Today's front page of the Wall Street Journal has an article highlighting the "lost decade" for US stocks. The article mentions that the S&P 500 is "up just 1.3% over the last ten years, factoring in inflation and dividends." In early March, we performed a similar analysis in our "The Lost Decade" post that highlighted the weak performance in equities since the new millennium began.
We took the 10-year total return performance of the S&P 500 back to 1900 (non-inflation adjusted) and charted the results below. When the line is highlighted in red, 10-year returns were lower than they are now. As shown, periods where returns were lower occurred in 1914, 1921, 1932, 1938, 1974 and 1977. We also highlight years where returns peaked -- 1929, 1959, 1992 and 2000. While the returns could easily get worse, periods that have been this bad have not lasted longer than 4 years (1937-1941) before they've started to get better.
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