This post is by Julia Wendling from Visual Capitalist



The following content is sponsored by New York Life Investments
An infographic comparing low-, mid-, and large-cap stocks, including an area graph showing historical returns, a bubble chart showing how much $100 would be worth over 35 years, a horizontal bar graph showing annualized volatility, and a line graph showing relative forward price-to-earnings ratios, that together show that mid-cap stocks present a compelling investment opportunity.

Beyond Big Names: The Case for Small- and Mid-Cap Stocks

Over the last 35 years, small- and mid-cap stocks have outperformed large caps, making them an attractive choice for investors. According to data from Yahoo Finance, from February 1989 to February 2024, large-cap stocks returned +1,664% versus +2,062% for small caps and +3,176% for mid caps.   This graphic, sponsored by New York Life Investments, explores their return potential along with the risks to consider.

Higher Historical Returns

If you made a $100 investment in baskets of small-, mid-, and large-cap stocks in February 1989, what would each grouping be worth today?
Small CapsMid CapsLarge Caps
Starting value (February 1989)$100$100$100
Ending value (February 2024)$2,162$3,276$1,764

Source: Yahoo Finance (2024). Small caps, mid caps, and large caps are represented by the S&P 600, S&P 400, and S&P 500 respectively.

Mid caps delivered the strongest performance since 1989, generating 86% more than large caps. This superior historical track record is likely the result of the unique position mid-cap companies find themselves in. Mid-cap firms have generally successfully navigated early stage growth and are typically well-funded relative to small caps. And yet they are more dynamic and nimble than large-cap companies, allowing them to respond quicker to the (Read more…)