When it was first suggested to me that I could write a football-related blog post, I thought I would cover what markets have done in the last 55 years since England were last in an international football tournament final.
However, when you realise the most prominent Western European stock indices didn’t actually even exist back in 1966 (the UK’s FTSE 100 was launched in 1984 while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX were launched later in 1987 and 1988), it makes historical comparisons a little tricky.
Perhaps that says a lot though. Since English football’s last triumph, man has landed on the moon, we’ve seen the invention of the internet and there’s been an explosion in mobile communications.
Instead, I’ll kick off with a selection of the most significant events and changes.
The UK has seen the rise and fall of two defining UK Prime Ministers – Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair – whose impacts are still felt to this day. But across the channel, there has been more significant change. Since that eventful night in July 1966, England’s then opponent, West Germany, has seen the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of its country which marked a major turning point for European geopolitics.
When we look further to the East, the world is almost unrecognisable compared to when England achieved that famous 4-2 win. China, now seen as a global superpower, has risen from a GDP lower than the UK ($77 billion versus the UK’s $108.6 billion) to an incredible $14.7 trillion. That compares to the world’s largest economy, the United States, which has a GDP of around $21 trillion.
Fortunately, the S&P 500, which represents the largest 500 companies listed in the US, has a richer data history than Europe. If you had invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 at the start of 1966, the value of your portfolio today would be worth just shy of $2,000,000!
Another remarkable feature of the last 55 years is the scale of evolution in the global economy. This visualisation of the most valuable companies between 1993 – 2019 (I’d recommend watching it on 2x speed) gives just a small insight into the scale and pace at which the world is moving from old world oil & gas to the new world tech giants of today.
While fingers are tightly crossed for that England will win the Euro 2020 cup over the weekend, the hope is that next time England does reach a final there will be less change to report on.