Investor's wiki

Annual Return

Annual Return

What Is an Annual Return?

The annual return is the return that an investment provides throughout some stretch of time, communicated as a time-weighted annual percentage. Causes of returns can include dividends, returns of capital and capital appreciation. The rate of annual return is measured against the initial amount of the investment and addresses a geometric mean as opposed to a simple arithmetic mean.

Understanding Annual Return

The de facto method for contrasting the performance of investments and liquidity, an annual return can be calculated for different assets, which include stocks, bonds, funds, commodities and a few types of derivatives. This cycle is a preferred method, considered to be more accurate than a simple return, as it includes adjustments for compounding interest. Different asset classes are considered to have various layers of annual returns.

Annual Returns on Stocks

Otherwise called a annualized return, the annual return communicates the stock's increase in value over a designated period of time. To compute an annual return, data in regards to the current price of the stock and the price at which it was purchased are required. On the off chance that any parts have happened, the purchase price should be adjusted as needs be. When the prices are determined, the simple return percentage is calculated first, with that figure at last being annualized. The simple return is just the current price minus the purchase price, divided by the purchase price.

Model Annual Return Calculation

CAGR=((Ending ValueBeginning Value )1Years)−1where:CAGR=compound annual growth rateYears=holding period, in years\begin &\text = \left ( \left ( \frac{ \text }{ \text } \right ) ^ \frac{ 1 }{ \text } \right ) - 1 \ &\textbf \ &\text = \text \ &\text = \text{holding period, in years} \ \end
Consider an investor that purchases a stock on Jan. 1, 2000, for $20. The investor then, at that point, sells it on Jan. 1, 2005, for $35 - a $15 profit. The investor likewise gets a total of $2 in dividends over the five-year holding period. In this model, the investor's total return more than five years is $17, or (17/20) 85% of the initial investment. The annual return required to accomplish 85% more than five years follows the formula for the compound annual growth rate (CAGR):
((3720)15)−1=13.1% annual return\begin &\left ( \left ( \frac { 37 }{ 20 } \right ) ^ \frac{ 1 }{ 5 } \right ) - 1 = 13.1% \text \ \end
The annualized return fluctuates from the regular average and shows the real gain or loss on an investment, as well as the difficulty in recovering losses. For example, losing half on an initial investment requires a 100% gain the next year to compensate for any shortfall. Due to the sizable difference in gains and losses that can happen, annualized returns assist with evening out investment results for better comparison.

Annual-return statistics are usually quoted in promotional materials for mutual funds, ETFs and other individual securities.

Annual Returns on a 401K

The calculation varies while determining the annual return of a 401K during a predetermined year. In the first place, the total return must be calculated. The starting value for the time period being analyzed is needed, alongside the last value. Before playing out the calculations, any contributions to the account during the time period being referred to must be deducted from the last value.

When the adjusted last value is determined, it is divided by the starting balance. At long last, deduct 1 from the outcome and increase that amount by 100 to determine the percentage total return.


  • An annual return can be determined for various assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, commodities, and certain derivatives.
  • An annual or annualized return is a measure of how much an investment has increased on average every year, during a specific time period.
  • An annual return can be more valuable than a simple return when you need to perceive how an investment has performed over the long haul, or to compare two investments.
  • The annualized return is calculated as a geometric average to show what the annual return compounded would resemble.