2015 Was Not a Great Year for Stocks

January 2, 2016

By far the worst performing asset class for 2015 followed by AFM was the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which was down nearly 15%. Based on the numbers I found this morning, it’s a very volatile index:

MSCI Emerging Markets Index TR

Yet, even with all that volatility, it still performed a lot better than the S&P 500 over the same period. NOTE: The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) began trading on 4/14/2003. Since that day, it has had a 10.51% average annual rate of return vs. 8.95% for the iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (IVV).

Here is the up-to-date report through 2015 (click on the graphic to download the PDF).

Total Returns for Various Indexes - Dec 2015

4 responses to 2015 Was Not a Great Year for Stocks

  1. Hi,

    Long time reader here (first time posting!). I’ve been enjoying your charts! Thanks for posting them.

    I have a question regarding the S&P 500 total return for a year. Is there a canonical source to get this info? Is it the Standard & Poor’s website? I’ve been using Google Finance and, as of today, if you enter SP500TR (for s&p 500 total return) and then click YTD (which should bring in the whole 2015) all you get is a -0.04% total return. I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with Google’s data. In other places I’ve seen 1.4 or 1.38 like your post.

    I’m also trying to find the CRSP Total Return (US Total Market Index) for 2015. So far I’ve only found the mutual fund VTSAX (Total Stock Market) being at 0.39% for the year (as compared to 1.36% for VFIAX (SP500). That’s a big difference as they usually have a tight correlation. Apparently the small caps did terribly wrong this year.

    Happy new year!
    Jorge

    • Jorge,

      Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading AFM.

      I get my S&P 500 TR numbers from the S&P website. Go to http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500 and then click in the area I have circled in this graphic:

      SP500TR

      My numbers match up with S&P’s numbers. NOTE: I used the prices for 12/31/2014 (3769.44) and 12/31/2015 (3821.60).

      As far as the CRSP Total Return goes, I get a total return of .4028% for 2015. I found this information using the historical returns on Google Finance and calculating the change myself. The difference you see is probably due to the fact that both mid caps and small caps did a lot worse than the S&P 500 did last year.

      I hope this helps.

  2. Thanks for the pointer & the CRSP calculation. That was fast!

    All the best,
    Jorge

  3. It was great in my opinion. No, I didn’t beat the S&P 500. I’m proud to lag it by a couple basis points. You see, 2012-2014 gave us 3 year of double digit growth. I said to my wife that I actually wanted a flat year. A year that earnings can grow, and P/E drops just enough for the chicken littles to stop pointing to a falling sky. An index drop of 3/4 of a percent and total return 1.38% is as close as you get to ‘flat.’ Great article, the charts are much appreciated.