S&P History by Decade

This is a follow-up to my last post on the S&P 500 Index’s performance from 2000 through April 2009.

It’s hard to believe that we are closing out our first decade of the New Millenium. If things don’t change for the remainder of 2009, this decade will be the worst in the history of the S&P. Just for fun, I put together a decade-by-decade look at the S&P. Here is what I found out:

S&P History by Decade

These are total returns but do not include fees, so the actual numbers would be lower. Check out that the last number is the last column. Had you invested $10 at the beginning of each month, starting in January 2000, you would have had $919.20 at the end of April, 2009. The bad part is, you would have invested a total of $1,120 over those 112 months! As you can see from the table, that’s never happened before.

Another interesting finding is that although the total return for the 1930’s was a negative 3.73%, you would have actually made money throughout the decade by dollar-cost-averaging. You would have invested $1,200 over the ten years and your end value would have been $1,750.01. That’s most likey not going to happen during the first decade of the 2000s.

9 thoughts on “S&P History by Decade”

  1. JLP,

    I think comparing each decade is a bit artificial-business cycles don’t really respect our decade boundaries. A more interesting graph would be the 10 year averages vs. the ending date. With that graph you could see how say 1982-1992 fared against 1980-1990. I suspect 1989-1999 was a very good decade…

    Yes, things look pretty bleak for the last 10 years, but that makes a lot of sense… we are in a large recession and there hasn’t been that much time for a recovery yet. I noticed your table didn’t include the 20s… and hence the crash of 1929.

    -Rick Francis

  2. It is any wonder of why the last 10 years have been so economically unsound for S & P investors when Wall Street was transformed into a into a casino with the Federal oversite agencies staffed by Bush appointees who could not or would not do their jobs as fiduciary trustees for those who paid their salaries.

  3. It is true that investors and traders are dancing on thin ice these past few months.

    I have guessed and accepted that I will not be able to earn money in some of my investments this year but I am optimistic about the economy’s recovery. I am glad that the bulk of my investment are low risk.

    Thank you for the information.

  4. The sectors and investment vehicle within those decades is what’s important because you can’t predict a decade and you can’t stay out of the entire decade as well. I like small cap ETFs long term, small cap gold stocks, and Utilities with good increasing dividend histories. I use FINVIZ and microcapreports for my research. I like this sit; I may visit more often 🙂

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