Business Insider asked Wall Street analysts, leading economists, stock traders and hedge fund managers which business charts they found most important in evaluating financial activity.
Respondents provided a wide range of results, covering economics, earnings and even population shifts.
Here are 7 of the most important charts, according to Business Insider’s survey:
- Standard & Poor’s 500 Price To Book Ratio from 1977: The chart reveals the impact of speculation on the markets and the extent to which it can inflate asset prices compared to their actual value. Cited by Jack Bogle of The Vanguard Group.
- US Real GDP and Its 20-Quarter Moving Average: Tom Keene, who hosts Bloomberg TV’s “Bloomberg Survelliance,” notes that this chart shows how the economy fluctuates over time.
- Demographics of Capital: Watching for changes in the composition of the U.S. population shows the extent to which Baby Boomers have transitioned from capital appreciation to capital preservation investment strategies, according to David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff + Associates.
- European Purchasing Managers Indices: Bloomberg Economist Michael McDonough created this chart to show the direction of Europe’s economy, which may be worse than expected.
- Percent Job Losses in Post-WWII Recessions: Bill McBride of the Calculated Risk Blog says this chart shows just how bad the current employment picture is relative to past recessions.
- Ratio of Wages to Corporate Profits: According to Matt Busigin, editor of macrofugue, income inequality in the U.S. has been growing as the result of supply side economic policies.
- Comparative Stock and Bond Performances: Economist Gary Shilling points to this chart showing that treasury bonds have outperformed the S&P 500 on a total return basis since the early 1980′s.
To see these charts, and other charts suggested by respondents to Business Insider’s survey, please click here.