Average Return

DEFINITION of 'Average Return'

The simple mathematical average of a series of returns generated over a period of time. An average return is calculated the same way a simple average is calculated for any set of numbers; the numbers are added together into a single sum, and then the sum is divided by the count of the numbers in the set.

BREAKING DOWN 'Average Return'

For example, suppose an investment had returned the following annual returns over a period of five full years: 10%, 15%, 10%, 0% and 5%. To calculate the average return for the investment over this five-year period, the five annual returns would be added together and then divided by five. This produces an annual average return of 8%.

To learn more about average return, check out Why is the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) misleading when assessing long-term growth rates?​

 

RELATED TERMS
  1. Sacred Cow

    A firmly held mainstream belief that is considered to be true ...
  2. Compound Net Annual Rate - CNAR

    The return on an investment after taking tax implications into ...
  3. Neoclassical Growth Theory

    An economic theory that outlines how a steady economic growth ...
  4. Annual Return

    The return an investment provides over a period of time, expressed ...
  5. Actual Return

    The actual gain or loss of an investor. This can be expressed ...
  6. Average Annual Return - AAR

    A percentage figure used when reporting the historical return, ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Overcoming Compounding's Dark Side

    Understanding how money is made and lost over time can help you improve your returns.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Find The Highest Returns With The Sharpe Ratio

    Learn how to follow the efficient frontier to increase your chances of successful investing.
  3. Forex Education

    Compound Annual Growth Rate: What You Should Know

    The CAGR is a good and valuable tool to evaluate investment options, but it does not tell the whole story.
  4. Economics

    Understanding Cost-Volume Profit Analysis

    Business managers use cost-volume profit analysis to gauge the profitability of their company’s products or services.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Must-Have Metrics For Value Investors

    Focusing on certain fundamental metrics is the best way for value investors to cash in gains. Here are the most important metrics to know.
  6. Investing Basics

    How to Analyze a Company's Inventory

    Discover how to analyze a company's inventory by understanding different types of inventory and doing a quantitative and qualitative assessment of inventory.
  7. Professionals

    A Day In The Life Of A Public Accountant

    Here's an inside look at the workdays of two experienced CPAs, to give you an idea of what it might be like to pursue a career as a public accountant.
  8. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of a Public Accountant

    There’s no typical day in the life of a public accountant, but one accountant’s experience may shed some light on what the career entails.
  9. Investing Basics

    Analyze Cash Flow The Easy Way

    Cash flow statements reveal how a company spends its money and where that money comes from.
  10. Markets

    The (Expected) Market Impact of the 2016 Election

    With primary season upon us, investor attention is beginning to turn to the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Do plane tickets get cheaper closer to the date of departure?

    The price of flights usually increases one month prior to the date of departure. Flights are usually cheapest between three ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How much working capital does a small business need?

    The amount of working capital a small business needs to run smoothly depends largely on the type of business, its operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does high working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    If a company has high working capital, it has more than enough liquid funds to meet its short-term obligations. Working capital, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can working capital affect a company's finances?

    Working capital, or total current assets minus total current liabilities, can affect a company's longer-term investment effectiveness ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center