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Silver vs. the Dow

Which has performed better over the past forty-four years: silver or the Dow Jones Industrial Average? Check out the charts and compare.

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Silver vs.The Dow Over the Past Forty-Four Years

Live Silver Price

Silver has often been referred to as Gold’s poorer cousin. Historically, it took about 16 ounces to silver to buy one ounce of gold. For the past few years, however, the gold/silver ratio has soared to about 65 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. When gold rises, silver generally rises more than gold, but when gold declines, silver takes a bigger hit.

For twelve key differences between silver and gold, click here.

Here is a chart that shows which years from 1970-2012 silver performed better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and which years the DJIA out performed silver (top). The chart also shows how many ounces of silver it tooks to buy the DJIA from 1970-2012 (bottom).

Silver vs. the Dow. Chart showing the relative performances of Gold and the Dow Jones Industrial Averages

Silver Chart Courtesy of Nick Laird

Long Term Silver Performance

Click Chart to Enlarge

Chart showing the average annual yearly percentage price changes of silvers price from 1970-2012

Silver’s Average Annual Yearly Percentage Price Changes 1970-2012

Percentage of Silver up Years: 50%. Since 1970 silver has gone up 22 years over the last 44 years or 50% of the years. In the years where silver hit its all time high, 1980 and 2011, the average price for those years was down from the previous years.

Longest Silver Winning Streak: Six years. Silver went up six years in a row from 2002-2007. Silver was down in 2013 and was up the first quarter of 2014.

Longest Silver Losing Streak: Five years. Silver went down five years in a row from 1988-1992

Largest Annual Silver Gain: 374% (1979)

Largest Annual Silver Loss: 49% (1981)

Forty-Four Year Silver Performance: 1,043% Silver was about $1.75 an ounce in 1970 and currently is about $20.

The price of silver is more volatile than gold or the Dow. (see also Gold vs. the Dow) Silver has recorded the largest annual price gain and loss. Silver has also had the longest losing streak and shortest winning streak compared to the DJIA and gold. Silver has the worst record for consistent performance, rising just 50% of the years.

Click Chart to Enlarge

Chart showing the dow jones industrial averages from 1970 until 2012

The Dow Jones Industrial Averages from 1970 to 2012

Percentage of DJIA up years: 70%. Since 1970 the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone up 31 of the last 44 years or 70% of the years.

Longest DJIA Winning Streak: Nine years. The DJIA went up nine years in a row from 1991-1999.

Longest DJIA Losing Streak: Three years. The DJIA went down three years in a row from 200-2002.

Largest annual DJIA gain: 38% (1975)

Largest annual DJIA loss: 34% (2008)

Forty-four year DJIA performance: 2,650% The DJIA was about 600 in 1970 and is currently around 16,500 today.

The DJIA has been the most consistent performer among gold and silver. (see also Gold vs. The Dow). It’s longest streak of negative returns is just three years in a row. The Dow, however, also has the lowest single year annual gain.

*does not include any reinvested dividends.

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Further Reading:

Smaulgld Silver Buying Guide

Gold vs. The Dow

Silver vs. the Dollar

Gold and Silver Price Manipulation – Suspected

12 Ways Silver is Different than Gold

Buying Gold and Silver


Gold and Real Estate Are Not Investments

Think the Fed Destroyed the Dollar?

The Silver to Gold Sales Ratio (containing links to monthly data from September 2013 – present)


The Silver To Gold Sales Ratio March 2014

Royal Canadian Mint


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