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Total Return Chart (T Chart)

Last changed 05/10/99

The T Chart Shows Price Change and Total Return

Total return is not the same thing as price change. Total return takes into consideration:

  • The reinvestment of cash dividends to buy more shares.
  • The reinvestment of capital gains to buy more shares.
  • The value of rights offerings (usually closed-end funds).
  • The value of distribution of shares of stock in another company. For example, the value of Lucent shares paid to AT&T shareholders in October of 1996. When companies spin off or merge, our data shows the return to a shareholder of the original issue if he liquidated newly distributed shares and simultaneously bought after-distribution shares denoted by the original ticker symbol.

Price Changes and other Statistics are Found in the Performance Values

The Total Return Chart shows 1 to 6 lines. Each line is color-coordinated with performance values. The white performance value are "Calendar Statistics" telling you the number of market days, calendar years, etc. displayed.

total_return.gif (13142 bytes)

On the T Chart

The lines all originate from the starting point of 0% return at the dashed white line. There are NO prices scales shown. Everything is drawn on a percent return basis.

The horizontal, white, dotted line is the point of 0% return. All lines originate from the zero gain point. The chart scale is a percentage gained or lost from the starting point. The chart is not scaled by prices of any of the lines.


White dots appear occasionally on the lines and show where an issue has made a distribution. To see distribution information, put the Dashed Pole on the date corresponding to the dot. For more information, see Distribution information. Total return reflects the effect of distributions as well as the price changes. See the pole

Logarithmic or Arithematic Scale?

You have your choice of displaying the T Chart on a log or arithematic scale. Log scale is best when you are drawing trend lines . Arithematic is best when you want to see the true dimensions of recent price movement.

Changing the Issues on the Chart

There are many ways to change issues.