Stocks for the long run? Evidence from a broad sample of developed markets

Aizhan Anarkulova, Scott Cederburg, Michael S. O'Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We characterize the distribution of long-term equity returns based on the historical record of stock market performance in a broad cross section of 39 developed countries over the period from 1841 to 2019. Our comprehensive sample mitigates concerns over survivor and easy data biases that plague other work in this area. A bootstrap simulation analysis implies substantial uncertainty about long-horizon stock market outcomes, and we estimate a 12% chance that a diversified investor with a 30-year investment horizon will lose relative to inflation. The results contradict the conventional advice that stocks are safe investments over long holding periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-433
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Easy data bias
  • Long-horizon stock returns
  • Loss probability
  • Survivor bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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