How to Calculate a Simple Return on Investment

How to Calculate a Simple Return on Investment
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When you invest in mutual funds, the mutual fund company provides an annual report for each fund that details its performance over the past year, past three months and other relevant periods of time. But while that performance information is important, in the end it is your personal performance that really counts. No matter how you invest your money, taking the time to calculate your own personal performance is the best way to make sure your plans are on track.

Locate the investment statements for the time periods you want to calculate. Most mutual funds and brokerages send out statements on at least a quarterly basis, and some provide monthly statements as well.

Find your balance for the beginning of the time period. Then locate the balance for the end of the time period. Subtract the starting balance from the ending balance.

Divide the result from step 2 by the opening balance. Multiply the result by 100 to put the return in percentage terms. For example, if your starting balance for the year was $6,000 and your ending balance was $7,200, your total gain for the year was $1,200. Dividing the $1,200 by the starting balance of $6,000 gives you an annual percentage gain of 20 percent.