Originally Posted by mathjak107
how about from the high of 2000 to now . 2.1% real return . while it is cherry picking if you had no money invested , it is very meaningful if you did since for 15 years that existing older money in equity's kind of just about died on the vine .
it was other asset classes that had to run with the ball to keep things growing .
S&P 500 Return Calculator - Don't Quit Your Day Job...
Thanks... Yes. An excellent example of how statistics can be so misleading. Boiling this down to the basics, the essence of the reason why FireCalc takes the extra steps of determining "chance for success", and why cherry picked dates and numbers can be so dangerous in making investment choices.
Playing with the tables in the cited calculator, and choosing dates that are just months apart, produces unimaginable distortions in the statistics, especially for those points in time where markets are very unstable.
A good friend who retired in the middle of 2008, watched his invested net worth plunge, and in the early part of 2009 opted to protect his remaining assets by going to cash, and in the process, losing almost three quarters of a million dollars.
Investing genius... a matter of looking backwards or ahead? Here's another interesting page that gives a longer view... something to consider.
Historical Chart Gallery: Market Indexes - StockCharts.com - Free Charts