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Here's what the stock market returned the year you were born

  • Here's what the stock market returned the year you were born

    For over two centuries, the U.S. stock market has embodied the American capitalist spirit. Pairing America’s most successful enterprises with the provided capital of investors looking to grow their wealth, the stock market reads as a barometer for the U.S. economy and a further reflection of events around the world.

    To understand the ups and downs of the market over the last 90 years, Stacker looked to historical returns for stocks covered by Standard & Poor’s. Using historical data from Ycharts and NYU Professor Aswath Damodaran, we’ve compiled total annual returns for every year from 1928 to 2017, reflecting price appreciation as well as distributions to shareholders. In 1957, the S&P transitioned its major index into an examination of 500 select companies, creating the well-known S&P 500 index. The index tracks companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ using a market capitalization weighting methodology—giving more weight to larger companies—as compared to the price-weighted approach employed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We've also include annual returns for 3-month U.S. Treasury bills—short-term bonds that serve as an indicator of the risk-free rate—as a basis for comparison to stock market returns.

    Read on to discover how the markets moved the year you were born.

  • 1928

    Annual return on the S&P 500: 43.81%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 3.08%

  • 1929

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -8.3%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 3.16%

  • 1930

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -25.12%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 4.55%

  • 1931

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -43.84%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 2.31%

  • 1932

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -8.64%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 1.07%

  • 1933

    Annual return on the S&P 500: 49.98%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 0.96%

  • 1934

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -1.19%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 0.32%

  • 1935

    Annual return on the S&P 500: 46.74%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 0.18%

  • 1936

    Annual return on the S&P 500: 31.94%

    Annual return on 3-month Treasury bills: 0.17%

  • 1937

    Annual return on the S&P 500: -35.34%

    Annual return on an investment in a 3-month T.Bill: 0.3%

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