How to Calculate Quarterly Rates

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If you've ever borrowed money from the bank or purchased a bond from a company, then you are familiar with the idea of rates of interest, which can also be the rate of return, depending on which side of the lending equation you are on. Most rates of interest and return are stated in annual rates; however, it is not uncommon for shorter term financial assets to state rates in quarterly or even monthly rates. Thankfully, calculating quarterly rates is easy if you have annual or monthly rates.

Determine the annual rate for the financial asset. In this case, we will use financial asset to refer to a debt or investment.

Determine the number of quarters in a year and months in a quarter. This may seem obvious, but just to be clear, there are four quarters in a year, and each quarter has three months.

Calculate the quarterly rate. The quarterly rate is the annual rate divided by four (four quarters in one year). You can also calculate the quarterly rate by multiplying the monthly rate by three. For instance, if the annual rate is 12 percent, the quarterly rate is 3 percent or 12 divided by 4 (four quarters in one year). If the monthly rate is 1 percent, then the quarterly rate is 3 percent, or 1 multiplied by 3 percent.