S&P 500: \$10000 in 1975 → \$22,409.93 in 1981

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Stock market returns between 1975 and 1981

If you invested \$10000 in the S&P 500 at the beginning of 1975, you would have about \$22,409.93 at the end of 1981, assuming you reinvested all dividends. This is a return on investment of 124.10%, or 12.22% per year.

If you used dollar-cost averaging (monthly) instead of a lump-sum investment, you'd have \$16,765.43.

This investment result beats inflation during this period for an inflation-adjusted return of about 32.64% cumulatively, or 4.12% per year.

The graph below shows the performance of \$10000 over time if invested in an S&P 500 index fund. The returns assume that all dividends are automatically reinvested.

This chart shows the rate of gains and loss by month, including dividends:

Adjusting stock market return for inflation

The nominal return on investment of \$10000 is \$12,409.93, or 124.10%. This means by 1981 you would have \$22,409.93 in your pocket.

However, it's important to take into account the effect of inflation when considering an investment and especially a long-term investment. You can convert S&P returns to their real (inflation-adjusted) value using an inflation calculation based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In the case of the returns described above, the CPI in 1975 was 53.800 and the CPI in 1981 was 90.900.

The ratio between these CPIs describes how relative buying power of a dollar has changed over 6 years.

Adjusted for inflation, the \$22,409.93 nominal end value of the original \$10000 investment would have a real value of roughly \$3,263.53 in 1975 dollars. This means the inflation-adjusted return is 32.64% as opposed to the original 124.10%.

For more information on inflation, see our U.S. inflation calculator for 1975.

Full monthly data

The table below shows the full dataset pertaining to a \$10000 investment, including gains and losses over the 84-month period between 1975 and 1981.

Note that data shown is the monthly average closing price. Returns include dividends.

Year Month Return (%) Amount (\$) CPI
1975 1 10.81% 11,080.75 52.10
1975 2 4.97% 11,631.87 52.50
1975 3 1.49% 11,804.84 52.70
1975 4 6.71% 12,597.26 52.90
1975 5 2.89% 12,961.90 53.20
1975 6 0.43% 13,017.89 53.60
1975 7 -7.00% 12,107.13 54.20
1975 8 -0.85% 12,003.89 54.30
1975 9 4.97% 12,600.64 54.60
1975 10 2.04% 12,857.91 54.90
1975 11 -1.18% 12,706.23 55.30
1975 12 9.55% 13,919.07 55.50
1976 1 4.18% 14,500.63 55.60
1976 2 0.80% 14,616.99 55.80
1976 3 1.10% 14,777.11 55.90
1976 4 -0.38% 14,720.47 56.10
1976 5 0.90% 14,853.04 56.50
1976 6 2.67% 15,248.93 56.80
1976 7 -0.56% 15,163.44 57.10
1976 8 2.44% 15,533.11 57.40
1976 9 -3.11% 15,050.30 57.60
1976 10 -0.37% 14,995.12 57.90
1976 11 3.79% 15,562.91 58.00
1976 12 -0.54% 15,479.30 58.20
1977 1 -2.37% 15,112.66 58.50
1977 2 -0.05% 15,104.47 59.10
1977 3 -1.19% 14,924.17 59.50
1977 4 0.06% 14,933.80 60.00
1977 5 0.90% 15,068.17 60.30
1977 6 1.28% 15,261.41 60.70
1977 7 -2.08% 14,944.18 61.00
1977 8 -1.18% 14,768.54 61.20
1977 9 -2.20% 14,443.95 61.40
1977 10 0.98% 14,585.66 61.60
1977 11 -0.08% 14,573.97 61.90
1977 12 -3.39% 14,079.86 62.10
1978 1 -0.97% 13,943.01 62.50
1978 2 0.27% 13,980.05 62.90
1978 3 4.83% 14,655.29 63.40
1978 4 5.50% 15,461.96 63.90
1978 5 0.67% 15,566.11 64.50
1978 6 -0.06% 15,556.41 65.20
1978 7 7.33% 16,696.41 65.70
1978 8 0.40% 16,763.14 66.00
1978 9 -2.77% 16,298.21 66.50
1978 10 -5.44% 15,411.97 67.10
1978 11 1.92% 15,708.32 67.40
1978 12 4.19% 16,365.76 67.70
1979 1 -1.06% 16,192.78 68.30
1979 2 2.34% 16,571.88 69.10
1979 3 2.43% 16,974.73 69.80
1979 4 -1.89% 16,653.39 70.60
1979 5 2.42% 17,056.01 71.50
1979 6 1.42% 17,298.35 72.30
1979 7 5.01% 18,165.75 73.10
1979 8 1.54% 18,445.58 73.80
1979 9 -3.35% 17,827.19 74.60
1979 10 -0.32% 17,769.71 75.20
1979 11 4.40% 18,552.29 75.90
1979 12 3.31% 19,166.82 76.70
1980 1 4.40% 20,009.37 77.80
1980 2 -8.78% 18,252.98 78.90
1980 3 -1.16% 18,040.87 80.10
1980 4 5.04% 18,949.44 81.00
1980 5 6.86% 20,249.88 81.80
1980 6 4.97% 21,256.19 82.70
1980 7 3.50% 22,001.15 82.70
1980 8 2.84% 22,625.06 83.30
1980 9 3.32% 23,377.29 84.00
1980 10 4.61% 24,456.08 84.80
1980 11 -1.24% 24,151.65 85.50
1980 12 0.01% 24,154.07 86.30
1981 1 -3.07% 23,412.49 87.00
1981 2 4.14% 24,382.55 87.90
1981 3 1.29% 24,698.01 88.50
1981 4 -1.62% 24,298.57 89.10
1981 5 0.86% 24,506.95 89.80
1981 6 -2.02% 24,012.83 90.60
1981 7 0.80% 24,205.55 91.60
1981 8 -8.30% 22,195.84 92.30
1981 9 1.73% 22,579.22 93.20
1981 10 3.04% 23,266.47 93.40
1981 11 1.18% 23,540.87 93.70
1981 12 -4.80% 22,409.93 94.00
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Dollar-cost averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is an alternative to investing the full lump-sum of \$10,000.00 up-front. Instead, the capital is invested over a period of time.

Consider a strategy in which \$10,000.00 was invested in the S&P 500 over a period of no more than 24 months beginning in 1975. This would result in a final amount of \$16,765.43, including dividend reinvestments. In this particular case, dollar-cost average returns are less than the returns of a lump-sum investment (which ends with \$22,409.93).

Year Month Contribution (\$) Amount (\$)
1975 1 416.66 459.96
1975 2 416.66 918.64
1975 3 416.66 1,353.63
1975 4 416.66 1,887.61
1975 5 416.66 2,369.55
1975 6 416.66 2,796.85
1975 7 416.66 2,987.29
1975 8 416.66 3,373.43
1975 9 416.66 3,976.98
1975 10 416.66 4,481.89
1975 11 416.66 4,839.35
1975 12 416.66 5,756.27
1976 1 416.66 6,429.52
1976 2 416.66 6,899.84
1976 3 416.66 7,395.38
1976 4 416.66 7,780.84
1976 5 416.66 8,270.04
1976 6 416.66 8,916.95
1976 7 416.66 9,280.02
1976 8 416.66 9,931.79
1976 9 416.66 10,025.53
1976 10 416.66 10,402.57
1976 11 416.66 11,227.53
1976 12 416.82 11,580.45
1977 1 - 11,306.16
1977 2 - 11,300.03
1977 3 - 11,165.15
1977 4 - 11,172.35
1977 5 - 11,272.87
1977 6 - 11,417.44
1977 7 - 11,180.11
1977 8 - 11,048.71
1977 9 - 10,805.88
1977 10 - 10,911.90
1977 11 - 10,903.15
1977 12 - 10,533.50
1978 1 - 10,431.11
1978 2 - 10,458.82
1978 3 - 10,963.98
1978 4 - 11,567.48
1978 5 - 11,645.39
1978 6 - 11,638.14
1978 7 - 12,491.00
1978 8 - 12,540.92
1978 9 - 12,193.10
1978 10 - 11,530.08
1978 11 - 11,751.78
1978 12 - 12,243.63
1979 1 - 12,114.22
1979 2 - 12,397.84
1979 3 - 12,699.22
1979 4 - 12,458.82
1979 5 - 12,760.03
1979 6 - 12,941.33
1979 7 - 13,590.25
1979 8 - 13,799.60
1979 9 - 13,336.96
1979 10 - 13,293.96
1979 11 - 13,879.43
1979 12 - 14,339.18
1980 1 - 14,969.51
1980 2 - 13,655.51
1980 3 - 13,496.83
1980 4 - 14,176.54
1980 5 - 15,149.44
1980 6 - 15,902.28
1980 7 - 16,459.61
1980 8 - 16,926.37
1980 9 - 17,489.13
1980 10 - 18,296.20
1980 11 - 18,068.45
1980 12 - 18,070.26
1981 1 - 17,515.47
1981 2 - 18,241.19
1981 3 - 18,477.19
1981 4 - 18,178.37
1981 5 - 18,334.26
1981 6 - 17,964.60
1981 7 - 18,108.77
1981 8 - 16,605.26
1981 9 - 16,892.07
1981 10 - 17,406.22
1981 11 - 17,611.51
1981 12 - 16,765.43
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Data Sources

The information on this page is derived from Robert Shiller's book, Irrational Exuberance and the accompanying dataset, as well as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly CPI logs.

Note that S&P index value for the current quarter is based on a moving average of closing prices, per Robert Shiller's methodology. The inflation data used is based on annual CPI averages.