Personal Economic Recovery Calculator

Recovering from a devastating investment loss takes both time and very often new contributions. Even a very large investment loss can be recouped if you are able to leave your money invested and begin adding new money. This calculator helps you determine what it might take to regroup, rebuild and re-grow after such an investment loss.

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Definitions

Original investment
The amount of your investment before suffering your losses. This is the total you are looking to recover, or eventually have in your account.

Current value
Your current remaining balance after your losses.

Additions
The amount you will contribute each period to your account. This calculator also assumes that you make your contribution at the beginning of each period.

Expected Rate of Return
This is the annually compounded rate of return you expect from your investments. For the purposes of this calculator, taxation is not factored into the results. If you pay taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains from these investments you may wish to enter your after tax rate of return.

The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. For example, from December 1999 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500 was -0.6%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a bank may pay as little as 1% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Expected Inflation Rate
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2009. The CPI for 2009 was -1.0%, as reported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.