No. of Recommendations: 2
Over most conventional measurement periods, an increase in wealth simply reflects the willingness of other investors to pay a higher price for the assets that you bought somewhat earlier.

A few months ago I did the math, took the DJIA & P/E ratio from 1870's, compared it to the DJIA & today's PE ratio, adjusted for inflation and, if memory serves, ended up with an increase in company earnings of about 7x.

All the rest of the growth in the DIJA is due to inflation, or increased PE ratio.
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