S&P 500 Real Price, Real Earnings & Real Dividends Long-Term History

Using data from the Robert Shiller/Yale file, here are charts of the real price, real earnings and real dividends from 1945 (end of WWII), 1980 (peak of interest rate cycle) and 2000 (dotCom bust). [real data adjusted for consumer price index]

The “S&P 500” was launched in 1957, but precursors were used back to 1945

Dividends have been variable, but are the most consistent performer of the three dimensions, which has been critical in the past 10+ years.  Also, the cumulative dividends have been quite critical to total return over longer periods.


See our other posts on the importance of dividends to total return over long holding periods:

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