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The ETF that I'm looking at in particular is ZCN.

According to Yahoo Finance, the total annual return for this ETF in 2010 was 13.63%.

I'm trying to arrive at this number using the historical prices, but I'm quite far off.

Here are the Yahoo Finance links to the annual performance and historical daily prices:
- Total annual return
- Historical daily prices

If I use the adjusted close price on 12/31/2010 and 12/31/2009, I get:
12.5% (14.13/12.56 - 1)

If I use the close price on 12/31/2010 and 12/31/2009 and add all the dividends, I get:
12.37% ((18.30+.101+.105+.103)/16.56 - 1)

I'm off by more than 1%. What am I doing wrong?

  • The way that "Annual Total Return" is calculated for an ETF assumes all dividends are reinvested (into the ETF) at the time they are issued. This should explain the divergence in your calculations. – user95212 Mar 23 at 17:05

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