Another way to look at the S&P 500

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A reader e-mailed to ask if it was possible to put together an inflation-adjusted chart of the S&P 500. Well, yeah: Anyone with Excel and an Internet connection can do it (the data here is from Yahoo! Finance and the Bureau of Labor Statistics). But I was curious, so I put together this chart going back to the beginning of the great 1980s/1990s bull market in the summer of 1982:

What does one learn from this? That, uh, inflation eats into long-run asset returns. And also that the stock market still isn’t back to its 2000 highs in real terms.