S&P closes up 28.9% for 2019

It was a good year if you owned stocks. In fact, it was a good decade! Stocks showed an annual return of 13.5% in the decade just closed out. Great news for the 52% of Americans that own stocks directly or through a mutual fund or a 401(K).


According to S&P data starting in 1930s, the best decade was the 1950s, when the market had a 19.21% average annual total return. The worst was 2000 through 2009, when the S&P fell, on average, 0.86%. The 2010-19 decade is the fourth-best since the 1930s, the data show.

The starting point for this decade’s boom was the recovery from a massive financial crisis and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. What followed were extraordinary levels of action by policymakers to lift the economy and the markets.

That included trillions of dollars in public spending, authorized by members of both parties; a sizable corporate tax cut; and an unprecedented campaign by the Federal Reserve to boost economic growth and asset prices through low interest rates and other means.