When will double digit interest rates return?

Mike JonesInvestment Insights


Crestmont Research is a firm dedicated to researching historical facts and data points critical to the understanding of financial markets. The principal behind this firm is Ed Easterling. I have followed his research for years and consider Crestmont Research indispensable to my money management efforts. So, you could imagine how sobering a moment it was for me to read the following in an April 2016 posting:

The long-term average return from the stock market is 10.1%. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, they will increasingly rely upon their investments and pensions for income. The youngest Boomers have about a decade to compound their savings into a retirement payload. Even younger Millennials have a vested interest in stock market returns for a secure retirement. So, from 2016, what length of time is needed to assure that you will receive the historical long-term average return of 10.1%?

NEVER-investors from today will never achieve the long-term average return. Not in ten years, twenty years, fifty years, or the nearly ninety years that represent the most recognized long-term average return.

This research piece goes on the state the critical assumptions behind this bold and sobering forecast. To simplify things as much as I can, let me paraphrase.

The only three valid components of stock market returns are:

  1. The change in the valuation level that investors will pay for current earnings of stocks.
  2. The growth or decline in earnings.
  3. The dividends being paid by stocks.

That’s it, folks. 90 years ago the price of the S&P 500 was 13 and the P/E 10 ratio was 11.7. As of March 31, 2016 the price of the S&P 500 was 2060 and the P/E 10 ratio was 25.8. What a run!

After a discussion of all three of these components and how they will or will not contribute to the future returns of the stock market, Ed Easterling states:

The discussion of the components for future returns is complete-all three parts indicate below average returns in the future. Earnings growth will be lower than average, unless the inflation rate increases. Dividend yields will be well below average as a result of current valuation levels. P/E cannot contribute its past benefit of expansion due to its currently high level.

First and foremost, one must realize that this analysis should eliminate any current expectation that investing in the U S stock market today will inevitably produce double digit long term rates of return.

So, what then should and investor do? That will be the discussion of next month’s posting.



Byron R. Moore, CFP® is Managing Director / Planning Group of Argent Advisors, Inc. Mike Jones is Managing Director / Investment Group of Argent Advisors, Inc. Write to either at 500 East Reynolds Drive, Ruston, LA 71270 or call (318) 251-5800. This newsletter is available via email on a free subscription basis. You can subscribe by clicking here. Direct any questions, comments or suggestions to Byron Moore at bmoore@argentadvisors.com or to Mike Jones at mjones@argentadvisors.com.

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Argent Advisors, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.

Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. The opinions of any single advisor do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Argent Advisors, Inc. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Argent Advisors, Inc.. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.

Argent Advisors, Inc. is a registered investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Argent Advisors, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. Argent Advisors, Inc does not offer tax, legal or insurance advice. If you are a Argent Advisors, Inc. client, please remember to contact Argent Advisors, Inc., in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services. A copy of the Argent Advisors, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.


Argent Financial Group

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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