Oct 09, 2022

Question of the Day: Are Stocks A Risky Long-Term Investment?

Check out the returns from the S&P 500 over rolling 5, 10, 20, and 30 year periods.


  • Investment gurus often say that “you should invest for the long-term.”  Do you agree or disagree with that statement based on the data you see in this chart about long-term stock market returns?
  • As an investor, do you think you would have the fortitude to remain invested even when seeing loss during a bear market?
  • Will investors be satisfied just earning the market return (this chart is based on the performance of the S&P500)?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Capital Advisors Ltd.)

"A few things stick out:

  • Over longer periods of time (20 and 30 years) the stock market has generated nominal returns of about 9% and real returns of about 6.5%.
  • There has not been a time historically when stocks have had a negative nominal or real rate of return over longer periods of time (20 and 30 years).
  • Further, the volatility of stock market returns become more stable as time goes on as the volatility (as measured by standard deviation) decreases."



Dig deeper with the NGPF Data Crunch: Are Stocks a Risky Long-Term Investment?


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

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