A Really Long Term (30 Years) Stock Returns
We have looked at long term stock returns in the US several times. For example, in newsletters like July 17, 2017: Long Term Stock Holding Periods For Retirement, we stated that to achieve a reasonable return, ‘one should hold S&P 500 for 20 years while for a long term timing portfolio, at least 10-15 years (preferably 15 years).‘
Some readers have challenged us that ‘there is no guarantee whatsoever to get positive returns for 20 years’. Admittedly, in scientific and absolute terms, we agree that there is indeed no guarantee for any future result. Some further referred to the long term Japanese stock returns. In fact, if one were to look at the Japanese stocks, one would be able to find plenty of periods when stocks didn’t even have a positive return for the whole 20 years. In this newsletter, we would like to look at this issue in more details.
First, a few words why even investors in the US and the western Europe need to be aware of the Japanese experience. As many might have known, Japan went through a huge boom and bust cycle that is still felt today: the economy and the financial market were extremely frothy by the end of 1989. During the boom time, Japanese companies used cheap debts to finance their spending and growth, only to produce one of the greatest stock bubbles in history. The following shows the Nikkei 225 stock index (Japan’s main stock index) history:
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