Investing in mutual funds can be a powerful way to build your income over time. Through mutual funds you can earn interest on the money you invest and mitigate the risk by investing across a wide number of stocks, selected by the fund manager.
It’s important, as an investor, that you be able to do a few basic calculations so you can track the progress of your investments and, if need be, change your course. One important calculation every mutual fund investor should be able to do is year-to-date returns.
Determine how much money you have invested in your mutual fund for the period of your calculation. For example, if you put in $50 a month each month for six months, then your year-to-date contributions are $300. Include your previous balance as part of this figure, if applicable. For example, if you already had $1000 in the account at the beginning of the year, then this number would total $1300.
Determine the balance of your account, and subtract your contributions from that amount. If your balance is $1380, then you would get $80 from this calculation. If your balance is $1250, then you would get -$50 from this calculation.
Divide the amount you determined in step two by your year-to-date contribution plus previous balance determined in step one. For the purpose of this example you would get either .0615 or -.0385. Multiply that number by one hundred to determine your year-to-date returns. In this case, the year-to-date returns are 6.15 percent for the first example or -3.85 percent for the second example.
Tips & Warnings
- This is a simple method of tracking your year-to-date returns to measure at a glance how well your mutual fund investment is doing. There are more complex calculations that take into account daily compounding and how much or little interest more recent contributions have accrued, but this method is a good indication of overall performance trends for the year.
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