Greece's Stock Market Is Beating China's in 2012 (Wait, What?)

Here are two simple rules when it comes to investing. First, stay away from countries in the middle of great depressions. Second, steer toward countries in the middle of growth miracles. If you just followed these two rules in 2012, you did, well, terribly.

Look at the chart below to see just how terribly. It compares the Athens (blue) and Shanghai (red) stock markets over 2012, courtesy of Also Sprach Analyst. That's the Greek market up 20 percent on the year and the Chinese market down 10 percent. Which country's economy just collapsed 7.2 percent and which country's economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter again?
ChinavGreece.png
Don't move your retirement money into Greek equities just yet. The Athens index fell nearly 90 percent from its 2007 peak to its 2012 low, before it rebounded in the second half of the year once the threat of an immediate euro exit passed. In other words, it's up off a very low base thanks to politics, not economics. The Shanghai index is down because Chinese growth, though still strong, keeps sliding down from its 2007 peak of 14 percent -- along with sometimes shady accounting at Chinese firms making the markets a sometimes dubious prospect.

How long until Goldman Sachs is touting the PIIGS instead of the BRICs in its investment letters?

Presented by

Matthew O'Brien

Matthew O'Brien is a former senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In