Wealth Creation in the U.S. Public Stock Markets 1926 to 2019

14 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2020 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 13, 2020


This note provides an update, using data to December 2019, on the wealth creation outcomes reported by Bessembinder (2018). Net wealth creation in the US public stock markets since 1926 increased from $34.82 trillion as of December 2016 to $47.38 trillion as of December 2019. Five firms (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook) explained 22.1% of this $12.56 trillion increase. Comparing across all thirty one three-year periods since 1926, the degree to which wealth creation in the stock market is concentrated in a few firms has increased in recent decades, and was particularly strong during the most recent period.

Keywords: shareholder wealth, long horizon returns, stock market performance

Suggested Citation

Bessembinder, Hendrik (Hank), Wealth Creation in the U.S. Public Stock Markets 1926 to 2019 (February 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3537838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3537838

Hendrik (Hank) Bessembinder (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

PO Box 873906
Tempe, AZ 85207
United States

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