Any chance of 20%+ returns? Forgetaboutit!

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There is no chance of beating the stock market over a long period of time says the Empirical Finance Blog in a research study entitled “Mission Impossible: beating the market over long periods of time”.

The report’s summary findings, based on the period from January 1, 1926 to December 31, 2010, are as follows.

•  Earning 20%+ returns over very long horizons is for all intent and purposes virtually IMPOSSIBLE (assuming the market experience of the past ~90 years is representative of the future).

•  31.5%+ returns over the 1926 to 2010 period imply that an investor will end up owning over half of the ENTIRE stock market.

•  33%+ returns imply that an investor will end up owning the ENTIRE STOCK MARKET!

•  Warren Buffett – and perhaps a very select handful of others – has been able to achieve 20%+ returns over very long time periods. These individuals represent some of the richest people on the planet because of this very phenomenon.

•  An investor might have an epic run of 20% returns for 5, 10, maybe even 15, or 20 years, but as an investor’s capital base grows exponentially, the capital base slowly becomes ALL capital, and all capital cannot outperform itself!

Source: Empirical Finance Blog, June 30, 2010 (hat tip: Mebane Faber’s World Beta).

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1 comment to Any chance of 20%+ returns? Forgetaboutit!

  • Wes

    Don’t points 1 and 4 contradict each other…

    Further 2 and 3 depend a great deal on how much capital you started with.

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