How to Calculate Net Gain or Loss

How to Calculate Net Gain or Loss
Calculating net gain or loss in an investment.

Step 1

Calculate the total amount invested. If this were a stock, you would multiply the number of shares by the cost of the shares. As an example, if you purchased 100 shares of stock ZZZ for $10 per share, you have have invested $1,000.

Step 2

Determine the total amount received for the sale of your investment. If you sold them for $15 per share, then you grossed $1,500.

Step 3

Subtract the total investment from the total return. In the example, you would subtract $1,000 from $1,500 resulting in a net gain of $500. If the number was negative, then you would have incurred a net loss. If you want to get more precise, you can also factor in any additional costs or incomes.

Step 4

Subtract any costs associated with the investment. As an example, if you incurred a $25 fee to purchase the stocks and another $25 when you sold the stocks, then your fees would total $50 and your adjusted net gain would be $450, i.e., $50 in fees subtracted from the $500 calculated previously.

Step 5

Add in any income gains, such as dividends. If you received $100 in dividends, then your new net gain would be $550, i.e., $450 calculated previously plus the income gain of $100.

Step 6

Express your net gain or loss as a percentage by dividing it by the original investment and multiplying by 100. In the example, you would divide the net gain of $550 by the investment of $1,000. You would then multiply the result by 100 to convert the decimal to a percentage. This results in a net gain of 55 percent.