2012 S&P Return

You know that stupid phrase, “you’re not comparing apples with apples”?  Yeah, it’s still a dumb phrase.  Yes, I’m bringing it up because it applies here.

You see, for whatever reason, when people quote the returns of the S&P 500, they like to use the ‘price return’, as if price returns are the only way that stocks in the S&P 500 can make you money.  As you can tell by my sarcastic writing – you’re neglecting a pretty big portion of returns – namely, in the form of dividends.

Do You Like Apples?

Chart from Marketwatch

Chart from Marketwatch (Click to make larger)

You’re looking at the S&P 500 graphed next to SPXT (on marketwatch), the S&P 500 total Return Index.  That’s right – dividends included.  So, all of yu who quote the S&P 500 in the future, please use the right index.

That ticker goes back to 2009.  If you need it on a larger time frame, you can check out the dividend reinvestment calculator for the S&P 500 (like, say, 1876 until today?) right here on this very site.  You’re welcome!

  Jan 3 Open Dec 31 Close Return
S&P TR 2158.93 2504.44 16.00%
S&P 500 1258.86 1426.19 13.29%

How do you like ‘dem apples?