Holding Period Return (HPR)


Holding Period Return (HPR) is a financial measure that calculates the total return earned or lost on an investment over the period during which it was held. It factors in income generated from the investment (such as dividends or interest) and any change in the investment’s market value.

Calculation of Holding Period Return

Calculation of Holding Period Return:
The formula for calculating HPR is:

HPR = (( Ending Value + Income) / Beginning Value ) − 1

Beginning Value: The initial value of the investment at the start of the holding period.

Ending Value: The final value of the investment at the end of the holding period.

Income: Any additional income generated from the investment during the holding period, such as dividends or interest.

Significance of Holding Period Return:

Performance Measurement: HPR is a critical tool for assessing the success or failure of an investment over a specific duration.

Comparative Analysis: It enables comparison between different investment opportunities to evaluate their relative returns.

Investment Decision-Making: Helps investors make informed decisions based on historical performance and potential future outcomes.

Risk Assessment: Provides insights into the volatility or stability of an investment.

Interpretation of Holding Period Return:

Positive HPR: A positive HPR indicates a gain on the investment over the holding period.

Negative HPR: A negative HPR suggests a loss on the investment during the holding period.

Limitations of Holding Period Return:

Time Frame: HPR does not factor in the specific timing of returns, which may impact the actual return experienced by the investor.

Exclusion of Costs: It does not consider transaction costs, taxes, or inflation, which can significantly affect an investment’s actual return.


What is the ideal holding period for calculating HPR?
The holding period depends on the investment and the investor’s objectives. It can range from short-term (days, weeks) to long-term (years).
How does HPR differ from Annualized Return?

HPR calculates return over a specific period, while Annualized Return considers the average annual return over a multi-year period.

Can HPR be negative?

Yes, a negative HPR indicates a loss on the investment over the holding period.

Is HPR a reliable indicator of an investment's future performance?
HPR offers insights into historical performance but doesn’t guarantee future results. Other factors must be considered for accurate investment decisions.


Holding Period Return (HPR) serves as a crucial tool for investors to evaluate the performance of their investments over a specific period. It provides insights into gains or losses, enabling comparative analysis and informed decision-making. However, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of HPR and consider other factors for a comprehensive assessment of investment performance.