Finding performance when reinvesting
I have been reinvesting dividends for many years. Naturally, those reinvestments get added into my cost basis. This obscures my real performance.
I would like to see a report that shows how well I've done based on my original investment only. That would be total gain = (market value  cost basis)  reinvestments. Furthermore, I'd like to see a percentage gain from my original investment. I think that would be percentage gain = market value / (cost basis  reinvestments), but I am not sure.
Does Quicken provide these numbers in reports? What does Quicken call them?
Answers

Reinvesting dividends and other distributions is equivalent to receiving the distribution in cash and using it to buy more shares on the same day. The distribution and the purchase cancel each other out and at the end of the period you have more shares than you started with and thus a higher ending balance.
For a security with a fixed share price like a money market fund, the cost basis increases along with the market value and there is no capital gain when you sell it, but there is certainly a positive return.
The Quicken measure that captures this is the Average Annual Return, as shown in the Investment Performance Report and the Avg. Annual Return (%) columns in the Investing > Portfolio views and each account's Holdings view. The calculation behind the scenes is the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and it matches Excel's XIRR function. It also takes into account the amount and timing of any additional purchases or sales during the period. It assumes daily compounding.
The calculation is annualized, so for multiple years it computes the average percentage gain per year. For periods of less than one year like YTD, it assumes the performance will continue at the same rate for a full year, which may or may not be a good assumption.
If this is not what you want, you might consider ROI (%) in the Investing > Portfolio views. This is not annualized. so it is a straight percentage gain or loss. Some investing transactions may give unexpected results.
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«I have been reinvesting dividends for many years. Naturally, those reinvestments get added into my cost basis. This obscures my real performance.»
Actually, excluding your reinvestments obsures your real performance! Your real performance is a function of your investments into the security and that investment is ALL the shares you purchased or reinvested. When you reinvest the dividends, you are buying shares!!!!
In fact, excluding the reinvested dividends on a high yielding investment may cause your method to show poor returns!
Let's say I invest $1,000 into a stock and the dividend yield is 10%, and I am reinvesting those dividends each quarter. Let's futher assume that the stock price doesn't change for 10 years. When I calculate my return without the reinvested dividends (your method), it would appear my return is 0% (same number of original shares at the same price after 10 years), when in fact that investment is now worth around $2,700!(10% return annualized) I have a lot more shares, even though the price has not changed.
I would suggest rethinking the premise of the report you are seeking; it isn't the way to assess returns.
and if you really want to do it your way; it is rather easy. It assumes no change in the shares originally purchased (as the reinvested dividends are excluded), so divide the current price by the original price and that is the calculated return (but as I state above, I wouldn't call that the 'real' return.)
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@Mark1104 You miss the whole point of my question. I do not wish to exclude reinvestments. I want to know how what my investment return is on my original investment. Obviously, reinvestments are part of that return. @Jim_Harman has what sounds like the right answer.
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"I would like to see a report that shows how well I've done based on my original investment only."
"This obscures my real performance."
Sure sounded like you wanted to exclude reinvestments…..as you DON"T want to see a report based on your original investment only,. You want to see a report that ALSO INCLUDES the reinvested dividended. A report based on your original investment indeed only obscures your real performance!
I would just run the investment performance report., it s that simple.
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As a side note, the IRR calculation does not depend on your cost basis, nor should it.
For example, if you sell a security and buy back something similar for tax loss harvesting, the cost basis is reset but the performance is unaffected if you include both securities in the analysis.
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agreed  "cost basis" is only required to determine tax gains and losses.
IRR simply measures cash flow into and out of investments.
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