It was a near-run thing. A cursory glance at the S&P-500 at the beginning and end of 2015 could easily lead one to conclude that the index had fallen for the year. Not so. If one adds in the dividends paid by S&P-500 stocks (or examines the cost-adjusted values, which is functionally the same thing), one sees that in fact, the index closed the year higher than it began. Of course, this was cold comfort to many, particularly those who had gotten used to easy wins and high dividends in the energy sector.
Nevertheless, the bull market did, technically, survive, and that raises the question, “What kind of stocks are likely to do well in a very mature bull market?” and, with a finer point, “Which stocks should I now be in?”
Today, we are going to look at the lessons of the past: what does history tell us about the way things evolve in a late-stage bull market? And which of the stocks on the market today appear most likely to follow the same pattern as the winners of yesteryear? As always, be sure to consider these ideas to be just that, ideas, and do your own research before investing.