculture.
The above graphic from Pranav Gavali shows GDP by country, and how each sector contributes to an economy’s output, with data from the World Bank.
Drivers of GDP, by Country
As the most important and fastest growing component of GDP, services make up almost 60% of GDP in the world’s 50 largest countries. Following this is the industrial sector which includes the production of raw goods.
Below, we show how each sector contributes to GDP by country as of 2021:
|🇰🇷 South Korea||57.0||32.4||1.8||8.8||$1.8|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||46.5||44.7||2.7||6.1||$0.8|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong||89.7||6.0||0.1||4.3||$0.4|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||63.0||24.5||2.5||10.0||$0.4|
Industrial sector includes construction. Agriculture sector includes forestry and fishing. *Data as of 2019.
In the U.S., services make up nearly 78% of GDP. Apart from Hong Kong, it comprises the highest share of GDP across the world’s largest economies. Roughly 80% of American jobs in the private sector are in services, spanning from healthcare and entertainment to finance and logistics.
Like America, a growing share of China’s GDP is from services, contributing to almost 54% of total economic output, up from 44% in 2010. This can be attributed to rising incomes and higher productivity in the sector as the economy has grown and matured, among other factors.
In a departure from the top 10 biggest countries globally, agriculture continues to drive a large portion of India’s GDP. India is the world’s second largest producer of wheat and rice, with agriculture accounting for 44% of the country’s employment.
While the services sector has grown in India, it makes up a greater share in other emerging economies such as Brazil (58%), Mexico (59%), and the Philippines (61%).
Services-led growth has risen faster than manufacturing across many developing nations, underpinned by productivity growth.
This structural shift is seen across economies. In many countries in Africa, for instance, jobs have increasingly moved from agriculture to services and trade, where it now accounts for 42% of jobs.
These growth patterns are supported by rising incomes in developing economies, while innovation in tech is lowering barriers to enabling service growth. As the industrial sector makes up a lower share of trade and economic activity, the service sector is projected to make up 77% of global GDP by 2035.
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