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16 June 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

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About Political Calculations

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

Thanks in advance!

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