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Fools: I have a question that I have not seen answered on these boards previously and as 2004 has just ended I think it is timely.

For those who contribute to their investments monthly and maybe with a lump sum tossed in here and there, can your investment broker provide you with an annualized rate of return?

I think this is a critical piece of information because without it how can you compare against benchmarks to see how you did.

I would appreciate any and all comments including any software that may calculate the return.

Fletch52
No. of Recommendations: 3
Fletch52: "I have a question that I have not seen answered on these boards previously and as 2004 has just ended I think it is timely.

For those who contribute to their investments monthly and maybe with a lump sum tossed in here and there, can your investment broker provide you with an annualized rate of return?"

Just do what the Beardstown Ladies did; ignore ongoing contributions and calculate annual gain by using year-end balances. You too might get a book published and make some more money.

Regards, JAFO
(to do the calculation properly, you need to calculate for each period between contributions, and then annualize to a CAGR; if ammounts and periods are irregular, then the math gets to be a PITA)

No. of Recommendations: 1
I would appreciate any and all comments including any software that may calculate the return.

Hi Fletch,

Here's one thread where calculating returns was discussed:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21651177

2old
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On a monthly basis, the formula is:

100*(Amt_at_end_of_month - Amt_at_beginning_of_month + Amt_withdrawn - Amt_deposited)/Amt_at_beginning_of_month

However, there is obviously a time distortion, depending on when you made deposits or withdrawals.

The *right* way to do it is to apply that formula on a daily basis. This gives you the daily return. Then you can accumulate this on a daily basis to get your return over any period of time.