NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the end of a tumultuous year for financial stocks approaches, it's a time to look ahead to 2010, but also worth gazing back to see how far we have come.

Here's a brief look at some of the biggest financial firms, where they were at this point in 2008, and how much money you would have earned or lost, had you bought $10,000 worth of their stock a year ago.


1. Fannie Mae ( FNM) and Freddie Mac ( FRE): A year ago, government arms Fannie and Freddie had only begun their work to help stabilize the housing market.

Already under the auspices of conservatorship, the two mortgage giants were unveiling plans to assist delinquent borrowers. Since then, it's been a long road that eventually involved the country's biggest banks halting foreclosures and implementing plans to keep people in their homes. It has also resulted in additional losses and the tapping of credit lines from the federal government.

The future of Fannie and Freddie appears as unclear now as it did a year ago and their charitable work hasn't made their balance sheets any more viable. But quizzically, speculative traders would have made a pretty penny had they bought Fannie or Freddie shares a year ago, when they were both well within penny stock territory.

A $10,000 investment in Fannie common would have earned $7,833, or 78.3%, while the same investment in Freddie would have earned $11,030, or 118%.

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