Best And Worst Rolling Index Returns 1973 - Mid 2009

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S&P 500 Index Rolling Stock Market Returns

S&P 500 Index Rolling Returns
Rolling Returns Provide A Great Way To View Market Performance This bar chart shows the rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for the S&P 500 Index over 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. Dana Anspach

The Charts Give You A Colorful View of Past Stock Market Performance

The charts in this series show you stock market performance compared to other safer investments like bonds or treasury securities. Returns are shown in the form of rolling index returns.

Rolling returns do not go by calendar year; instead they look at every one year, three year, five year, etc. time period beginning anew each month over the historical time frame selected. Rolling returns give you a much better indication of stock market performance than most other ways of looking at market returns.

Over short time periods, an S&P 500 Index fund can deliver exceptionally high returns, or exceptionally low returns, depending on the time period you were invested. The chart above looks at the 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 year rolling index returns of the S&P 500 Index over the time period of January 1973 – April 2009.

The worst one year rolling time frame delivered a return of -43%. This occurred over the twelve months ending in February 2009. The best one year index return delivered a 61% return, which occurred over the twelve months ending in June 1983.

If you were a long term investor, the worst twenty years delivered a return of 7% a year. This occurred over the twenty years ending in February 2009. The best twenty years delivered an average return of 18% a year, which occurred over the twenty years ending in March 2000.

The next chart in the series compares the S&P 500 Index rolling returns to other stock and bond index returns, such as the Russell 2000 Index, the Barclays Capital US Government Intermediate Term Bond Index, the Barclays Corporate Intermediate Term Bond Index, and a Long Term Government Bond Index.

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Best and Worst Index Returns Over One Year Rolling Time Frames

1 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns
1 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns This bar chart shows the one year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for various stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over short time periods, stock indexes can deliver exceptionally high returns, or exceptionally low returns, depending on the time period you were invested.

The chart above looks at rolling one year returns of the S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009 (The Russell 2000 Index tracks the performance of small cap stocks and data is not available prior to January 1979.)

The Russell 2000 Index, on the far right, delivered its worst one year return of -42% over the twelve months ending in February 2009. Its best one year return of 97% occurred over the twelve months ending in June 1983.

As you click through this series of charts, you will see rolling index returns for these same indices for three, five, ten, fifteen, and twenty year time periods. The next chart shows you the index returns as measured over a three year rolling time period.

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Best And Worst Index Returns Over Three Year Time Frames

3 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns
3 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns This bar chart shows the three year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for various stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over short time periods, stock indexes can deliver exceptionally high returns, or exceptionally low returns, depending on the time period you were invested.

The chart above looks at rolling three year returns of S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009.

Long term government bonds, shown in orange, delivered their worst three year return of -6% a year over the three years ending in September 1981. Their best three year return of 25% occurred over the three years ending in August 1986.

As you click through this series of charts, you will see rolling index returns for these same indices for five, ten, fifteen, and twenty year time periods. The next chart shows you the index returns as measured over a five year rolling time period.

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Best and Worst Index Returns Over Five Year Time Frames

5 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns
5 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns This bar chart shows the five year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for various stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over short time periods, stock indexes can deliver exceptionally high returns, or exceptionally low returns, depending on the time period you were invested.

The chart above looks at rolling five year returns of S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009.

The S&P 500 Index, shown in bright red, delivered its worst five year return of -6% a year over the five years ending in September 1983. The best five year return of 30% occurred over the five years ending in July 1987.

As you click through this series of charts, you will see rolling index returns for these same indices for ten, fifteen, and twenty year time periods. The next chart shows you the index returns as measured over a ten year rolling time period.

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Best And Worst Index Returns Over Ten Year Time Frames

10 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns
10 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns This bar chart shows the ten year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for various stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over longer time periods, you are less likely to experience negative returns, even in volatile investments like stocks.

The chart above looks at rolling ten year returns of S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009.

The S&P 500 Index, shown in bright red, delivered its worst ten year return of -3% a year over the ten years ending in February 2009. The best ten year return, of 20% a year, occurred over the ten years ending in August 2000.

As you click through this series of charts, you will see rolling index returns for these same indices for fifteen and twenty year time periods. The next chart shows you the index returns as measured over a fifteen year rolling time period.

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Best and Worst Index Returns Over Various Fifteen Year Time Frames

15 Year Stock and Bond Index Rolling Returns
15 Year Stock and Bond Rolling Index Returns This bar chart shows the fifteen year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for several stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over longer time periods, you are less likely to experience negative returns, even in volatile investments like stocks.

The chart above looks at rolling fifteen year returns of S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009.

The S&P 500 Index, shown in bright red, delivered its worst fifteen year return of 5% a year over the fifteen years ending in February 2009. The best fifteen year return of 20% a year occurred over the fifteen years ending in July 1997.

On the next and last chart in this series, you will see rolling index returns for these same indices for twenty year time periods.

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Best and Worst Index Returns Over Twenty Year Time Frames

20 Year Rolling Stock and Bond Index Returns
20 Year Rolling Index Returns This bar chart shows the twenty year rolling returns from 1973 - mid 2009 for several stock and bond indexes. Dana Anspach

Over very long time periods, you are unlikely to experience negative returns, even in volatile investments like stocks.

The chart above looks at rolling twenty year returns of S&P 500 Index and three different bond indices from January 1973 – April 2009, and Russell 2000 Index returns from January 1979 – April 2009.

The S&P 500 Index, shown in bright red, delivered its worst twenty year return of 7% a year over the twenty years ending in February 2009. The best twenty year return of 18% a year occurred over the twenty years ending in March 2000.