Flaws in the major stock indices:
The average dividend yield over the whole period was 4.87 percent. Ignoring this return leads to enormous understatements of the long run
payoff to owning stocks. It would not be difficult to publicize a total return index rather than a stock price index. On a daily basis, the difference would be barely noticeable. However, over time horizons longer than three months, the difference becomes noticeable. Over decades, the difference becomes enormous.
A value-weighted index of the Dow-components including dividend payments (VW-DOWD) would have closed at 233,060 points at the end of December 1998 had it started off in October 1928 at 239.43 points.