What Is a Good Return on Your Investments? (2024)

One of the main reasons new investors lose money is that they chase after wild rates of return, whether they are buying stocks, bonds, mutual funds,real estate, or some other asset class. That may be because most people don’t understand how compounding works. Every percentage increase in profit each year could mean huge increases in your wealth over time.

To provide a starkillustration, $10,000 invested at 10% for 100 years could turn into $137.8 million. The same $10,000 invested at twice the rate of return, 20%, does not merely double the outcome; it turns it into $828.2 billion. It may seem strange that the difference between a 10% return on investment (ROI) and a 20% return is 6,010 times as much money, but it's the nature of compound growth. A further example is shown in the chart below.

What Is a Good Rate of Return?

Before we can determine what would be a good rate of return, we have to think about inflation, which decreases the value of currency over time. Prices go up. You'd need more money in the future just to buy the same amount of goods for a certain amount today.

Many people who invest do so to increase their buying power. That is, they don’t care about “dollars” or “yen” per se, they care about how much they can buy with that money.

When we look through the data, we see that the rate of return varies by asset types:


For the most part, gold hasn’t gained much in real value over the long term.Instead, it is merely a store of value that keeps its buying power. Decade by decade, though, the value of gold changes often, going from huge highs to extreme lows over just a few years.


These frequent changes in rate of return make it far from a safe place to store money you may need in the next few years.


Money, or fiat currencies, can depreciate in value over time. Burying cash in coffee cans in your yard is a terrible long-term plan. If it manages to survive the weather, it will still be worth less, given enough time.


From 1926 through 2018, the average annual return for bonds was 5.3.%. The more risk a bond carries, the higher the return investors demand.


Since 1926, the average annual return for stocks has been 10.1%. The riskier the business, the higher the return investors demand.

Real Estate

Without using any debt, real estate return demands mirror those of business ownership and stocks. We have gone through decades of about 3% inflation over the past 30 years.

Projects with more risk may result in higher rates of return. Real estate investors are known for using mortgages, which are a form of leverage, to increase the return on their investment.


The present low-interest-rate landscape has resulted in some big changes in recent years, with people accepting real estate returns that are far below what many long-term investors might consider reasonable.

Keep Your Hopes In Check

If you're a new investor and expect to earn 15% or 20% compounded returns on your blue-chip stock holdings over decades, you expect too much. It's not going to happen. That might sound harsh, but you need to know it. Anyone who says you'll get returns like that is taking advantage of your greed and lack of experience. Basing your portfolio on bad assumptions means that you will either do something reckless, like pick risky assets, or retire with much less money than you thought. Neither is a good outcome. So, keep your hopes in check, and you should have a much less stressful time investing.

Talking about a "good" return can be complex for new investors. That's because these results—which are not guaranteed to be repeated—were not smooth, upward rises. If you are invested in stocks, you periodically see huge drops in value. Many of these drops last for years. It's the nature of free-market capitalism. But over the long term, the rates above are the rates of return that investors have historically seen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you get a 20% return on your investment?

A 20% return is possible, but it's a pretty significant return, so you either need to take risks on volatile investments or spend more time invested in safer investments. Some stocks do earn 20% within a year or less, but if you don't trade those kinds of stocks correctly, that volatility could result in 20% losses rather than gains. Relatively safer investments may see less volatility in an average year, but if you have a long enough timeline, you have the potential to earn that 20% return eventually.

When do investors expect a higher rate of return on their investments?

The more risk associated with an investment, the higher returns the investor will expect. If the potential returns of two investments are identical, and one has less risk, then investors will choose the less risky investment. As investments get riskier, they must offer the potential for higher returns, or else they won't attract investors.

What Is a Good Return on Your Investments? (2024)


What Is a Good Return on Your Investments? ›

General ROI: A positive ROI is generally considered good, with a normal ROI of 5-7% often seen as a reasonable expectation. However, a strong general ROI is something greater than 10%. Return on Stocks: On average, a ROI of 7% after inflation is often considered good, based on the historical returns of the market.

What is considered a good investment return? ›

A good return on investment is generally considered to be around 7% per year, based on the average historic return of the S&P 500 index, adjusted for inflation. The average return of the U.S. stock market is around 10% per year, adjusted for inflation, dating back to the late 1920s.

What is a good return on an investment fund? ›

Most investors would view an average annual rate of return of 10% or more as a good ROI for long-term investments in the stock market. However, keep in mind that this is an average. Some years will deliver lower returns -- perhaps even negative returns.

Is 10% return on investment realistic? ›

While 10% might be the average, the returns in any given year are far from average. In fact, between 1926 and 2024, returns were in that “average” band of 8% to 12% only eight times. The rest of the time they were much lower or, usually, much higher.

What is a good return on investment value? ›

What is a good ROI? While the term good is subjective, many professionals consider a good ROI to be 10.5% or greater for investments in stocks.

How much do I need to invest to make $1000 a month? ›

A stock portfolio focused on dividends can generate $1,000 per month or more in perpetual passive income, Mircea Iosif wrote on Medium. “For example, at a 4% dividend yield, you would need a portfolio worth $300,000.

What will 100k be worth in 30 years? ›

Answer and Explanation: The amount of $100,000 will grow to $432,194.24 after 30 years at a 5% annual return. The amount of $100,000 will grow to $1,006,265.69 after 30 years at an 8% annual return.

How much money do I need to invest to make $3,000 a month? ›

Imagine you wish to amass $3000 monthly from your investments, amounting to $36,000 annually. If you park your funds in a savings account offering a 2% annual interest rate, you'd need to inject roughly $1.8 million into the account.

What is the safest investment with the highest return? ›

Overview: Best low-risk investments in 2024
  1. High-yield savings accounts. ...
  2. Money market funds. ...
  3. Short-term certificates of deposit. ...
  4. Series I savings bonds. ...
  5. Treasury bills, notes, bonds and TIPS. ...
  6. Corporate bonds. ...
  7. Dividend-paying stocks. ...
  8. Preferred stocks.
Apr 1, 2024

What is a good rate of return on a 401k? ›

Many retirement planners suggest the typical 401(k) portfolio generates an average annual return of 5% to 8% based on market conditions. But your 401(k) return depends on different factors like your contributions, investment selection and fees.

How much money do day traders with $10,000 accounts make per day on average? ›

With a $10,000 account, a good day might bring in a five percent gain, which is $500. However, day traders also need to consider fixed costs such as commissions charged by brokers. These commissions can eat into profits, and day traders need to earn enough to overcome these fees [2].

How much does the average person invest? ›

Retirement contributions by age
Age2020 median retirement contribution2021 count of users (that made a retirement contribution)
1 more row

Is 7% return on assets good? ›

What Is a Good Return on Assets Ratio? A ROA of 5% or lower might be considered low, while a ROA over 20% high. However, it's best to compare the ROAs of similar companies. A ROA for an asset-intensive company might be 2%, but a company with an equivalent net income and fewer assets might have a ROA of 15%.

What is the rule #1 of value investing? ›

When Warren Buffett first started investing, he used the Rule One value investing principles to quickly grow a small initial investment into a large fortune. In fact, he coined the term 'Rule One. ' He said there are only two rules of investing. Rule #1 – don't lose money, and Rule #2 – don't forget Rule #1.

Is 20% a good return on investment? ›

A 20% return is possible, but it's a pretty significant return, so you either need to take risks on volatile investments or spend more time invested in safer investments.

Is 30% a good return on investment? ›

A thirty percent return is an achievable feat for one year if you're aggressive enough (and shall I say lucky enough), AND have the stomach to ride out the volatility, but consistently performing year after year becomes an incredible challenge that no one to my knowledge has done.

Is 5% a good return on money? ›

So, if you earn 5% on yours, you're not only beating the national average savings account return by more than 10 times, but you're enjoying one of the most competitive rates on the leading high-yield savings account options.

Is 2% a good return? ›

Now, think about a real financial example: a 2 percent return. This may not sound impressive, but let's say you earned that 2 percent in a federally insured, high-yield savings account. In that case, it's a very good return since you didn't have to accept any risk whatsoever.

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