Nifty Fifty Stocks: Historical Performance Since 1971

In 1971, The Morgan Guaranty Trust created a list of 50 stocks dubbed the “Nifty Fifty” that could be purchased and then held for the rest of one’s lifetime. The valuation at the time of the list’s creation was unfortunate–it was analogous to making such a list in 1998 or 1999 at the height of dotcom mania. Many of the P/E ratios were extreme for large companies.

Burroughs and Simplicity had such a near collapse of shareholder wealth that it effectively wiped out shareholders even if it didn’t include a formal bankruptcy. Polaroid, and Kresge which became K-Mart, did go bankrupt. The shareholders of Emery and Eastman-Kodak were each tossed a lifeline, as Emery had part of its assets become UPS stock and Eastman-Kodak spun-off Eastman Chemical that is still solvent and growing to this day. Schlitz Brewing shareholders got bought out by the Stroh family in 1982, which was … Read the rest of this article!