Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 25, 2007

We have incorporated some minor revisions that Standard & Poor had made to its dividend and earnings data for the S&P 500 index (going back to September 2004) into our signature tool for providing historical S&P 500 returns: The S&P 500 at Your Fingertips!

But, that's not the big news! In making these revisions, we realized we could make some pretty accurate short term projections of these values, which means that we're no longer held for S&P to update their data each quarter! That means that we can now update our tool with the most recent month's market data when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases their inflation data on the third week of each month.

That means that you can go use our tool to find historic market returns for any month from January 1871 through May 2007, right now! For those who hate clicking through, here's the quick summary:

January 1871 through May 2007: For those with really long term investment horizons, the S&P 500 returned 2.28% before reinvesting dividends and after adjusting for an inflation rate of 2.09%. Reinvesting dividends increases the inflation-adjusted really, really, really long term annualized rate of return to 7.11%!

May 2006 through May 2007: For those who like year over year returns, an investment in the S&P 500 in May 2006 returned an inflation-adjusted 16.37% with full reinvestment of dividends in the one year period. Inflation clocked in at 2.69% over this period.

January 2007 through May 2007: Finally, for those who like their data as Year-To-Date, an inflation-adjusted, full dividend reinvested investment in the S&P 500 in January has produced an annualized rate of return of 12.56%. The annualized rate of inflation is something to behold however, as it registered a level of 8.42% for the period from January through May 2007.

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