In viewing the chart, keep in mind that it shows one 20-year path. The path corresponds to a particular economic backdrop. It occurred to me that some DIYers might wonder about the economic background in terms of specific macroeconomic magnitudes as they view the path of returns and like to know where they can view a graph of macroeconomic magnitudes.
Actually, this can be accomplished easily with the Economagic site.
For example, to view the broad economic background, here is an easy way of drawing a 20-year graph of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the market value of the total output of goods and services for a particular period of time. A useful way to think of GDP is that it would be the cost if you wanted to buy all goods and services produced within a country over the past 12 months. Real GDP adjusts for the impact of prices over time.
To get the graph, go to www.economagic.com and click "Most Requested Series." At the top is "Real Gross Domestic Product." Click "chart." Scroll down slightly and change the starting and end dates to correspond to the BlackRock table. I also like to put in grid lines and recession bars as shown:
Scroll down and click "make char.t. It's that easy!
The chart shows that, over the period covered by the BlackRock chart, the U.S. economy experienced 3 recessions - was actually coming out of a recession at the beginning of the period. The last recession is actually called the "Great Recession." It was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
At the Economagic site, the reader will note the many variables that can be plotted, including interest rates and monetary magnitudes. Actually, more than one series can be put on a graph. Also note that the data can be transformed in various ways which you'll want to do with inflation indicators, for example.
By the way - if you want to buy all the goods and services produced in the U.S. over the past 12 months you'll need approximately 15 trillion dollars!