A growing number of funds — including exchange-traded funds and index funds — are designed specifically to track a particular benchmark index. Since they are passively managed, these funds typically boast lower management fees than traditional mutual funds. They are also easy to track since benchmark index performance is widely available on a daily basis.
The database goes back to January 1973, although some indices may not go back that far, so you may be limited as to how far back you can go, depending on which index you select.
To find out how a particular index has fared historically, select an index, indicate the holding period and initial investment, then click Submit.