Super Bowl market curse? Why investors should root for Rams over Patriots, Tom Brady

Investors have good reason to root for the Los Angeles Rams to defeat the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, based on historical market data outlined by LPL Research.

Through the first 52 Super Bowls, the S&P 500 Index has risen by an average of 10.2 percent in the full year after teams from the National Football Conference (NFC), such as the Rams, win the Super Bowl. By comparison, the S&P 500 has posted an average price return of just 5.8 percent in years that teams from the American Football Conference (AFC), such as the Patriots, won the title.

“We would be the first to admit that this indicator has no connection to the stock market, but the data don’t lie—the S&P 500 Index has performed better, and posted positive gains with greater frequency, over the past 52 Super Bowl games when NFC teams have won,” LPL Research said in a blog post.

The S&P 500 actually fell 6.2 percent in 2018, despite a victory in last year’s Super Bowl by the NFC’s Philadelphia Eagles. However, the index has posted a positive year in 79 percent of the years that NFC teams have won, compared to just 63 percent of the time for AFC teams.

The fluky trend has grown even worse in years that the New England Patriots have won the Super Bowl – especially since quarterback Tom Brady took over as the team’s starter in 2002. The S&P 500 has sank by an average of 3 percent in years in which Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl appearance – five of which resulted in victories.

“Pats fans might be ecstatic that Tom Brady is starting in a record-breaking ninth Super Bowl, but market bulls don’t want to see the Pats win, as stocks are up only 1.5% for the year on average after a victory versus up 2.9% if they lose,” said LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Tom might be terrific, but maybe not in all markets.”


For what it’s worth, LPL Research notes that its Super Bowl calculations are “in no way relevant to investors,” so Patriots fans can feel safe rooting for their team without ruining their portfolios.