I’m a sucker for charts and graphs. I once attended an Edward Tufte course just for kicks. Though I don’t do much with charts and graphs around GRS, I always admire the work of others.
For example, last year when I shared my guide to understanding the federal budget (and the follow up on the truth about taxes), I pointed to Jess Bachman’s annual Death and Taxes poster, which attempts to visualize the entire U.S. federal budget in just six square feet. Bachman’s poster contains over 500 programs and departments, with the size of each item on the poster proportional to its budget amount.
Another company called History Shots creates (and reprints) great charts and graphs on a variety of subjects. I own their Race to the Moon map and their History of the Political Parties timeline. I want their History of the Dow Jones Industrial Average poster.
And the reason I’m mentioning all of this? A company called Investments Illustrated sent e-mail the other day to tell me about their Big Picture chart, which illustrates the returns of major asset classes (such as stocks and bonds) since 1926. Though they intend this for financial advisers to display in their offices, I covet one myself.
You don’t have to buy these charts to enjoy them. All three of these companies allow users to view their posters via web browser, which allows you to zoom in and out, or to scroll around the page.
Not everyone is a financial geek, I know. But if you’re interested in money and you’re interested in charts and graphs, you may want to check these out. (And if you know of other posters like these, please tell me!)