Jan 01, 2014
S&P 500 | Total Return
Total return measures capital appreciation AND the return associated with dividends (and any other distributions -- such as capital gains distributions). It is always surprising how many emails we receive saying our numbers are incorrect because people compare the year-end SPY price to the previous year-end. That is INCORRECT. The correct TOTAL RETURN for 2013 for SPY was +32.3%. That is +2.6% higher than the price return. For ETF's with higher yields -- (and/or for those with cap gains distributions) -- this difference will be higher.
Over a few years, this difference really adds up to be a substantial amount.
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