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# Total Return: Definition, Formula To Calculate It, Examples

Published: February 9, 2024

Discover the definition of total return in finance, learn the formula to calculate it, and explore real-life examples to enhance your financial knowledge.

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## The Total Return: Definition, Formula To Calculate It, Examples

Welcome to the Finance category on our page where we delve into various financial topics to help you gain a better understanding of managing your money. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of total return, a key metric used by investors to evaluate the profitability of their investments. We’ll explain what total return is, how to calculate it, and provide some examples to help you grasp the concept. So, let’s dive in!

## Key Takeaways:

- Total return measures the overall profitability of an investment, incorporating both capital gains and income generated from dividends or interest.
- It is calculated by adding the percentage change in the value of the investment to any income generated, divided by the initial investment amount.

Now, let’s start with the definition: total return, quite simply, is a metric that considers all sources of return from an investment. It takes into account not only the capital gains or losses resulting from changes in the investment’s value but also the income generated through dividends or interest. By encompassing all aspects of return, it provides a more comprehensive picture of an investment’s performance than just focusing on price appreciation alone.

To calculate the total return of an investment, you need to consider the percentage change in value and any income earned. The formula is quite straightforward:

**Total Return = (Ending Value – Beginning Value + Dividends or Interest) / Beginning Value **

Here, the “Ending Value” represents the current value of the investment, the “Beginning Value” is the initial investment amount, and “Dividends or Interest” refers to any additional income earned.

To illustrate this, let’s consider an example. Suppose you invested $10,000 in a stock and, over a certain period, it appreciated to $12,000, generating $500 in dividends. Using the formula, the total return would be:

**Total Return = ($12,000 – $10,000 + $500) / $10,000 = 0.25 or 25%**

In this case, the total return of your investment is 25%. This means that your investment has gained 25% in value when accounting for both capital appreciation and income earned through dividends.

Total return is valuable for investors as it captures the full picture of an investment’s performance. Through this metric, they can assess not only the market value growth but also the income generated. It enables investors to compare different investments, evaluate their overall profitability, and make more informed decisions.

In conclusion, total return is a powerful tool for investors to assess the true performance of an investment. By accounting for both capital appreciation and income earned, it provides a comprehensive view of profitability. Understanding how to calculate and interpret total return enables investors to make more informed financial decisions. So, next time you evaluate an investment, don’t forget to consider the total return!