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The Wall Street Waltz: 90 Visual Perspectives, Illustrated Lessons From Financial Cycles and Trends, Revised and Updated Edition


The Wall Street Waltz

Introducing the new Fisher Investment SeriesComprised of engaging and informative titles written by renowned money manager and bestselling author Ken Fisher, this series offers essential insights into the worlds of investing and finance.

"Any investor who fails to read and heed Ken Fisher's book will have only himself (or herself) to blame if he loses his shirt in the market. Using simple words and dramatic charts, Fisher packs a whole financial education into one neat package."

James W. Michaels, Editor Emeritus and Group Vice President-Editorial, Forbes, Inc.

"Ken's book vividly presents a complete picture of the stock market's history—a vital tool for the savvy investor."

Charles R. Schwab, founder, Chairman, and CEO, The Charles Schwab Corporation

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these charts could be worth your life savings."

William E. Donoghue, Chairman, W. E. Donoghue Co., Inc.

"Ken Fisher's clear, insightful analysis makes this a compelling book. For information and entertainment, this is a book to turn to again, and again, and again."

David Dreman, founder, Chairman, and CIO, Dreman Value Management, LLC

Ken Fisher is best known for his prestigious "Portfolio Strategy" column in Forbes magazine, where his twenty-three-year tenure of high-profile calls makes him the fourth longest-running columnist in Forbes' ninety-year history. Ken is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Fisher Investments, a multi-product money management firm with over $40 billion under management. His success has ranked him #271 on the 2007 Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. He is a regular in the media and has appeared in most major American finance or business periodicals. Fisher also recently authored the New York Times bestseller The Only Three Questions That Count, which is also published by Wiley.


Introduction: A Reintroduction To The Waltz.


Part 1. Stock Market Visualizations.

Chart 1. Price/ Earnings Ratios: Then and Now Dow Jones Industrials Price/Earnings Ratio, 1915–1986.

Chart 2. In Case You Didn't Get It the First Time The Stock Market vs. Its P/ E Ratio, 1871–1937.

Chart 3. Earning a Good Return in the Market The Long-Term Tie Between Earnings and Stock Prices, 1926–1971.

Chart 4. Earnings Yields: Stocks Versus Bonds Earnings Yield on the S&P 500 vs. Yield On High-Grade Corporate Bonds, 1946–1974.

Chart 5. Price/ Dividend Ratios Provide Long-Term Vision Price/Dividend Ratios, 1920–1985.

Chart 6. Price-to-Book Ratios: Playing It by the Book The Market's Price-to-Book Ratio, 1921–1986.

Chart 7. Price/Cash Flow Ratios: A Hidden Twist S&P 400 High Annual Price/Cash Flow Ratio, 1945–1986.

Chart 8. An Advertisement for Super Stocks and Forbes Sears, Roebuck & Company's Stock Price, 1926–1955.

Chart 9. Mr. and Mrs. Financial—Real Split Personalities Railroad Stocks and Bonds, 1860–1935.

Chart 10. Never a Timer Be: 56 Years of Stocks and Interest Rates Short-Term Interest Rates vs. the Stock Market, 1919–1978.

Chart 11. Value Line Industrial Composite: All the Stats that Are Fit to Print

Value Line Industrial Composite, 1970–1986.

Chart 12. Wealth Indexes for Classes of Securities, and the Winner Is . . .Wealth Indexes of Investments in the U.S. Capital Markets, 1925–1985.

Chart 13. Invest Overseas and Diversify? British Stocks vs. Dow Jones Industrials, 1958–1977.

Chart 14. Stock Prices Abroad: Seven More Market Mirrors Stock Indexes in Seven Countries, 1970–1980.

Chart 15. The 51st Estate Canadian vs. U.S. Stock Prices, 1962–1971.

Chart 16. Stock Prices Versus GNP Stock Market Indexes and Variations in GNP, 1955–1974.

Chart 17. The Premium Price of Growth Price/Earnings Multiples of Emerging Growth Stocks as a Percentage of the S&P 500 P/E, 1960–1986.

Chart 18. Growth-Stock Gyrations Hambrecht & Quist Growth Index, Hambrecht & Quist Technology Index, Standard & Poor's 400, January 1970 to September 1986.

Chart 19. “IPO” Means It's Probably Overpriced Number of Initial Public Offerings, 1969–1985.

Chart 20. "Wake Up, Folks" Stocks vs. Five Investment Alternatives 1975–1985.

Chart 21. Takeover Tactics in Relation to Assets Stocks, Infl ation, and Merger and Acquisitions Activity, 1968–1984.

Chart 22. The Silent Crash No One Noticed The Dow Jones Industrial Average as Adjusted for Infl ation, 1920–1985.

Chart 23. Moving with the Moving Average The 40-Week Moving Average of the Dow

Jones Industrial Average, 1965–1977.

Chart 24. All the News That's Fit to Print Stock Prices vs. News Items, 1949–1968.

Chart 25. Stock Prices Versus Recessions Standard & Poor's Index of 500 Common Stocks and Cyclical Declines in the Economy, 1948–1977.

Chart 26. Nine Major Stock Market Cycles Long-Term DJIA Showing Bull and Bear Trendlines, 1929–1977.

Chart 27. Roaring Twenties Revisited? Comparison of Dow Jones Industrials of the 1920s vs. the 1980s.

Chart 28. Price/ Earnings Ratios Can Be Deceiving Price/Earnings Ratio, 1928–1929.

Chart 29. A Clear Warning Stock Price Indexes, 1927–1929.

Chart 30. The Big Boys Don't Always Buy Cheap Mergers Record, 1919–1928.

Chart 31. Preferred Stocks Shouldn't Be Comparison of Industrial Common and Preferred Stocks, 1908–1932.

Chart 32. The 2 Percent Rule The Panic of 1907.

Chart 33. Remember What the Rich Man Forgot The Average Market Price of the 20 Leading Railroad and 12 Leading Industrial Stocks and of 5 Standard Bonds, 1896–1912.

Chart 34. Monthly Railroad Prices, 1843–1862 Indices of Railroad-Stock Prices, Monthly, 1843–1862: Index I (8 Selected Stocks), 1843–1852; Index IIc (18 Selected Stocks), 1853–1862; and All- Inclusive Index, 1843–1862.

Chart 35. Financial Fluctuations in the 18th Century? You Can Bank on It! The Bank of England—Stock Prices, 1732–1846.

Chart 36. Charting the South Seas The South Seas Bubble, December 1719 to October 1720.

Chart 37. 190 Years of Stock Market Movements Annual Average Stock Prices, 1790–1980.

Chart 38. Do You Figure They Earned Their Keep? Annual Rates of Return on Common Stocks, 1925–1976.

Chart 39. Two Ways to make a Million Two Examples of the Power of Compound


Part 2. Interest Rates, Commodity Prices, Real Estate, And Inflation.

Chart 40. The Interest-Rate Shuffle Long-Term vs. Short-Term Interest Rates, 1950–1975.

Chart 41. Long-Term Interest Rates: Four Countries in the World Economy Long-Term Interest Rates in Selected Countries, 1960–1980.

Chart 42. There Seems to Be a Bond Between These Yields Bond Interests and Common Stock Yields of Four Countries, 1955–1965.

Chart 43. The Snake AA Bond Rates Compared to the S&P 400 Earnings, 1960–1986.

Chart 44. Why the Interest in Oil? Yield on 20-Year Treasuries and Price of Crude

Oil, 1973–1986.

Chart 45. High Interest Rates Have Been a Recurring Nightmare U.S. Money Rates, Prime Commercial Paper, 1841–1918.

Chart 46. 125 Years of the Counsel of the Consols A Comparison of Yields on Consols and U.S. Railroad Bonds, 1860–1980.

Chart 47. The Source of England's Stiff Upper Lip Long-Term Interest Rates, U.K., 1731–1970.

Chart 48. When High Is Low—and Vice Versa Historical Record of Real Interest Rates, 1790–1980.

Chart 49. Comparing Domestic and English Wholesale Prices Wholesale Prices in England vs. the United States, 1782–1930.

Chart 50. Prices in Southern England Price Index of Southern England, 1290–1950.

Chart 51. Wholesale Inflation Wholesale Prices: All Commodities—Yearly

Averages, 1749–1980.

Chart 52. Inflation—The American Experience United States Consumer Price Index, 1790–1985.

Chart 53. Gold: The Litmus Test for Commodity Prices Prices, in Currency and Gold, of 40 Basic Commodities in Different Countries, 1913–1936.

Chart 54. Prices in Three Countries Retail Prices in Germany, England, and the United States, 1860–1910.

Chart 55. A Lesson in Avoiding Wars Effect of Wars on U.S. Wholesale Prices.

Chart 56. No Place to Go but Up? Commodity Prices, 1982–1986.

Chart 57. Long-Term Gold Holders Get the Cold Shoulder 200 Years of American Gold Prices, 1781–1981.

Chart 58. The Long Cycle In Real Estate Activity Idealized 181/3 -Year Real Estate Cycle, 1870–1955.

Chart 59. Rural Real Estate: The True Story Change in Average Value of Farm Real Estate per Acre, 1981–1985.

Chart 60. And It Never Was, Either Trend in U.S. Farm Real Estate Prices, 1912–1976.

Chart 61. Housing Prices Single Family House Price Index, 1890–1980.

Part 3. Analyzing Business Cycles, Government Finance, And Quackery.

Chart 62. The One Minute Economic Cheat Sheet American Business Activity, 1790–1986.

Chart 63. What Do You See in This Pattern? Conspectus of Business Cycles in Various Countries, 1790–1925.

Chart 64. Unemployment and the 1 Percent Rule Unemployment Rate for Civilian Workers 1948–1983 (Seasonally adjusted).

Chart 65. Cars Crash, Too! New Auto Sales, Domestic Type (excluding imports), 1945–1983.

Chart 66. Housing Starts: An Inverted Look Housing Starts and Real Residential Fixed Investment, 1950–1979.

Chart 67. Breadlines in Britain English Unemployment, 1850–1914.

Chart 68. A Capital Spending Myth Expenditures for Business Plant and Equipment as a Percentage of the Privately Produced Gross National Product, 1900–1960.

Chart 69. South Africa Gold: How Important? Total World Gold Production, 1950–1983.

Chart 70. Is Labor Really Overpaid? Changes in the Equivalent of the Wage Rate of a Building Craftsman Expressed in a Composite Physical Unit of Consumables in Southern England, 1264–1954.

Chart 71. Electricity Use and Economic Growth Kilowatt-Hour Sales of the Electric Industry vs. Gross National Product or Expenditure.

Chart 72. Crude Oil Supply: A Tale of Government Involvement Domestic and Imported Crude Oil Supply, 1950–1979.

Chart 73. Texans Weren't the First to Ride—The Learning Curve Accumulated Knowledge vs. Costs, Electric Utility Industry, 1896–1912.

Chart 74. In the Know, Or Heavily Snowed? Net Public Debt as a Percentage of GNP, 1930–1986.

Chart 75. Taxes: The Customs of Our Evolution Sources of Federal Revenue, 1873–1940.

Chart 76. Government Growth: The Big Picture Public Finance, 1790–1953.

Chart 77. State and Local Taxes on a Steady Course State and Local Tax Sources, 1960–1979.

Chart 78. The States Are Revolting Federal and State-Local Expenditures, 1954–1983.

Chart 79. You Can't Put a Number on It The Laffer Curve.

Chart 80. The Myth of Federal Taxes Taxes and Spending and Their Relation to GNP, 1965–1987.

Chart 81. Balancing the Budget with Hot Air Federal Income Tax Rates, 1909–1987.

Chart 82. Uncle "Fat Cat" Sam's Real Estate Scam Approximate Area of Federal Lands in the United States, 1781–1960.

Chart 83. Defense Expenditures and the GNP Defense Budget as a Percentage of GNP, 1945–1986.

Chart 84. The Economic Cycle Economists Deny The Kondratieff Wave, 1780–1986 and Beyond.

Chart 85. Sunspots Sunspots, 1755–1978.

Chart 86. Bear Markets Versus Bare Knees The Hemline Indicator, 1897–1986.

Chart 87. Don't Buy Nuttin' What Eats Average Thoroughbred Yearling Prices Compared to Dow Jones Industrials Yearly Close, 1970–1980.

Chart 88. Wall Street Witch Doctors Exponential Upsweep of Dow Industrials, 1926–1962+.

Chart 89. Flukes of Nature and Finance The 9.6-Year Cycle in Acreage of Wheat Harvested, 1860–1970.

Chart 90. Don't Lose Your Hide in the Market Cycles of Hide and Leather Prices.


Appendix. Myths To Frighten Children.

Appendix. Updated Charts.

Chart 18 Supply and Demand — the Real Drivers.

Chart 74 Debt, the Federal Government, and Heroin Addicts.

Chart 83 Scale It to See It.

Chart 84 Predicting Communism's Demise.