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Visual Guide to Financial Markets by David Wilson

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Indexes

The 2000s have been called a lost decade for U.S. stock investors because they lost money even after taking dividends into account. Exhibit 5.1 shows how stocks fared relative to the dollar, bonds, commodities, and real estate in the 10-year period.

This kind of comparison is made possible by market indexes, which track performance over time. Indexes provide a way to gauge the daily performance of currency, debt, equity, and hard asset markets and a way to assess their moves during the day.

Each market has indicators that provide more specific data. Stock indexes, for example, can be used to compare larger companies with those that are ...

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