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A couple of interesting pages regarding S&P 500 returns over time.
S&P 500 Rolling Calendar Year Risk and Return

9.84% - The average annual total return of the S&P 500 from 1926-2012

The chart below shows best and worst average annual calendar year returns for rolling periods from 1926 through 2012. In other words, it depicts the annual returns you would have received had you invested in the S&P 500 Index from consecutive calendar years ranging from just one year to fifty years. We've called out some important data points at 1, 7, 15, 30, and 50 years to illustrate the decreasing variability of average annual returns as investors stay in the market over time. And remember, this includes the Great Depression that began in 1929.

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