Total Return Level
The total return level allows investors to view the performance of a security inclusive of price appreciation, dividends/distributions and less the expense ratio.
The level in this series are adjusted on dividend ex-date by increasing the price after the dividend payment by applying a dividend adjustment factor calculated as (1 + Value of Dividend/ Previous Day's Close Price).
The Total Return Level will always be higher than the Price after any dividend payment. By calculating the percentage change of the Total Return Level between any two points one can see the performance of the security including the re-invested dividends.
The Total Return level can also be called the Total Return Price (Forward Adjusted)". This metric is used in all of YCharts Total Return calculations (Such as "1 Year Total Return"). This method provides the most accurate calculation and produces returns consistent with most other sources.
Unlike its counterpart Total Return Price, Total Return Level will match at the start of the history because dividends are adjusted from the beginning. For Total Return Price, prices match at the end of the history as it is calculated looking backwards.
Total Return Level = Actual Price x Split Factor x Dividend Adjustment Factor
Split factor = 0.5 for a 2 for 1 split, 0.33 for a 3 for 1 split, etc.
Dividend Adjustment Factor = (1 - Value of Dividend on Date it is Paid / Previous Day's Close Price)
Note: the split and dividend factors are cumulative, so a stock that paid 4 dividends during a year, will have 4 Dividend Adjustment Factors multiplied together for prices that are more than 1 year old.