Practical analysis for investment professionals
19 March 2015

Poll: What Are Your Expectations for the S&P 500 Over the Next 12 Months?

The average bull market since 1932 lasted about five years and delivered an average gain of 232%. Other studies suggest that the average bull market since 1871 has lasted approximately 5.6 years and delivered 178% in gains.

Today’s bull market has lasted six years and returned about 191%. In terms of duration and magnitude, today’s bull market is longer and larger than the average. It is tempting to assume that this bull market has run its course, but the historical record demonstrates otherwise. Three bull markets starting in 1949, 1975, and 1988 each lasted more than 12.5 years and returned about 440% (on average).

We asked CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief readers about their expectations for the S&P 500 index over the next 12 months.

Given that the S&P 500 is presently six years into a bull market, what is your expectation for the total return of the S&P 500 index over the next 12 months?

Poll: What Are Your Expectations for the S&P 500 Index Over the Next 12 Months?

Of 1,078 respondents, nearly 87% believe that the S&P 500 will return between −10% and +20%. Only 3% of respondents expect a correction of −20% or less. Likewise, only 2% expect a return of more than 20%.

Using NewsBrief respondents as a proxy for the market, the market overwhelmingly expects the status quo to continue. Alpha can be created by identifying a turning point because it is apparently not yet priced in.

Do you want to participate in future polls? Sign up for the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

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About the Author(s)
Ron Rimkus, CFA

Ron Rimkus, CFA, was Director of Economics & Alternative Assets at CFA Institute, where he wrote about economics, monetary policy, currencies, global macro, behavioral finance, fixed income and alternative investments, such as gold and bitcoin (among other things). Previously, he served as SVP and Director of Large-cap Equity Products for BB&T Asset Management, where he led a team of research analysts, 300 regional portfolio managers, client service specialists, and marketing staff. He also served as a Senior Vice President and Lead Portfolio Manager of large-cap equity products at Mesirow Financial. Rimkus earned a BA degree in economics from Brown University and his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Topical Expertise: Alternative Investments · Economics

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