But let’s also consider that you incurred $50 in transaction fees from the broker ($25 when you bought the investment, and another $25 when you sold). Although stocks can be risky investments, there are steps to help you reduce your risk. For instance, research can help you make an educated decision on how specific stocks may perform. That’s because there are many unpredictable factors at play, such as emotions, market behavior, and global events. In this case, the negative in front of your percentage change indicates a total loss of 33.33% of your investment.

- That’s because there are many unpredictable factors at play, such as emotions, market behavior, and global events.
- To incorporate transaction costs, reduce the gain (selling price – purchase price) by the costs of investing.
- Investing does not come without costs, and this should be reflected in the calculation of percentage gain or loss.
- If you had a winning trade, you will know how much you can afford to lose before returning to your starting capital.
- Knowing just how much you’ve gained or lost is a crucial component of being a savvy, informed investor.

Our gain and loss percentage calculator quickly tells you what percentage of the account balance you have won or lost. It also estimates a percentage of current balance required to get to the breakeven point again. Let’s go back to our example of iStock Corp, where you purchased one share for $200 and sold it for $300.

## How To Enter Forex Trade Orders Like a Boss

If the stock wasn’t held for one year and, instead, was held for two quarters, we would add $100 to the gain amount (instead of $200) since the quarterly dividend payments would be $50 each. Also, the second investor could invest the other $10,000 (assuming both had $20,000 to invest) in a second stock and earn an additional gain. Having an off day doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad trader or that your system sucks.

To avoid this sort of profit ambiguity, investment returns are expressed in percentages. The investment in Cory’s Tequila Company was made at $10 per share and sold at $17 per share. Thus, your percentage return on your $10 per share investment is 70% ($7 gain ÷ $10 cost). Fees and other costs can eat away at your profits or add to your losses. Make sure you factor them in when you’re considering selling any stocks.

If the percentage is positive because the market value or selling price is greater than the original purchase price, there’s a gain on the investment. To incorporate transaction costs, reduce the gain (selling price – purchase price) by the costs of investing. Calculating your profit or loss on your stock holdings is a fairly straightforward procedure.

At the onset, it appears that both investments achieved the same result. This time let’s assume that there are no brokerage fees on your investment. Instead, you earned a total dividend of $50 on your share for the year. You’ll need the original purchase price and the current value of your stock in order to make the calculation. Subtract the total purchase price from the current price of the stock then divide that by the original purchase price and multiply that figure by 100. With this trade, they would have profited by $700, yet it took 10 times the investment compared to the other example to earn it.

## Calculating Investment Returns

The percentage gain or loss calculation can be used for many types of investments. The result of these journal entries appears in the income statement, and impacts the reported amount of profit or loss for the period in which the transaction is recorded. This gain or loss increases or decreases (respectively) the retained earnings balance reported in the balance sheet, so there is an indirect impact on the balance sheet, too. By using these (slightly) more complex versions of the basic equation, you can get a more accurate picture of your total gains and losses on a particular investment.

It’s as simple as calculating the percentage change between a beginning value and an ending value. When calculating your profit or loss, make sure you look at the percentage return as opposed to the dollar value. When you incur a loss, it means the current value of an asset or investment is lower than the price at which it was originally purchased.

## Why Calculating Percentage Gain or Loss Is Important

Finally, multiply that figure by 100 to determine the investment’s percentage change. To determine an unrealized percentage change, investors simply substitute the sale price with the current market price. The publicly quoted percentage change of a security does not factor in fees, such as commissions, slippage, and holding costs. Investors should factor these into their calculations for a more accurate representation of an investment’s percentage gain or loss. Similarly, investors should add distribution payments, such as dividends into their percentage calculations to help determine an investment’s total returns.

## Examples of Calculating Percentage Gain or Loss

Investors typically define a stock correction as a 10% decline from its most recent peak. While there is no specific threshold for stock market crashes, they are generally considered an abrupt double-digit percentage drop in a stock or index over a short time frame. Meanwhile, many financial advisors recommend a portfolio consisting of 60% stocks and 40% bonds to balance risk and reward. If the investment paid out any income or distributions, such as a dividend, the amount would need to be added to the gain amount. A dividend is a cash payment paid to shareholders and is configured on a per-share basis.

But there are a number of tools that investors have available to them in order to help them tabulate their returns. Let’s say an investor buys 100 shares of Cory’s Tequila Company at $10 per share for a total investment of $1,000. Suppose they sell those shares for $1700 or $17 each two months later, which means their profit for the trade is $700. Although that may seem like a sizeable profit, it may not mean much unless they know how much they needed to invest to earn that amount of money.

This 70% return would be the same if the investor purchased 100 shares or 100,000 shares, provided all the shares were bought at $10 and sold at $17. If investors don’t have the original purchase price, they can obtain it from their broker. Depending on the outcome, you’ll have to determine your portfolio’s gains and losses. In this article, we help you understand some of the basics of calculating gains and losses, including some of the tools available to you. If the percentage turns out to be negative because the market value is lower than the original purchase price—also called the cost basis—there’s a loss on the investment.

## Formula for Calculating Percentage Gain or Loss

Gains and losses are unrealized if the value changes but you hold onto the stock within your portfolio. Using the Intel example, let’s say the company paid a dividend of $2 per share. Since the investor owned 100 shares, Intel would pay $200 split up evenly into four quarterly payments. If an investor wanted to determine how the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has performed over a certain period, the same calculation would apply. The Dow is an index that tracks 30 stocks of the most established companies in the United States. Calculating the gain or loss on an investment as a percentage is important because it shows how much was earned as compared to the amount needed to achieve the gain.