Innumeracy is like illiteracy, only with numbers. There’s a lot of it going around–hopefully it won’t reach pandemic proportions.
I’m not talking calculus, trigonometry, or even quadratic equations. I’m talking simple, easy, yet important math concepts.
Let’s use round numbers and examine the stock market’s recent actions. Before the coronavirus spooked the market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 29,000 points (rounded). After the virus scare, it dropped to about 25,000 points (also rounded), a loss of 4,000 points.* The loss of 4,000 points in this case is about 14 percent (1- [25000/29000]).
If the market, while at its low point, gains 14 percent it seem like the market has recovered all its losses. Down 14 percent. Up 14 percent. (14-14=0)
However, (25000*1.14) = 28,500, not 29,000. It’s still 500 points below its high mark, which is still a loss of 2 percent. It would take an increase of 16 percent to recover all its value.
Well, I found it interesting.
*Did you ever try to spend a point? Don’t!