The expected annual return for your investment. If you plan on withdrawing your money within 10 years, you may want to choose a more conservative rate of return. Since 1926, the average annual total return for the S&P 500, an unmanaged index of large U.S. stocks, has been about 10%. Investments that offer the potential for higher rates of return also come with a higher degree of risk. Hypothetical rates of return are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray actual results. Actual rates of return will vary over time. Past results are not predictive of results in future periods.