Mutual Fund Return Calculator: Dividends Reinvested

Written by:
PK

On this page is a mutual fund return calculator which automatically computes an investment return, including reinvested dividends. Enter a starting amount and timeframe to estimate the growth of an investment in a mutual fund, or use the tool as a way to track index returns net of fees by entering popular tickers. Additionally, you can simulate periodic investments into a fund by year, month, week, or day.

There are thousands of mutual funds in our database, accurate to within the last 7 trading days and with data back to 2000.

Mutual Fund Total Return Calculator

How To Use the Mutual Fund Total Return Calculator

To begin, you need to enter at least a mutual fund ticker. Supported funds are pre-populated in the field and will autocomplete as you type.

Basic Mutual Fund Details and Inputs

Mutual fund return calculator basic input fields.
Basic options for mutual fund investment simulation modeling.
  • Ticker: Enter a valid, active mutual fund ticker [ZIP] from Tiingo
  • Starting Amount ($): In dollars, the amount added to the fund on day 1
  • Starting Date: Enter when an investment was first made °
  • Ending Date: Enter when an investment was sold °

° Depending on the mutual fund data and market trading dates (see more below), we might adjust the starting date and ending date. Check again after your calculation.

Advanced Dividend and Periodic Investment Options

Modeling options for periodic investments and dividend events.
Advanced options concentrating on dividend events and periodic investments

Click 'Toggle Advanced' to open the advanced mutual fund dividend and investment panel.

  • Show Events: Check the box, and we'll list all our dividend and split information for the mutual fund in your timeframe. We'll also include (optionally) periodic investment information.
  • Periodic Investments: Select the box if you'd like to model periodic investments into a mutual fund.
  • "Monthly": If you are simulating periodic investments, select the timeframe for the mutual fund investments from the dropdown menu.
  • Regular Amount: The amount invested every period in the simulation.

Interpreting Mutual Fund Model Results

Mutual fund total return calculator showing graph of portfolio value.
Results of the total return calculator for VTSAX
  • Final Value ($): The value of the mutual fund investment on the 'Ending Date' using your starting amount and investment assumptions. Remember, the tool may change that date depending on the database refresh limit.
  • Annual Return: An estimate of the annualized percentage return by the investment, including your periodic investments. See our compound annual growth calculator for more.
  • Graph: The value of the mutual fund investment over time. You can hover (desktop) or tap (tablet or mobile) to see the portfolio value at a point in time.

How do the periodic mutual fund investments work?

A database backs the tool with daily prices on mutual funds, which also includes dividends and splits. Unlike with stocks or ETFs, there are no open, close, high, and low prices – mutual funds quote one price per day after market close.

And dividends or periodic investments are done at the same daily price.

Source and Methodology of the Mutual Fund Total Return Calculator

The mutual return calculator is a derivative of the stock and ADR return calculator and ETF and CEF return calculator. The tool uses the Tiingo API for its price and dividend data. Tiingo isn't free, so we have some very modest limits in place:

  • ETF and CEF data may be up to 7 trading days old. Note that weekend refreshes and market holidays might mean this is over 7 'actual' days'.
    • Always check the tool ending date after a scenario to see data recency of the mutual fund.
  • Rate limits are in place:
    • Maximum 50 calculations per day
    • Maximum 10 calculations per minute
  • Limits apply across all of the Tiingo calculators. You can see which ones in the methodology section.

Limitations and Disclaimers

The mutual fund total return calculated contains idealized return data. It is based on historical prices and would not match a real investor's gains exactly.

The tool is for informational purposes only. We cannot warrant any results. Mutual fund outputs are good for initial research, but please verify any information the tool outputs independently.

Note that there are other factors the tool is ignoring:

  • Taxes
  • Your portfolio management fees
  • Dividend timing
  • Other things I can't enumerate

The price or dividend datasets may be wrong too (please report if you find a bug).

Using the tool as an index fund return calculator

Many mutual funds track published indexes. You can use popular mutual funds tracking indices to estimate an investor's results tracking an index after fees.

However, note our warnings – these are idealized computations. See a fund's prospectus for the gold standard results on an investment.

Bug Reports, Feature Requests, and Requests to Help with the Mutual Fund Total Return Calculator

Let us know if you find a bug, and importantly include the fund ticker with the issue.

You can send enhancement requests, but the bar is very high. I'm not paid to build or maintain this tool (outside of the ads). For significant requests, please make a contracting inquiry.

Again, this information is for informational and research purposes only. We cannot and will not be able to help in a legal capacity. We can only help you with research inquiries. This data might be a useful starting point for your research, but for legal inquiries, you probably need a professional known as a "forensic accountant".

Mutual Funds, Dividends, and Total Returns

As I've maintained since I started tool-building on this site, dividends matter. To this day, it's ridiculous how many financial stories quote index or stock price returns when dividends eventually dominate total returns on a long enough timeline. (Non-dividend payers aside!)

But unless you are heating your house with dividend checks, losing your mail, refusing to cash checks, or some other weird scenario... your dividends are a real factor in your returns.

If you'd like to compare the mutual fund tool to a straight investment in an index or to compute fee drag:

      

PK

PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK is in his mid-30s and works and lives in the Bay Area with his wife, two kids, and dog.

Don't Quit Your Day Job...

DQYDJ may be compensated by our partners if you make purchases through links. See our disclosures page. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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