Since its low in March 2009, the S&P 500 stock index has gone up 105 percent. In late April, the Dow Jones Industrial Average powered to a three-year high, up 98 percent.
"Corporate America, excluding the banks, came through the financial crisis in great shape in terms of their balance sheet," says Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Ore. "They have enjoyed accelerating revenue and profit."
Those rising stock prices have certainly helped one group: billionaires. Two years ago, according to Forbes Magazine, there were 359 US billionaires, controlling $1.061 trillion in wealth. The magazine's assessment for 2011 found 412 US billionaires with wealth totaling $1.484 trillion.
Yet on Main Street, the view is somewhat different.
Poughkeepsie is the county seat for Dutchess County. As such, it has a certain amount of built-in stability from courts, law firms, and hospitals.