Returns in investing denote the gain or loss of an investment within a given period. These returns are a key measure of an investment's performance and can come from two primary sources: revenue and other gains for the investor. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with how returns are calculated ROI when assessing the performance of an investment plan.

Types of Returns

1. Income Returns: These are profits got from an investment you own, like the dividends from shares, interest from treasury bonds or even rent from a property. Income returns on the other hand give periodic cash amounts to the investors.

2. Capital Gains: Capital gains are the gains made on an investment which can be sold at a higher price than the price at which it was bought. For instance, if you purchase stock at $50 and later sell it at $70, then, the $20 difference is a capital gain..

Measuring Returns

Returns are typically measured in two ways: A and /or percentage returns where A stands for absolute returns.

1. Absolute Returns: The use of an absolute return policy is in reference to the total amount of money that has been either earned or lost on a certain investment whether in nominal or actual dollars. In other words, with an amount of $1,000 invested and $1,200 at the end of the year, the absolute return is $200.

2. Percentage Returns: Arithmetic return is the absolute dollar profit which was made by a portfolio as a figure which has been expressed as a percentage of the amount that was invested initially. It is calculated using the formula It is calculated using the formula:

Percentage Return=(Beginning Value Ending Value−Beginning Value)×100

For example, if your initial investment was $1,000 and it grew to $1,200, the percentage return would be:

(1,0001,200−1,000)×100=20%

Annualized Returns

Thus, to compare the investments with the holding periods, the annualized return is used. This metric is expressed on an annual basis, taking into account the concept of compounding. The formula for annualized return is The formula for annualized return is:

Annualized Return=(Beginning Value Ending Value)n1−1

where \( n \) is the number of years the investment was held.

Real vs. Nominal Returns

Nominal returns are expressed in terms of dollars and do not have any control over the effects of inflation, while real returns estimate the return after expenses such as inflation have been deducted, leading to a better understanding of the investment’s purchasing power. Inflation adjusted returns or real returns are arrived at by reducing the inflation rate from the nominal returns.

Conclusion

Profits in investing are one of the basic indicators that indicate the profitability of an investment. Returns are something that investors should also be well defined in relation to the stock investments they are likely to make, both in absolute, and relative terms to other percentage measurements, and annualized, as well as having thought of inflation when looking at their performance.