Structured Capital name

Recent Market Returns Analysis

A simple return attribution model is used to parse market returns over various time frames.

Did you know that from the US equity market low at the end of February 2009 to December 31, 2013, the S&P 500 (in US dollars) has generated a total return of 178.9% or 23.6% annuallized? While 2.3% annually has come from dividends, and 5.1% has come from nominal dividend growth, dividend revaluation has generated returns of 15.1% annualized, or 64% of the total, as yields have fallen from 3.8% to 1.9%.

Background information is here, and further analysis is here.


How do you get THERE from HERE? Learning and Playing the Long-term Investment Game

by Tim Appelt

  • Book Synopsis
  • Sample Contents
  • Ordering Information
  • Background Articles


How do you build an investment strategy that has a chance to succeed over the long term? To put it another way: how do you get THERE (your goal) from HERE (your starting point)?

Front Cover

Since investing is a risky enterprise, it seems obvious that investors should have clear and solidly based expectations of both returns and risks. Yet few investors have clear expectations, and they are often shocked and upset when returns are low or negative.

So one goal of this book is to outline a systematic method of creating expectations for return and risk over a longer-term horizon. Part of the approach is to study history, not just of the US equity market, but of global equities, currencies, fixed income and short-term investments. Knowledge of what has happened in the past is an essential part of understanding what could happen in the future.

back cover Click image to enlarge

In addition, a simple model is developed that describes how returns are structured. This model gives deeper insight into historical returns and risks, and provides a way of developing explicit expectations for future returns and risks. These evolving forecasts take into account changing market conditions, without merely assuming that the future will be the average of the past.

Another goal is to show investors how to develop a sensible long-term portfolio strategy. The concept of diversification due to imperfect correlations is introduced, and combined with an investor's expected long-term returns and risks for assets, a portfolio can be designed that provides the highest expected return that meets a level of acceptable risk.

Other topics are broached along the way: the difficulty of adding value by using active managers; the clear positive impact of reducing investment costs; and the fact that asset mix determines almost all of a portfolio's return and risk. Thus for many investors, the best long-term strategy will use the lowest-cost investment vehicles that capture broad market exposures.

You may be interested in some excerpts from the book:

How do you get THERE from HERE? is available online. The list price is $50.00 USD and $55.00 CAD, plus applicable sales taxes and shipping costs, although vendors may sell at other prices. It is available through most online vendors including:

It is also available in downtown Toronto at Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay Street Toronto, ON M5H 4B2

Background Material

Over time, we expect to post a series of articles that relate to, and perhaps expand on, issues raised by the book How do you get THERE from HERE?

August 2013: Share Repurchases and their Impact on Forecasting Returns

This paper examines the impact of share repurchases on our attribution model of return, and subsequently on their potential impact with respect to forecasting returns. Assuming that earnings spent on repurchases would otherwise have been paid to shareholders as dividiends, share repurchases halve a positive impact dividend growth, with gains to growth roughly offsetting the decline in dividend yields.

This article supplements footnote 10 of Chapter 7.


Structured Capital presents a book by Tim Appelt:

How do you get THERE from HERE?
Learning and Playing the Long-term Investment Game

frontcoverHistorical analysis of long-term global equity and bond returns is used to develop an analytical framework for a historical attribution of returns. In turn this attribution approach is used to develop expectations of future returns that acknowledge the past but take into account current market conditions.

Further information: