ETF Segment Review: Total Return vs Price-Only Return

Mar 18, 2010 in Total Return
The history of the stock market is that dividends make up a material component of equity index returns.  The one exception being the decade of the 1990s, where there was massive P/E expansion that dwarfed the impact of dividends.

But there is a more fundamental point, as long as you are going to invest in something like an ETF, which tracks an underlying index, you might as well use accurate data of the underlying index, which is always TOTAL return. The 'price-only' ETF return found on financial charting websites like yahoo and google can be quite different than the underlying index TOTAL return.

Emerging Market Bond Index:

Pharmaceutical Stock Index:

Preferred Stock Index:

Real-Estate Investment Trust Index:

Investment-Grade Bond Index:

Utility Stock Index:


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