The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,573.49 on the last trading day before Christmas. That's up 10.6 percent from a year ago. And 37.5% from two years ago.

When 2008 closed, markets were finishing strong, but just getting over the near-death experience of the disappearance of Bear Stearns, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the massive propping up of American International Group, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.