Back to square one for the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 index has finally surpassed its previous peak.

Chart showing FTSE 100 from 1999 - 2015

Where were you on Friday 30 December 1999?

The chances are that, if you remember, you were preparing for a millennium party due the following day. It is most unlikely that you noticed the closing level of the FTSE 100 (Footsie) on that Friday, which in any case was a shortened trading day on the London Stock Exchange. Yet the day’s, year’s and for that matter decade’s final Footsie reading of 6930.2 marked an all-time high for the index which was only topped on 24 February 2015.

The 15+ years it has taken for the Footsie to regain its millennial peak prompted plenty of comment, some of which suggested the performance highlighted what poor returns investing in shares offered. Alas, not all of the coverage has been well informed:

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.