The S&P 500 Price index returned **30.43%** in 2019. Using a better calculation including dividend reinvestment, the S&P 500 returned **33.07%**.

**Table of Contents**show ▼

## The 2019 S&P 500 Return: *Buy, Hold and Reinvest*

The quoted numbers are returns **all in one year** (2019) – you bought the absolute open on *January 2nd, 201*9 and sold the closing trade on *December 31, 2019. *This is equivalent to the “year to date” return after the close on the last trading day of the year.

If you’d prefer a proxy for a one year span, the numbers buying at the *December 31, 201*8 closing price the returns would be **28.88%** and **31.49%**, respectively.

### S&P 500 Index Price Calculation

Price From | Price | Dec 31 Close | Gain/Loss |

Jan 2 Open | 2476.96 | 3230.78 | 30.43% |

Dec 31 Close | 2506.85 | 3230.78 | 28.88% |

### S&P 500 Total Return Price Calculation

Price From | Price | Dec 31 Close | Gain/Loss |

Jan 2 Open | 4924.81 | 6553.57 | 33.07% |

Dec 31 Close | 4984.22 | 6553.57 | 31.49% |

### Dividends Matter

As always, the exact timeframe that you choose to compute the total return on an index doesn’t matter too much (but stay consistent). However, **computing dividends does matter**.

Sure – the S&P 500’s return was excellent either way. However, you **need** to account for the dividends you receive. If you reinvested dividends (as the total return number implies), all the better – that’s compounding on compounding!

I’ve been banging the dividend drum for a while, and I won’t stop today:

*Discount price returns. Do the dividend math – or, hey, keep visiting DQYDJ!*

## Source on the 2019 S&P 500 Return Calculations

The S&P 500 Price and Total Return index is owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices owns and maintains the S&P 500 Index. Since 1987 they maintain both indices, and you can find the S&P (now) 500 in various stages much further back.

DQYDJ has quite a collection of calculators and tools for you to use total returns for research or other purposes.

- S&P 500 Dividend Reinvestment Calculator

Extends the dividend reinvestment calculations on the S&P 500 back as far as we can cover them. - S&P 500 Periodic Reinvestment and Dividend Calculator

A calculator which estimates fees and taxes. It allows periodic scheduled additions to investments. - S&P 500 Historical Return Calculator

Ever wonder the average, median, or top (maybe even worst) returns over a time period? We’ve got you covered. - CAPE Calculator

Do the math on the 10-year PE ratio of the S&P 500 index, historically a better valuation method than single year (or worse, quarterly) valuations. It doesn’t look promosing now for the next decade, but we’ll see…

## The 2019 S&P 500 Return

You can find both the S&P 500 and the Total Return at Yahoo!. Here’s the overlay for 2019:

Just reinvesting dividends would have boosted your returns over 2.5 percentage points. If you only looked at price returns you’d inappropriately be looking at lower returns – which don’t tell the whole story.

Either way – it was a great year! And much better than last year’s losses (with and without the dividend calculation) Just keep those comparisons appropriate.

Here’s to more massive gains in 2020 📈.

Other years:

- 2018 S&P 500 Return
- 2017 S&P 500 Return
- 2016 S&P 500 Return
- 2015 S&P 500 Return
- 2014 S&P 500 Return
- 2013 S&P 500 Return
- 2012 S&P 500 Return

*What do you see the S&P 500 doing in 2020?*