Archives For S&P 500 Index

So, we had another January with a positive return. This January, the S&P 500 had a total return of 5.18%.

You have probably heard about the January Effect. Basically, it means what happens in January usually foreshadows what will happen for the year. I decided to look back at the returns I have to see if there was any truth to the saying. The findings were interesting.

Of the 87 years that I have data on (not including this year), I found that there were 55 years with a positive January.

Of those 55 years, 46 of them (roughly 84%) had positive returns over the next 11 months.

Here’s another way to look at it:

A Color-Coded Look at the S&P 500 Index

Here are January’s returns along with with the monthly history that I have so far.

January’s 5.18% return for the S&P 500 was its best for January since 1997 and ranks as the 20th best for the month of January going all the way back to 1926.

An AFM reader sent me an email and asked me to update the 20-year rolling period returns for the S&P 500 Index. Here they are:

S&P 500 20-Year Rolling Total Returns 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2013 is a great year for all the AFM readers out there!

Here are the total returns for 2012 for the S&P 500 Index, S&P Midcap 400, S&P Smallcap 600, and other indexes I follow here at AFM.

December’s .91% return for the S&P 500 Index was the 58th best for the month going back to 1926.

The geometric monthly return for all 1,044 months going back to 1926 is .779%

Here is the November update for the index returns I follow here on AFM:

Index Performance November 2012

November’s .58% total return for the S&P 500 was its best since November 2009.

The maximum dollar amount an employee can contribute to their 401(K) is increasing $500 to $17,500 for 2013. Those who are 50 and older can contribute as much as $23,000.

Let’s break down $17,500.


$1,453.33 per month.
$47.95 per day.
$1.9977 per hour (based on 8,760 hours per year).
$.0333 per minute.

Better get to saving.

Oh, and in case you’re interested…

The geometric average monthly rate of return for the S&P 500 Index since 1926 is .779%. If a person invests the maximum of $1,453.33 per month for 25 years and gets that kind of return, they could have $1.75 million.

Something to think about.

Flying through the year…

October was a not-so-good month for stocks, as you can see from the graphic (click on the graphic to download the PDF version):

S&P Total Return Index Performance October 2012

Because I like stats, I thought I would share with you this graphic I put together that shows a different way of looking at the S&P 500 Index’s history:

S&P 500 Index Stats on a Month by Month Basis October 2012