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Most analysts agree that historically the stock market has returned an average of 7% — 10% per year over the last 100+ years.
Now, the first thing to understand is that 7% — 10% is an average return over long stretches of time. It’s not what you should actually expect to return each year.
For example, in 2008 the S&P 500 (a collection of the 500 biggest companies on the market) returned a devastating -38.5% loss as the stock market crashed. The very next year, it rallied for a strong +23.5% return.
History shows that dividends play a large role in stock market returns over time.
While it varies by decade, over time dividends have contributed about 40% of the total return of the stock market.
Most investors tend to make big mistakes that prevent them from achieving 7% — 10% annual return.
The average investor tends to make common mistakes that devastate his returns. Extraordinary investors can actually beat the market over the long term, earning more than 7% — 10% in annual returns. Every extra percentage point of annual performance will make an enormous difference in your long-term wealth. The magic of compound interest is the key to compounding your returns over the long term.
When it comes to the power of compound returns in the stock market, there are five very important takeaways:
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