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Total Return on Individual Stocks
Old 07-11-2017, 10:07 PM   #1
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Total Return on Individual Stocks

Is there a way to find the equivalent annual yield on a stock? For example, say I bought one share of GM ten years ago and held it while reinvesting the dividends. (sales charges not considered). What percent annual return would I have on my original investment today? I'm sure a math guru can calculate this but I'm wondering if there's a web site or something for dummies like me to just look it up. It's easy to find one/three/five year average annual returns on mutual funds, but how about individual stocks?
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:13 PM   #2
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It is easy for GM, they went bankrupt and your return is negative 100%.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:19 PM   #3
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It is easy for GM, they went bankrupt and your return is negative 100%.
Huh?
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:42 AM   #4
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Huh?
GM went bankrupt and was reorganized by the federal government in 2009 and "new" shares of GM were issued in 2010 for $33. "Old" shares of GM are worthless. Stockholders (and I believe bondholders) got nothing from the reorganization. Present shares of GM have nothing to do with pre2008 shares.

If you bought GM stock 10 years ago in 2007 you would have suffered a 100% loss.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:38 AM   #5
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Divide the total value of the investment, including the reinvested dividends, by the initial cost of the investment. Take the inverse root of this figure of the number of years you have held the investment. If an investment doubled in 10 years, the return is 2 exp(1/10) or 7.2% per year.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:48 AM   #6
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Just go to Morningstar.
Right on the performance tab you can look at trailing total returns for stocks just like for funds. Not for custom dates, but for the standard periods.

For GM:
YTD 3.79%
1 year 22.54
3 year 1.48
5 year 15.13
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:51 AM   #7
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Just go to Morningstar.
Right on the performance tab you can look at trailing total returns for stocks just like for funds. Not for custom dates, but for the standard periods.

For GM:
YTD 3.79%
1 year 22.54
3 year 1.48
5 year 15.13
+1. Plus you can view an interactive chart showing growth or price of same.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:28 AM   #8
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This is called "Total Return"
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:03 PM   #9
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You can calculate total return for an arbitrary holding period by typing the cash flows into a spreadsheet and writing a simple xirr function. The two parameters of the function include the cell range of dates and the cell range of amounts. Oh, and a third parameter...the guess, so maybe 0.06.

Getting the information to put into the spreadsheet is easy if you owned the stock...just look at how much you paid (as a negative), each dividend you got as cash (as a positive), and the amount you sold it for (or what you could sell it for).

If you didn't own the stock, you can look up historical prices, but dividends, splits, buyouts and stuff make that a larger challenge, especially if over a long time span.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Just go to Morningstar.
Right on the performance tab you can look at trailing total returns for stocks just like for funds. Not for custom dates, but for the standard periods.

For GM:
YTD 3.79%
1 year 22.54
3 year 1.48
5 year 15.13
Thank you braumeister
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:11 AM   #11
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PerfCharts | Free Charts | StockCharts.com
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:14 AM   #12
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Using stockcharts site you can put an underscore infront of the symbol to see returns without dividends, or else the return includes dividends reinvested.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:23 PM   #13
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Divide the total value of the investment, including the reinvested dividends, by the initial cost of the investment. Take the inverse root of this figure of the number of years you have held the investment. If an investment doubled in 10 years, the return is 2 exp(1/10) or 7.2% per year.
I was doing good with the first sentence. Then I hit "the reverse root". yeah OK, it was over for me at that point. Id call that a roadblock
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