Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 16, 2009

S&P 500 Best, Worst and Average Nominal Annualized Rates of Return for Holding Periods Ranging from 1 to 130 Years, Since January 1871 One of our most popular posts ever maps the best, worst and average rates of return for investments placed in the S&P 500, or its predecessor indices and companies, since 1871. Today, we're updating that post as well as our model of those returns!

To do that, we calculated every non-inflation adjusted rate of return for various holding periods of time ranging from 1 to 130 years in duration, beginning with January 1871 and ending in May 2009, the last full month for which we have this data, on a rolling basis. We then determined the best and worst compound annual rates of return for all of these periods, as well as the average rate of return for all of the holding periods we considered. Our source data is available here.

But wait, that's not all! We went the extra mile and rebuilt our mathematical models of the best and worst nominal rates of return for all holding periods running between 1 and 130 years in length using ZunZun, significantly improving their accuracy!

But we weren't finished yet.... For us, a new mathematical model means a new tool to create, so we whipped one up:

Duration of Investing Period
Input Data Values
Holding Period [years]

Compound Annualized Rates of Return
Approximated Results Values
Best Rate of Return
Average Rate of Return
Worst Rate of Return

Labels: , , , ,

About Political Calculations

blog advertising
is good for you

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts


This year, we'll be experimenting with a number of apps to bring more of a current events focus to Political Calculations - we're test driving the app(s) below!

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Visitors since December 6, 2004:

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links
Charities We Support
Recommended Reading
Recommended Viewing
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.