The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) turned 120 years old on May 26th. It was launched in 1896, coinciding with other major inventions, such as the first motor truck, the first working escalator, wireless telegraphy, and discoveries like the antibiotic properties of penicillin. DJIA initially started off with 12 companies and then expanded to 30 stocks in 1928.
The average annual return for the DJIA is +7.27%. The best decade was, of course, the 1990’s, when it was up more than +317%, while the 1930’s, the heart of the Great Depression, was the worst decade, down over -39%.