The graph shown below was created using Google’s chart tool.
The horizontal bar graph shows the percent return on equity (as net profit after taxes) over five years (2006 to 2010) for 4 industry sectors (retail trade, manufacturing, mining, and wholesale trade) and for 2 industry sectors (information and services) over four quarters (4th quarter 2009, all quarters 2010).
The data was obtained from the US Census Bureau’s 4th Quarter 2010’s Quarterly Financial Report. Click here to go to this report (PDF file).
The data shows there is a difference in returns depending on the industry sector.
The Russell 3000 Index (an index of 3,000 company stocks) had a total return over a recent 5 year period of 3.3 %. This suggests the difference that can exist in owning a company outright for a return on equity (capital) compared to simply buying shares in a company.
Data related to the Russell 3000 Index can be seen by clicking here.