Market Performance: Analysing Historical Returns Of Stocks And Corporate Bonds

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Nov 24, 2023
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    Market Performance Of Stocks And Corporate Bonds

    To conduct market analysis and sound investment decisions, it is of utmost importance to analyse the historical performance of financial assets, such as stocks and corporate bonds. Analysing historical returns to find patterns, trends, and correlations helps make informed predictions and optimise investment strategies.

    Financial indicators like pricing information, dividend yields, interest rates, etc., are gathered and examined for this analysis. It aids in determining the causes of asset volatility and evaluates risk-reward profiles.

    Analysing historical returns is helped by comparing asset classes and benchmarks, detecting periods of outperformance or underperformance, and optimising asset allocation strategies.

    Making wise and informed decisions in an environment where the financial landscape constantly shifts requires a deep understanding of the relationship between past returns and the present market environment.

    Importance Of Analysing Historical Returns In Evaluating Market Performance

    Historical returns are crucial for assessing market performance, detecting cyclical patterns, seasonal effects, macroeconomic implications, and optimising investment plans. They provide a long-term perspective, enabling experts and portfolio managers to assess performance and adjust strategies based on previous market behaviour. These insights help investors understand market dynamics and risk assessment and make informed decisions.

    Calculation Of Historical Returns And Metrics

    Calculation of the historical return of an asset is easy. Take the latest price and subtract the previous period's price from the same. Divide this from the previous price and multiply by 100 to show the number as a percentage.

    The example below will help us to understand the calculations better. 

    • Nifty closing price on 31 Dec 2022 = 18105.30
    • Nifty closing price on 31 Dec 2021 = 17354.10
    • 18105.30-17354.10 = 751.20
    • 751.20/17354.10 = 4.33%

    So, the return on the Nifty Index in Calendar Year 2022 was 4.33%.

    This process can be replicated for any month, quarter, year or period and help investors analyse the performance for regular economic cycles or find deviations in case of any extrinsic events like recession, COVID-19, wars, etc.

    Historical Stock Market Performance Analysis

    Historical stock market performance research is essential for investors, analysts, and portfolio managers to understand market trends, spot patterns, and make strategic decisions. It involves gathering historical data, analysing risk, benchmarking, correlation and regression, seasonality, cyclical trends, significant events, long-term trends, and performance attribution analysis.

    For example, from 2013 to 2023, the NIFTY 50 index's annual average stock market return was 12%—statistics like this help investors gauge the market conditions and take decisive steps. Here’s an illustration of the year-on-year Nifty’s total return index since 2001:

    NIFTY's Total Return Index Since 2001

    Factors Influencing Stock Returns

    Various internal and external factors influence stock returns. These include but are not limited to: 

    • the company’s performance
    • market sentiment
    • industry and sector performance
    • government policies
    • geopolitical events
    • technological advancements
    • currency fluctuations, and 
    • dividend payouts.

    Analysts and investors must conduct thorough research and analysis while reviewing historical data and finding correlations. The specific drivers behind these returns help them in making informed investment decisions.

    Historical Bond Market Performance Analysis

    Understanding market patterns, evaluating risk, and making wise investment decisions depend on historical bond market performance analysis. It entails gathering historical information on interest rates, yields, bond prices, and other financial indicators.

    Investors can make wise investment decisions and build more durable bond portfolios by deeply analysing and studying market dynamics, interest rate changes, and credit risks.

    Here’s an illustration of year-on-year India’s historical bond yield since 2001:

    India's Historical Bond Yield Since 2001

    Historical Performance Analysis Of Corporate Bonds

    Analysing the historical performance of corporate bonds includes assessing the past performance and returns of individual bonds or portfolios of bonds over a given time frame.

    Investors and analysts can use this information to examine the success of their bond investments and make well-informed decisions. A detailed historical performance analysis lets Investors and analysts learn important information about market dynamics, credit risk, interest rate changes, and income creation.

    Factors Influencing Corporate Bond Returns

    A few variables that impact corporate bond returns are listed below:

    • interest rates
    • credit quality
    • economic conditions
    • company performance
    • duration and interest rate sensitivity
    • supply and demand dynamics
    • market sentiment
    • sector performance
    • liquidity, and
    • market conditions 

    Investors and analysts must understand these characteristics to develop diversified bond portfolios and make educated investment choices.

    Equities Or Corporate Bonds- Which Is Better For You?

    Since equities and corporate bonds frequently display minimal performance correlation, they are excellent candidates for portfolio diversification. Theoretically, comparing and choosing between the two based on returns is impossible. However, when choosing an investment, it is critical to consider your financial objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.


    Historical return analysis of stocks and corporate bonds is essential for investors and analysts to analyse market dynamics, risk, and performance. Although past performance does not guarantee future outcomes, successful bond investing requires a thorough understanding of the macroeconomic environment and specific bond features like credit rating, yield to maturity, etc. 

    Corporate bonds offer predictable returns with lesser risk than stocks, which may offer bigger returns at the expense of volatility. Long-term financial success can be achieved by integrating asset classes into a balanced, diversified investing strategy. Explore Grip Invest to learn more about personal finance, market trends, and curated alternative investments.

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    Happy Investing!

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