I tried to track this down and found this page of dividends
. It looks like the dividend yield ranged from 1.14% to 1.89% over the last 10 years. Of course, just about every reinvestment would have been at prices higher than 848.92 except for the 2002-2003 time frame.
If you had on average 1.6% yield on a bond for 10 years, that would be a little over 17% compounded. However, since this isn't fixed income it's a little harder to gauge without the actual reinvestment timing. But, it looks like a good bet that a t-bill would have beat this since t-bill dividends are probably higher for most years and the s&p 500 never gained a huge amount that would have multiplied it's low dividend yield.
I also looked at the spy spider on yahoo. If their "adjusted for dividends" numbers
and we assume the spy spider is very close to the actual S&P 500 index... it looks like it would have been down about -10%.
Of course with the market going up 10%+ today, we might not need to "buy and hold", but "buy and hang on". The entire market seems to be acting more like an individual stock now with all of this volatility. Who knows were it will be in another month...