Holding Period Return

The total return on an asset or investment portfolio over its holding period

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What is the Holding Period Return?

The Holding Period Return (HPR) is the total return on an asset or investment portfolio over the period for which the asset or portfolio has been held. The holding period return can be realized if the asset or portfolio has been held, or expected if an investor only anticipates the purchase of the asset.

Holding Period Return

Generally, the HPR is expressed in percentages. Frequently, it is annualized to determine the rate of return per year.

The Holding Period Return in Investment Management

The holding period return is a fundamental metric in investment management. The measure provides a comprehensive view of the financial performance of an asset or investment because it considers the appreciation of the investment, as well as the income distributions related to the asset (e.g., dividends paid).

The HPR can be used to compare the performance of different investments or assets. In addition, this metric is used to identify the appropriate tax rate.

Formula for Calculating the Return

The general formula for calculating the HPR is:

Holding Period Return - Formula


  • Income – the distributions or cash flows from the investment (e.g., dividends)
  • Vn – the ending value of the investment
  • V0 – the beginning value of the investment

If you need to calculate the annualized HPR, you can use the following formula:

Annualized HPR - Formula

Finally, the returns can be calculated quarterly. Using the formula below, you can translate the quarterly HPR into the annual HPR:

Annual HPR - Formula


  • r1, r2, r3, r – the quarterly holding period returns

Example of Holding Period Return

Three years ago, Fred invested $10,000 in the shares of ABC Corp. Each year, the company distributed dividends to its shareholders. Each year, Fred received $100 in dividends. Note that since Fred received $100 in dividends each year, his total income is $300. Today, Fred sold his shares for $12,000, and he wants to determine the HPR of his investment.

Using the HPR formula, we can find the following:

Holding Period Return - Example

Thus, Fred’s investment in the shares of ABC Corp. earned 23% for the entire period of holding the investment.

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