Who Was The Best President For Stock Returns?

President Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, while President Obama went back to being a regular citizen. This brings up the question of how stocks did under President Obama, and who was the best president for stock returns?

Turns out, the Dow gained a very impressive 150% during the eight years President Obama was in office. This ranks as the fourth best out of the 19 presidents since 1900.

Here is the breakdown of all the presidents and Dow returns since 1900.

01-25-17_blog_figure1-revisedNote: Red signifies a Republican and blue signifies Democrat.

According to Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist, “The eight years under President Obama saw the Dow gain 150%, which was one of the best returns ever. Of course, it also came on the heels of the 25% drop during President Bush’s eight years due to the financial crisis – only an 80% plus drop during the Great Depression under President Hoover was worse.”

Here are some other interesting stats from the presidential returns:

  • The best return ever was during the Roaring ‘20s and President Calvin Coolidge. The Dow gained an incredible 255% in just under six years.
  • The worst return ever followed the Roaring ‘20s, as the Dow crashed nearly 83% under President Herbert Hoover. Not too surprisingly, Hoover was only a one-term president.
  • The shortest time in office was President Warren G. Harding, who died after about two-and-a-half years, just as the Roaring ‘20s were starting. The shortest time in office ever was President Harrison, who died exactly one month after taking office. Some attribute his death to his two hour inaugural address delivered without a coat or hat on a cold, wet day.
  • The longest time in office was Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), who remained president just over 12 years. Take note that means he won the election four consecutive times. In fact, he was the only president to be in office more than two terms. In February 1951, with the passing of the 22nd amendment, presidents were limited to two terms in office.
  • Each of the past three presidents have made it the full two terms, or eight years. There has never been four straight two-term presidents. Jefferson/Madison/Monroe all made it eight years, but John Quincy Adams ended the streak and was out of office after four years in 1829.


Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security.

The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.

Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIJA) is the most widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks, primarily industrials. The 30 stocks are chosen by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow is computed using a price-weighted indexing system, rather than the more common market cap-weighted indexing system.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

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