How to determine % gain/loss of stock

Ginny_CaJanuary 23, 2005

In trying to figure out how my 401K has done this year I am looking at the starting and ending numbers for 2004. How do I determine what percentage gain that is? I did find a great website to determine the % but I am not sure which number I should be using, the Dec 03 figure or the Dec 04 figure? example:

Dec 2003 balance was 20,000, Dec 04 balance was 22,333. I know the difference is + 2,333. Which number do I plug in to determine what percentage 2,333 is of ?

I'll pass on something wonderful - I downloaded Googles Toolbar a while back. I just now plugged in "determine percentages" or somthing similar and up popped this great site



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If you didn't make any contributions, the quickest way to calculate return is Ending Balance divided by Beginning Balance and then subtract one. In your example:
(22,333/20,000)-1 or 11.67%. You can also divide the difference by the beginning balance, or 2333/20000=.1167 or 11.67%.
If you made contribtions each month of about the same amount, there is a quick formula that you can use for that too. If you're interested, let me know.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 11:35PM
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Hi Ginny CA,

How much did your stock grow in 2004?

The base number is the amount at the end of 2003.

To find growth in 2004, subtract number at end of 2003 from number at end of 2004.

To find growth percentage, divide the growth number by number at end of 2003, multiply by 100.

Here in Canada, amounts contributed to our voluntary Registered Retirement Savings Plans are deductible (with certain fairly liberal limits) in that year and growth is not counted during the years that the account runs, but every dollar cashed out is added to income in the year of cash out.

As dividends that are paid by Canadian stocks are tax-advantaged and capital gain that stocks develop are taxed at regular rate on only half of the amount of growth, I'm less than enthused about RRSPs, but most financial advisors say that *every* taxpayer should have them.

Also - I saved 26% on the amounts that I contributed - and now pay 38% on withdrawals from my RRSPs (which were transferred, as required) to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) at age 69, with a requirement that I withdraw certain percentages of the total fund annually (increasing percentages annually till 20% annually at age 90 and up).

I suggest that most folks prepare their own tax return, unless it is a very complicated one, for it gives one some ideas about changes of plans which might be implemented in order to reduce the tax load in later years. Of course, a good accontant can make such suggestions, as well.

I've asked several local tax preparers if people ask them, after their tax return is completed, what suggestions the preparer may have in order that the taxpayer may reduce his/her tax load in subsequent years.

Was astonished that they almost all said that only a very rare person asks such a question.

And most of us will claim that we are interested in a variety of ways to make out money work harder, and pay less income tax.

Tax evasion, a crime, is not recommended - but tax avoidance should be practised by every taxpayer, it seems to me.

Good wishes for a happy tax season - think of all the benefits that your taxes provide you and yours - and the society as a whole.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 3:33PM
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Thanks ole joyful for your nice discussion. I need to read it again when I'm not heading off to bed. I certainly appreciate you and Southbound Train helping me out!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 1:07AM
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Joyful, your message is a reason why they tell us to use a ROTH now, if you can. I'm debating doing a rollover from a previous job's 401K into a ROTH, but I didn't want to pay the price.....but your story is an argument to do the ROTH now. Hmmm.....

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 1:28PM
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Hi Cube1067,

I don't know what happened in 1067 - but 1066 was the time that the Normans, I think it was, under William the Conqueror, from what is now France, invaded England and licked the inhabitants at the time soundly.

I can offer no suggestions at all about the various options in the U.S. for personal planning regarding retirement preparation, for I am totally unfamiliar with the system.

I hope that some others who know the positives and negatives of various options may offer you some worthwhile suggestions.

I think that it's almost always a good idea to inquire into the training, experience both financial and regular and credentials of persons who offer advice.

Also find out what their position may be in the industry, what products they may offer, and aren't able to, and how they are compensated.

All of them important information.

Not a bad idea also to learn how they manage their own money, if they're willing to share that information - do they eat their own cooking?

No one cares about the care and feeding of your money ... as much as you. Learning how money works is an interesting hobby - that pays well.

Pardon me for having become a suspicious old man.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 2:04PM
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