How long does it take to become a long-term investor? Past performance is not a guarantee of your future results but ignoring history is unwise. According to Craig Israelsen, Ph.D., an academic whose research we license, over the last 93 years, the four major asset classes - stocks in large and small companies, 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds, and 90-day Treasury bills - through the end of 2018 offered returns and risk levels as shown. The period encompasses all of modern Wall Street history, some of the best statistics for understanding investing. Owning stock in large U.S. companies averaged a 9.99% return nominally, which is economic-speak for saying "before adjusting for inflation."
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Despite Crises, Economic Fundamentals Are Strong
Europe's economy slowed sharply, a U.S.-China trade war loomed, fears of a real war with North Korea grew, while U.S. politics sank deeper into chaos, and a gunman massacred at least 49 innocents attending services at a Christchurch, New Zealand mosque, even as they prayed. It was a week of crises.
Since 1957, the internal rate of return on American stocks has been 6.9%, and there were plenty of crises all along the way.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed at 2,822.48 on Friday, up sharply from 2,743.07 a week ago, and rebounding the close of 2,803.69 two weeks ago.
A key growth investment in a broadly diversified portfolio, the S&P 500 index is volatile, unpredictable, and suffered a 19.8% plunge from September 20th's all-time closing high to the Christmas Eve closing low of 2,351.10. Despite a week when the world seemed full of crisis, U.S. stocks endured and the uncertain struggle toward progress — which can never be guaranteed — continued at its seemingly relentless pace.
This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial or tax advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Tax laws are subject to change. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. Past performance is not an indicator of your future results.
This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Advisor Products and is not intended as legal or investment advice.