Sunday, September 30, 2007

S&P TSX Composite Index - 148 percent return

Observation
Over the last 5 years, since the end of the bear market, this Canadian Stock Market Index has risen from about 5900 points up to the last new high close to 14,600 points. That's a total increase of about 148 percent over 5 years which is also equivalent to an annual compounding rate of 20 percent. Not bad!

I determined the annual rate by using a trial and error method in the following equation.

Future Value = Present Value (1 + i) to the power of n, where i is the annual interest rate and n is the number of years. One could also use a table of values if they are handy. In this case the future value is 14,600 and the present value is 5900. You can check it by multiplying 5900 by 1.2 and repeating (compounding) for a total of five times.

Some might think that this bull market is getting long in the tooth both in age and in total returns.

S. B. said...

You can calculate the result directly by using exponentiation and reciprocation. For example, on a PC, bring up Microsoft Calculator. Make sure it is in scientific mode -- check View/Scientific from menu bar. Then:

1. 14600 / 5900 = (2.474... displayed)
2. hit "x^y" key
3. enter 5
4. hit "1/x" key (displays 0.2)
5. hit "="

Should display 1.1986... on the screen. Interpret that as 19.86%. No trial and error is necessary this way.

Thanks for the tip SB. I'm in the habit of using my HP calculator so I guess I could do the same thing on it.

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