We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Historical Yield?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A historical yield is a measure of return on investments over time. It is possible to use this data to construct a yield curve that provides information about performance over one, three, five, or more years. This can be important for investment research as well as annual reports and other disclosures. Financial publications often include historical yield data, as do informational brochures put out by investment companies, mutual funds, and similar entities.

A single snapshot of yield does not provide very much information. If an investor looks at a mutual fund and the return is five percent, for example, the investor does not know if this is a good or bad rate. It might be excellent compared to historical yield, or it might be very poor. Likewise with other investments, particularly pooled investments that involve a mixture of assets that may perform at different rates. More information is necessary to determine whether a yield is a sign of bad or good performance.

With historical yield data, an investor can see how investments performed over a given period of time. This provides important information about current and projected performance. A mutual fund might provide returns that could fluctuate considerably over time, but may average out to a reasonable level. Conversely, a dip in historical yield might suggest a fund is poorly managed, and may not be a good investment. The fund may also perform much higher than similar investments.

Investors doing research to prepare for new purchases can collect historical yield information, including curves, spreads, and charts. These figures can show the level of volatility in the investment. It can be helpful to compare this information against market performance and comparable investments to add even more context. If a mutual fund did well in a downturn, for instance, it suggests that the manager knows how to handle a variety of economic conditions. Consistent above average performance can indicate a potentially sound investment that will yield good returns over time.

Some investors enjoy may prefer to do their math independently to examine their options. Others may prefer to have this information prepared for them. A number of resources provide historical yield curves and other data for individual investments and the market as a whole. These include trade publications, annual reports, and investment education sites. It is also possible to pay a financial analyst to prepare recommendations and historical background for the benefit of a researcher.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.