On this page is a stock return calculator which automatically calculates dividend reinvestment (DRIP). It has daily resolution and properly accounts for stock splits and special dividends. We use the WIKI EOD Stock dataset from Quandl, and there are currently ~ 3,200 American stocks in our database.
We cache results for up to one week to reduce the number of API calls; the tool adjusts starting and closing dates automatically to account. You can find the full list of supported tickers here.
The Stock Return Calculator with Dividend Reinvestment (DRIP)!
Note: The calculator does not properly account for spin-offs. If your timeframe includes a spin-off, you will need to manually work around it.
How To Use the Dividend Reinvestment Calculator (DRIP)
Note: a date in the future doesn’t mean the stock total return calculator is clairvoyant! It is just rounding to the closest snap-point.
- Stock Ticker: Enter a valid ticker
- Starting Amount ($): Enter an initial investment amount
- Starting Date: Enter when an investment was first made
- Ending Date: Enter when an investment was sold (or date to check the accumulated value)
- Reinvestment ($): The amount invested in every period selected from the pull-down below it. (DRIP)
- Frequency: How often the dollar cost averaging/paycheck contribution went into the stock.
- Total Amount: The value of the investment on the ending date.
- Annualized Investment: Our estimate to the amount returned annually by the investment, including the dollar cost averaging.
- Graph: The value of the account over time – drag your cursor over points to see value on a date (sorry mobile users)
- Dividends: All of the dividends in the time in question, along with their amounts.
Notes About the Stock Return Calculator (Read Before Emailing)
- Results are cached for one week so as not to overwhelm our data provider. Yes, this means your data might be 5 trading days off if someone else checked a ticker. The tool will automatically show the true closing date.
- Give it a second, it has to fetch 2 pieces of data: the entire ticker list and then a daily stock record. At launch, some of those histories go back to 1970.
- This information is for informational purposes only. If you need exact results you should hire a professional known as a forensic accountant. We do not provide those services here.
- Let me know by email or in the comments if you find a bug. If the ticker is missing, check this spreadsheet first . This is our limitation.
- The full list of available tickers is available here – it is not a bug if it doesn’t work for a ticker not on that list.
- Outside of the ads, building this was uncompensated work. If you want something better, here’s where you make contracting inquiries.
- The tool doesn’t account for spin-offs – you’ll need to work around spin-offs manually.
How do Periodic Stock Investments Work?
Dates are tricky, especially when mashed up with market holidays and weekends and leap years. In reality, you’d only be able to periodically invest if the market was open, and usually only after you receive money – perhaps a paycheck.
That in mind, here’s how the periodic investment algorithm in the tool works:
- Every Week: Invest every 5 market days
- Every Other Week: Invest every 10 market days
- Every 4th Week: Invest every 21 market days
- Every Quarter: Invest every 63 market days
The day counts are derived from the roughly 252 trading days a year in the stock market. In the stock reinvestment calculator, if a dividend and reinvestment occur on the same day, dividends are applied first and the investment is calculated from the discounted price.
Sources & Methodology on the Stock Total Return Calculator
The calculator internally creates a datastructure which contains the initial purchase and the price fluctuations using stock closing prices on each day. (Normal) splits and dividend events cause us to increase the modeled number of shares held. Reverse splits will reduce the number of shares held.
Limitations and Disclaimers
Note that we use only closing prices in the calculator.
The returns calculated are idealized and will not match the exact returns you realized if you invested over these timeframes. We are not modeling taxes, management fees, dividend payment timing, slippage, or other sources of error. It is possible that the dataset contains errors as well (report these errors to Quandl, here). Returns are “reasonable guesses” to the best of our abilit and the data’s resolution. They are for informational purposes only.
Musings on the Any Stock Dividend Reinvestment Calculator
We originally built a version of this stock total return calculator for DQYDJ’s five year anniversary (and 749th published article). We improved the tool to have daily resolution, handle splits properly, and to move to Quandl’s WIKI EOD Stock Info database.
Our motivation is to produce fair, dividend reinvested return comparisons to the idealized reinvestment tools we have elsewhere on the site. For comparison purposes, try our Dow Jones Industrial Average Calculator, S&P 500 Calculator, the Wilshire 5000 Calculator, or the 10-Year Treasury Calculator. (Please turn off inflation on those calculators to be comparable.) We also attempted a similar comparison in our Any House Return Calculator tool, which uses median home prices per MSA to estimate returns on housing.
Even though we’ve been building this style of calculator for years, prices returns are the most common returns quoted by the financial press.
Price is just one element of return, however. Stocks may payout dividends in dollars per share or in new shares of stock; simply quoting price returns misses a real (and significant!) portion of returns. It is especially egregious for special dividends, which can payout large cash returns overnight – while lowering a stock’s price. With this calculator, you can finally do stock total return math very simply, by only providing a few dates and some investment information.
We hope you enjoy the any stock dividend reinvestment calculator. Use it in good health, and may your dividend payouts be many!