Stock Market Charts You Never Saw

53 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017

See all articles by Edward F. McQuarrie

Edward F. McQuarrie

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business

Date Written: September 10, 2017


Investors have seen countless charts of US stock market performance which start in 1926 and end near the present. But US trading long predates 1926, and the foreshortened perspective that results from a focus on post-1926 data can be misleading. To compound the problem, visual and arithmetic frailties, as catalogued in behavioral finance, make it difficult for investors to draw appropriate inferences from long-term records of performance. As a partial corrective, this paper displays a novel set of charts, with some rooted in the 19th rather than the 20th century, and others ending well before the present. The goal is to challenge shibboleths about the expected outcomes of buy-and-hold stock market investing, and to raise questions about the expected performance of stocks versus bonds over long periods.

Keywords: Historical Stock Market Returns, Equity Premium, 19th Century, Dimson, Ibbotson, Siegel

JEL Classification: G12, N21

Suggested Citation

McQuarrie, Edward F., Stock Market Charts You Never Saw (September 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Edward F. McQuarrie (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States

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