Reality Check by Simon Black: The Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. Bananas

Bananas

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, one of the key benchmarks of the US stock market, has soundly surpassed its all-time high. And most of the investing world is toasting their collective success and celebrating the recovery.

It’s a funny thing, really. Most investors only think in terms of ‘nominal’ numbers, i.e. Dow 14,000+ is 40% higher than Dow 10,000 (back in November 2009). But few think in terms of ‘real’ numbers… inflation-adjusted averages.

Based on the wholesale price of bananas, the Dow currently buys you a whopping 15.35 tons of the tropical fruit.

bananas vs dow Reality Check: The Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. Bananas

But this is exactly the same amount of bananas the Dow would buy back in February 2008, when the Dow was just 12,266. And it’s a massive 60% drop from June 1999 when the Dow bought 38.51 tons of bananas.

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