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Where to find total return interactive graphs?
Old 11-01-2008, 06:18 PM   #1
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Where to find total return interactive graphs?

Are there any sites that will generate graphs of total return for stocks or indexes interactively?

What I mean by total return is the amount of growth that a dollar invested would be worth. Including price changes, distributions (dividends), etc.

For bonus points, factoring in inflation to get real return would be even better. For instance, I'd like to be able to interactively generate graphs like this:

The Real Stock Chart - BusinessWeek

My main interest at this time is seeing how the great depression compares with other downturns. On price graphs the great depression looks like the worst, but I suspect that more stocks were paying dividends back then, which would have made it more bearable than the price charts imply.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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You would think someone would have something like this! Fidelity and Morningstar have charts with limited capabilities for mutual funds.

The "best" site I know of is StockCharts.com:
PerfChart - StockCharts.com

They occasionally miss including a dividend or distribution, but 90% of the time they look OK when I have double checked them. If you click on one of the stock/fund legend buttons the chart will change to a difference comparison between that fund and the other funds. I originally used this chart to find tech companies that were relative bargins compared to my company stock. Now I use it to compare mutual funds.

Pick a stock/fund you know that has had a large distribution and see if it charts correctly.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
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Deluxe charting tools at investor.msn.com seem to fit your criteria. Of course, you must learn how to use the charting options. At most charting sites it seems to be hit or miss whether distributions are re-invested depending on the ticker symbol.

Never mind, you want to go back before data is available.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:53 PM   #4
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I don't see a total return chart format at MSN, other than the fixed chart on the fund quote page. Moving to the charting page, it looks like straight price.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animorph View Post
I don't see a total return chart format at MSN, other than the fixed chart on the fund quote page. Moving to the charting page, it looks like straight price.
Did you install the "deluxe" toolkit? Did you click on "Chart" in the chart menu bar, then on "Investment growth"? Did you ... ??
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Did you install the "deluxe" toolkit? Did you click on "Chart" in the chart menu bar, then on "Investment growth"? Did you ... ??
The link you supplied was not specific enough, nor were the instructions!

Try this link: Stock chart, Index chart - MSN Money

Click on the "Download the MSN Money Investment toolbox" link on the right, just above the ad. Do the download. After downloading, the normal MSN charts a magically "Deluxe" charts as far as I can tell. At least I did get a chart option for "investment growth" under the little "Chart" menu on the chart itself.

So far so good. I was able to plot lots of funds with this chart. You can select the time period, 10 years was the max selectable, I don't know if using custom dates would go farther back.

But... when I charted wmcvx, which had a big 30% distribution just before 1/1/08, there is a big drop in the "investment growth" curve where the distribution happened. They forgot to reinvest the distributions!

I did not try any other funds, that was the first one I could think of with a big distribution. wmcvx looks good at the StockCharts link I gave, a smooth curve with no distributions glitch.

So while this looks like an interesting possibility, it looks like it is not correctly representing "investment growth". No log axis when plotting investment growth either, so not much good here.
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