With the Dow Jones Industrial Average today reaching a new all-time high, it's appropriate to step back and put this achievement in a long-term context. What we see is that stocks have delivered about a 7% annualized price return for those willing to be very patient and adopt a buy-and-hold strategy. Including dividends, the S&P 500 has delivered a total annualized return of just over 11% since 1950.
UPDATE: Here is a chart of the S&P 500 in real terms, using the CPI. The CPI has risen at a 3.7% annualized pace since 1950, and subtracting that from the 6.8% trend lines in the second chart above, we get a 3% real annualized trend, which not coincidentally happens to be very close to the economy's annualized growth rate over this same period.