S&P 500 Historical Return Calculator [With Dividends]

The S&P 500 calculator below provides both the nominal and inflation-adjusted price and total return (assuming dividend reinvestment) of U.S. stocks (i.e. the S&P 500) over any time period from January 1871 to the present (see the default “End Month” below for the latest date available).

The data comes from Robert Shiller’s website and does not account for taxes, fees, or transaction costs.

Nominal Price Return: %

Annualized: %

Investment Grew To:

Nominal Total Return (with dividends reinvested): %

Annualized: %

Investment Grew To:

Inflation-Adjusted Price Return: %

Annualized: %

Investment Grew To:

Inflation-Adjusted Total Return (with dividends reinvested): %

Annualized: %

Investment Grew To:

Best Practices

    • When utilizing the S&P 500 calculator for full year returns, use the same month for the start month and end month.
      • For example, if you wanted to know the 1-year S&P 500 return following the bottom of the Great Financial Crisis in March 2009, I’d recommend using March 2009 as the “Start Month” and March 2010 as the “End Month”. If you use February 2010 as the “End Month”, you would only have 11 months of data, which would be less accurate.
    • When calculating calendar year returns, I recommend using December for the “Start Month” and the “End Month”.
      • For example, if you wanted to know the 2022 calendar year return for the S&P 500, I’d recommend using December 2021 as the “Start Month” and December 2022 as the “End Month”.
      • Though the Shiller data uses the average price across the month, meaning that January 2022 to January 2023 should be roughly as accurate as December 2021 to December 2022, in practice I’ve found that December-to-December returns more closely match the actual calendar year returns for the S&P 500.
      • Due to Shiller’s calculation methodology, this calculator will never be able to replicate the actual calendar year returns for the S&P 500, but December-to-December returns will get you close.
    • For 1-month returns focus on the “End Month” not the “Start Month”.
      • For example, if you wanted the 1-month return in March 2009, you would set the “End Month” to March 2009 and the “Start Month” to February 2009.
    • Be careful when interpreting annualized returns over time periods of less than a year.
      • While the annualized return calculations will be accurate over any time period, they can be a bit exaggerated for time periods less than a year in length. For example, a one-month return of 5% would be roughly 80% on an annualized basis. This is mathematically accurate, but not necessarily informative.

Lastly, for all total return calculations, dividends are assumed to be reinvested on a monthly basis.

If you found this calculator helpful, check out my other calculators along with my book, Just Keep Buying, for proven ways to save money and build your wealth.


Historical return assumptions for U.S. stock market returns are based on monthly stock price, dividends, and earnings data and the consumer price index (to allow conversion to real values), all starting January 1871. The price, dividend, and earnings series are from the same sources as described in Chapter 26 of Robert Shiller’s book (Market Volatility [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989]), although he now uses monthly data, rather than annual data.

Monthly dividend and earnings data are computed from the S&P four-quarter totals for the quarter since 1926, with linear interpolation to monthly figures. Dividend and earnings data before 1926 are from Cowles and associates (Common Stock Indexes, 2nd ed. [Bloomington, Ind.: Principia Press, 1939]), interpolated from annual data. Stock price data are monthly averages of daily closing prices through January 2000, the last month available as this book goes to press.

The CPI-U (Consumer Price Index-All Urban Consumers) published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics begins in 1913; for years before 1913 1 spliced to the CPI Warren and Pearson’s price index, by multiplying it by the ratio of the indexes in January 1913. December 1999 and January 2000 values for the CPI-Uare extrapolated.

All data is sourced from Robert Shiller except the most recent month(s) which are estimated based on his calculation methodology.

An index is a hypothetical portfolio of securities representing a particular market or a segment of it used as indicator of the change in the securities market. Hypothetical performance is performance that was not actually achieved by any accounts. Indices are not available for direct investment; therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.

All investments involve some degree of risk, including loss of principal. There can be no assurances that any investment will be profitable or that you will achieve your investment goals. Your actual results will vary based upon your individual situation, when you invest, future market performance and other factors. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Analyses in this report indicating investment performance are based on past performance. Your portfolio’s performance may vary significantly from, and potentially be lower than, the performance presented.

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media)  reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Please see disclosures here: https://ritholtzwealth.com/blog-disclosures/

OfDollarsAndData.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.