When the conversation lags at your New Year's Eve Party and a dead silence descends on the group you're with, just casually offer this little line:
"Even with the home mortgage debacle, I made $1.7 million in the stock market this year."
Of course, what you don't want to mention is that in order to arrive at that figure you added up only the totals for up days. Do not mention that adding up the tally from the negative days suggests a loss of $1.73 million, for a net loss of about $30k. It was an extremely volatile year. Any fool can lose money and if you're eager to impress strangers, there is no need to get into investment return details.
(Want to know how the stock market really works? Look here for a hilarious explanation.)