There are a whole bunch of numbers on the internet being thrown around and proclaimed as the long term return of the U.S. stock market. Anywhere from 7%-11% depending on who you believe. This number is the basis for a lot of folks' investment decisions and its accuracy is not something to be taken lightly... especially when a couple of little problems become apparent when you stop to think about the methodology most commonly used.
So I've decided to go into the historical data for the S&P 500 index and try to calculate it for myself.
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