This calculator builds 12 portfolios of varying stock and bond percentages and runs them from the start year to the end year. It computes the total return of $1000 and uses that to determine the following for each portfolio:
What this Calculator Means by Stocks and Bonds:
Stocks = S&P 500
Bonds = 10 year treasury bills
Compound Returns Not Average Returns:
Average returns are not computed (or meaningful) because with investing the sequence of returns impacts the final balance.
Consider a portfolio with returns of +15%, -10% and +25%. The average return is 10%, the final balance is +29.3% and the compound annual growth rate is 8.96% (eg a CD yielding 8.96% per year would be equivalent not counting risk).
Portfolio Allocations from Aggressive to Conservative:
Notes on Inflation:
This calculator finds the real value of the final balance in starting year dollars, and computes the real compound growth rate. This is useful because inflation has fluctuated over the course of history and that eats into actual purchasing power. Always look at REAL returns!
This calculator computes inflation adjusted (real) values per the US CPI using the provided start and end year. This is particularly insightful as you can see the difference between the return on paper and the return in terms of how many widgets that money can buy.
Inflation was high in certain periods, like the 1970's, where returns look good, but in real terms they were terrible. Almost all financial tools use nominal values because a) people forget to factor for inflation, b) it makes the numbers look better due to the inflated returns driving up the average.
Historical Data Used:
The data this calculator uses can be found here.
Past Performance Does Not Indicate Future Results:
Again, this calculator does backtesting. Past performance does not guarantee nor indicate future results. These results are based on simulated or hypothetical performance results that have certain inherent limitations. Unlike the results shown in an actual performance record, these results do not represent actual trading. Also, because these trades have not actually been executed, these results may have under-or over-compensated for the impact, if any, of certain market factors, such as lack of liquidity. Simulated or hypothetical trading programs in general are also subject to the fact that they are designed with the benefit of hindsight. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to these being shown.
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