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Stock Calculator – Compute Your Stock Investment Return

Written by:
PK

On this page is a stock calculator or stock investment return calculator. Enter the details of a stock purchase and sale, including the number of shares, commissions, and buy and sell price to see your net stock investment return and return percentage.

Optionally, choose to compute compound annual growth rate. If you choose it, enter the buy and sell date or the number of holding years to see your average annual return.

The Stock Investment Calculator

Using the Stock Buy and Sell Calculator

  • Number of Shares - The number of shares you sell in the stock transaction
  • Buying Price per Share - What was your average trading price when you bought the shares
  • Buying Commission - How much did you pay in commissions to buy the shares? (Enter '0' if you paid no commissions.)
    • ($) or (%) - Was the buy commission paid in dollars or as a percentage of the total purchase?
  • Selling Price per Share - What was your average trading price when you sold the shares
  • Selling Commission - How much did you pay in commissions to sell all the shares? (Enter '0' if you paid nothing.)
    • ($) or (%) - Was the sale commission paid in dollars or as a percentage of the total purchase?
  • Compute CAGR? - Enter if you'd like to set a timeframe you held your stock investment to compute a compound annual growth rate (or average annual return).

After that, hit the 'Compute Stock Investment Return' button to compute your stock investment performance. Here are the results you'll see:

  • Net Stock Investment Gain ($): After paying commissions, the amount you gained (or lost) while holding the stock based on your buying and selling price
  • Lost to Commissions ($): The total amount of commissions you paid in the stock investment round trip - both selling and buying.
  • Net Return on Investment: The total percentage gain or loss on your investment, or net return on investment.

If you choose to compute CAGR, also see the additional fields in the next section.

(Optional) Set an Investment Holding Timeframe

If you choose to compute a CAGR, you'll also need to enter how long you held the stock into the tool. You can either enter years explicitly or enter a buy and sell date:

  • Use Dates - Enter the Starting Date when you bought the stock and the Ending Date when you sold.
  • Use a fixed period - Enter the number of years you held the investment (decimals are okay).

If you choose to compute CAGR, there will be one additional output field:

  • Compound Annual Growth Rate: Your average annual return in the stock investment

Stock Calculator Methodology and Formulas

Inside the tool, there are a few formulas which give you your final investment results.

The formula to compute your net stock investment gain is:

gain\ (\$)=sell\ price-buy\ price-sell\ commission-buy\ commission

The loss to commission formula is straightforward, the tool merely does this calculation:

lost\ to\ commissions\ (\$)=sell\ commission+buy\ commission

The tool computes your net stock return on investment using this formula:

net\ return\ on\ investment\ (\%)=\frac{sale\ proceeds-sale\ commissions}{cost\ basis+buy\ commissions}

And finally, if you choose to compute the compound annual growth rate there is one more calculation in the tool. The formula for your stock CAGR is:

net\ return\ on\ investment\ (\%)^{(\frac{1}{holding\ years})}

Using the Stock Calculator to Compute Investment Performance

The stock calculator here can help you reason about investments you made in stocks or ETFs. It's only based on the price return of your investments, including factoring in any commissions or trading fees.

Note that price return isn't the only type of investment return – importantly, many stocks, ETFs, CEFs and ADRs also pay dividends. Use our stock return calculator or ETF return calculator for real-life examples showing the effects of reinvesting dividends.

However, this tool is great to see the price return of a stock investment. Hope it was useful for you – check out our other investment tools and posts.

What's next?

Here are some other tools which show the return on a real life index or investment

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