Distribution of US Equity Returns From 1825 To 2018: Chart

U.S. equities have returned positive returns in more years than negative returns based on historical data. Of the last 194 years, US stocks have yielded positive returns in 138 years (71% of the time) and negative returns in 56 years (29% of the time).

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*Note that different sources of information (and index data collection methodologies) were used depending on the time period. The S&P 500 index was used from 1957 onwards and its predecessor S&P index from the period from 1923 to 1957. The data prior to that was computed by William Goetzmann, Roger Ibbotson et al. Source: “A new historical database for the NYSE 1815 to 1925: Performance and Predictability”, Journal of Financial Markets, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2001, Page 1-32.

Data Source: Pyramid Distribution of US Equity Returns 1825 to 2017

Source: US equities: returns over the last 194 years, Moneybox


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