 # What Is the Rate of Return?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

The rate of return refers to the gain or loss of an investment over a set period, expressed as a percentage of the investment’s cost. It involves both the income earned from the investment, such as interest or dividends, and any change in the investment’s value. So, if you purchased stocks valued at \$1000 and a year later the value is \$1100, your rate of return is 10% (\$100 gain / \$1000 initial investment * 100 = 10%).

## Related Questions

1. How do I calculate the annual rate of return?

You can calculate the annual rate of return by subtracting the initial value of the investment from the final value. Then, divide the result by the initial value of the investment. Finally, multiply the answer by 100 to get a percentage.

2. What is a good rate of return on investments?

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This can depend on the type of investment and the market conditions, but typically, a good rate of return on investments is between 5-7% for more conservative investments like bonds and 10-12% for riskier investments like stocks.

3. What’s the difference between rate of return and return on investment?

While similar, return on investment (ROI) typically refers to the profit or loss made on an investment, expressed as a percentage of the cost of the investment. Rate of return is often used to compare the profitability of different investments.

4. What factors can affect the rate of return?

The rate of return can be affected by numerous factors, including market conditions, risk level, the type of investment (e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate), and the timeframe of the investment.

5. How does the rate of return impact investment decisions?

Understanding the prospective rate of return helps investors anticipate their potential profit or loss. This insight can guide them in identifying the best investment opportunities to meet their financial goals and acceptable risk levels.