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DEFINITION of 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Indicator'

An indicator based on the nationality of the model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Indicator attempts to provide insight into stock market returns for that year. The indicator suggests that when the cover model is from the U.S., the S&P 500 will generate a return above its historical rate, while a non-American cover model leads to underperformance by the S&P 500 for the year.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Indicator'

Between 1978 and 2008, the average return of the S&P 500 was 10.5%; when the cover model was American, the average annual return of the S&P 500 was 13.9%. When the cover model was non-American, the average annual return for the S&P 500 was 7.2%. For example, the S&P 500 was up 34.1% in 1997 when Tyra Banks graced the Sports Illustrated cover. The indicator was first coined by the Bespoke Investment Group.

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