How to Calculate Investments

by Lee Nichols

Typically, investors experience both losses and gains on the investments in their portfolio. Calculating the rate of return on your entire portfolio enables you to determine if your gains outweigh your losses. While you cannot expect every investment to increase in value, your gains will hopefully compensate for any losses. Current return rates do not guarantee that you will not sustain future losses. Consult a financial planner or stockbroker if you have questions about the value of your portfolio.

1. List your investment amounts including expenses and fees. Add these amounts together to acquire your total investment expense. For example, if the total investment to purchase the stocks in your portfolio is $58,963 and your fees and expenses total $3,974, your total expense is $62,937.

2. Look at the statement you received from your broker to determine your total gains for the reporting period. Subtract your total investment expense from your portfolio's gains. For example, if your portfolio is worth $89,163, portfolio gain is $26,226 if your total expense is $62,937.

3. Divide your gain by your total investment expense to determine your return rate. For example, $26,226 divided by $62,937 equals 0.42 or 42 percent.


  • You can calculate your investments monthly, quarterly or annually.


  • If you experienced a total loss on your portfolio, your percentage will be a negative number.