I wish I could write a sweet lil’ intro for this; something about politics and religion being taboo conversation topics and tie it in succinctly to a persuasive stance. This is not that; this is hard data. I wish there was a hook; the hook is the data itself.

You’ll understand at a glance.

I have a friend who is pro-Trump; I’ve been an independent, conservative voter for as long as I’ve been voting. We’ve been friends for a long time, and we talk politics (and religion).

I did not vote for Trump.

There’s a narrative that Trump is doing better than Obama with respect to the stock market and economy. Talking heads talk about how 2019 is a record year for the stock market, and it is, honestly. It has reached all-time highs. There’s no disputing that.

And I’m no expert – I can’t speak on the economy, itself, although I follow the stock market closely and from the best I can gather, the economic data for our country is great.

Here’s a comparison of the Dow Jones Industrial Average vs the Standard & Poor 500 over Obama’s two terms and Trump’s two years and seven months in office.

Stock Market performance under Barack Obama
Stock Market performance under Barack Obama, 8 yrs., DJIA +181.2%, S&P 500 +221.5%

The market saw consistent year-to-year gain during Barack Obama’s two terms, despite the 2008 housing crash, both the DJIA and S&P having fallen more than 40%. The DJIA saw an average yearly change of +22.7% while the S&P saw a whopping +27.7%.

Stock Market performance under Donald Trump, 2 yrs., 7 mo.
Stock Market performance under Donald Trump, 2 yrs., 7 mo., DJIA +35.1%, S&P 500 +31.1%

Donald Trump has seen success with the market indices DJIA and S&P500 increasing +35.1% and 31.1%, respectively, during his two and a half years in office. The DJIA changed yearly and on average +13.2%, while the S&P500 has grown +11.7% yearly.

These are still great gains. Index stocks have generally beaten actively managed funds and I would take +10% on my retirement any and every year. I would rather have +25%, though. #gains #yolo

President Time in office Total DJIA, S&P +/- Year-to-year Avg. DJIA, S&P +/-
Barack Obama 8 yrs. +181.2%, +221.5% +22.7%, +27.7%
Donald Trump 2 yrs., 7 mo. +35.1%, +31.1% +13.2%, +11.7%

Comparing a sitting president to former president who has been successful is often difficult. Each enters the White House under different circumstances, but with respect to the economy and what each president does in office, there are some differences. These conversations are often marred by political leanings and biased agendas, even though times change and each president faces unique challenges.

It’s like comparing apples to oranges.


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