Investors are ending the year bidding a fond good-bye to 2009 and good riddance to the decade of the 2000s. After the stock market’s steady rise in the 1980s and 1990s, the volatility and losses of the 2000s made for an unpleasant experience for many investors.

Just how bad was the past decade? The 2000s were the worst decade in history for the S&P 500. In the 2000s, the S&P 500 total return (including dividends) is down about 11%, or an annualized loss of -1% for the decade. That is worse than the -.01% annualized loss during the Great Depression decade of the 1930s.

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