Returns depend upon the starting and ending point. This series of charts present the compounded annual return for an investor starting during any year since 1900 and ending with any subsequent year. The versions presented reflect those for taxpayers (i.e., individuals, trusts, etc.) and for tax-exempt or tax-deferred investors (i.e., retirement accounts, pension plans, foundations, etc.), as well as returns on a nominal and real (excluding inflation) basis. The stock market index, dividend, and P/E ratio data are based upon the methodology popularized by Professor Robert J. Shiller (Yale University; Irrational Exuberance) and others. The stock market index is the S&P 500. Unless noted as “Year-End Index,” the S&P 500 Index for each year reflects the average of daily closing prices. Other data is developed from other sources believed to be reliable.

The charts are prepared for printing on a single sheet of 11″ x 17″ paper or on two 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages for subsequent alignment. See the assumptions and legends for important details. If you do not have a printer that accepts 11″ x 17″ paper, it is recommended to save the file to a disk or thumb drive and have a color copy printed on gloss stock at FedEx Office or other printing service. Note that the 11″ x 17″ versions are created as poster-sized high-resolution files. When printing on 11″ x 17″ paper, be sure to enable the printer setting to scale the file to fit the paper.

For additional information about the Stock Market Matrix, see comments included in the FAQ section. The terms of use for all materials are detailed below.

Updated Through 2021

VersionSingle PageDouble Page
Stock Index Only11 x 178 1/2 x 11
Taxpayer Nominal11 x 178 1/2 x 11
Taxpayer Real11 x 178 1/2 x 11
Tax-Exempt Nominal11 x 178 1/2 x 11
Tax-Exempt Real11 x 178 1/2 x 11
Stock Index Only: Year-End Index11 x 178 1/2 x 11

Download Assumptions Graph

Key to Reading the Stock Market Matrix

key to stock matrix chart