Friday, January 4, 2013

Stock Market Total Returns through 2011


Continuing my practice of archiving the prior year's version of my "Stock Market Returns Through 19xx" post, following is my archive of market total returns through 2011.

Stock Market Total Return Results through 2011

  • Since 1900 (end-of-year 1899), through 2011, I estimate the average total return/year of the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average)  was approximately 9.4%  -- 4.8% in price appreciation, plus approx 4.6% in dividends. (Some numbers won't add up due to rounding.)
  • Since 1929 (year-end 1928 -- i.e., before the crash), through 2011, the return was 8.8% (4.6%, plus 4.3%) [note: see The 1929 Stock Market Crash]
  • Since end-of-year 1932 (i.e., after the crash): 11.1% (7.0%, plus 4.2%)
  • The average annual stock market return for the past twenty-five calendar years was 10.5% (7.7%, plus 2.7%)  
  • Stock market returns for the last 20 years: 9.4% (7.0%, plus 2.4%) 
  • Returns for the last 10 years: 4.5% (2.0%, plus 2.5%) 
  • For the last 5 years, 2.3% (-0.4%, plus 2.7%) 
  • For 2011 the stock market (Dow/DJIA) total return was 8.3% (5.5% plus 2.7%)
    • 2011 year-end dividend yield was 2.6%

For related results, see:


Notes re Data

In all cases above, the returns are from year-end to year-end. In addition, by "stock market" I mean the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average). The results would typically be somewhat higher for the S&P 500.  Returns are compounded annually; compounding more frequently would result in slightly higher returns; dividends prior to 1929 have been estimated based upon another stock market index. To calculate the return for periods not listed above, e.g. 1999-2002, see my Dow Compound Growth Rate Calculator/Spreadsheet.

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