As a solution to this, I have built a Returns Spreadsheet for Bogleheads. I have tried to keep it as simple to use as possible. Hopefully, members will simply copy/paste their returns from the spreadsheet into their posts.
For each month, one only needs to provide three pieces of data:
- Total contributions. (Money added to portfolio, excluding any internal cash flows such as dividend payments).
- Total withdrawals. (Money removed from portfolio, excluding any internal cash flows such as fees).
- Portfolio balance at the close of the last day of the month.
- Investor return (money weighted, IRR) for the entire investment period.
- Portfolio returns (time weighted, comparable to other returns) for YTD, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, etc.
(*) As suggested by W. Bernstein in The Four Pillars of investing, half the contributions and withdrawals are applied at the start of the month, and the other half at the end of the month.
Growth of $10,000 Chart
Comments are welcome.