Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Using Qs suggestion, here are some facts on the DOW for January 2, 1970 vs today
Number of Shares Traded: 10.85MILLION
Number of Shares Traded: 9.49BILLION
That is nearly 1000 times  the number of shares traded. Now today was a biggie as AIG itself traded over a BILLION but the numbers are still over 700X what they were in 1970. So that volume alone accounts for a good bit of the difference.
Also, in that time frame inflation has gone up 536% meaning $100 in 1970 is the equivalent of $536 in today's dollars.
When you figure that the stock market was used for INVESTING during that period as opposed to quick cash profits, the traders were much more conservative. The trades more deliberate and the returns, while not as flashy were consistent and folks had a firm expectation that when they put money into a retirement fund that it would grow, not have a good chance of losing 40% in a year. We also had stronger government regulations to insure that people's savings were not overtly over-risked.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.