Ron Baron: Stocks Will Double in Next Ten Years

In November, the founder of Baron Capital made headlines by declaring that the stock market would double in 10 years, according to an article in Barron’s. The article also notes, “That makes for a great sound bite, but when you dig into the S&P 400’s returns, it’s not a bold perception—and wasn’t even supposed to be.”

The article contends that the S&P 500 would have to return just over 7% a year to accomplish such a feat, asserting, “But really, that’s not much better than how stocks usually do.” It cites data from Credit Suisse’s Global Investment Returns Yearbook 2018 that shows U.S. stocks have returned 6.5% a year since 1900.

But stocks rarely “gain the average,” the article notes, adding that on a price-change basis, the S&P 500 has posted a high single-digit return just once during the past 10 years (the Nasdaq and Dow have done so twice). But the article concludes that Baron’s prediction does run counter to the sentiment of many investors, who are expecting “below-average returns from the stock market over the next 10 years.” These include the firm GMO, who it says “put the seven-year return on U.S. stocks at a negative 2% annually once adjusted for inflation.”