Shared this relative performance chart of bonds vs. equities on StockTwits this morning, and wanted to post it here for our readers.
Here is TLT (US Treasury bonds) vs. the returns of QQQ (Nasdaq 100 ETF) and SPY (S&P 500 ETF), from March 13, 2009 to April 30, 2013.
As you can see from the chart above, TLT has gained about 20 percent (not including dividends) in this 4 year period. QQQ is up 144 percent and SPY is up 110 percent from the start of this recent bull market in equities.
In terms of price (directional) correlation, you'll note that while the QQQ and SPY are very closely linked, the two stock index ETFs seem negatively correlated with TLT. When stocks are up, government bonds are lagging and vice versa, at least for the period in question.