Total return measures what an investor earns on an investment during a certain time period in the past. It includes interest, dividends and capital gain. Yield is measures the current income an investment is paying relative to the cost of the investment. A $100.00 CD or bond that pays interest of $10.00 every year has a 10% yield. Yield is often used to measure bonds, CDs, bank accounts. Often these investments due not fluctuate in value and the most significant measure of there income potential is yield. Investments such as stocks may in fact also pay a dividend that can be measured by the yield of that stock, however these investments are general chosen for the appreciation potential that can not be measured by yield.

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