Bar chart comparing the S&P 500 Index return with annual average volatility
Left y-axis: Total return (%); right y-axis: Volatility Index (VIX) level; x-axis, 1990-YTD 2022. Table lists returns vs. volatility.
Long-term average volatility for this time period was 19.63.
|S&P 500 Index return (%)||Annual average volatility|
Sources: Bloomberg and Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Daily data from January 1, 1990 to September 30, 2022. For illustrative purposes only. Analysis was compiled using the daily price of the S&P 500 Total Return Index. The S&P 500 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index composed of 500 stocks generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. S&P 500 volatility measured by the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), which measures the markets expectations for implied or expected volatility based on option prices. An index is unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Stock markets, especially foreign markets, are volatile. Stock values may fluctuate in response to general economic and market conditions, the prospects of individual companies, and industry sectors. Fed = Federal Reserve.
- Above average volatility accompanied 70% of negative years and 35% of positive years from 1990 to present.
- Volatility has tended to remain elevated during the recovery from a downturn. As such, volatility may persist through the uncertainties of 2022 and into 2023 as markets likely begin to recover.