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Yield on Cost (YOC)


Yield on Cost (YOC) is a financial metric that calculates the dividend yield based on the cost of an investment rather than its current market price. It is determined by dividing annual dividends by the original purchase price of the stock or security. This metric is used by investors to measure the relative income generated by their initial investment over time.


The phonetics for the keyword Yield on Cost (YOC) can be represented as:Yield: /jiːld/on: /ɒn/ or /ɑːn/ (depending on the accent)Cost: /kɒst/ or /kɑːst/ (depending on the accent)YOC: /wʌɪ-ɒ-k/ or /waɪ-ɑ-k/ (depending on the accent)Putting it together: “Yield on Cost, YOC” – /jiːld ɒn kɒst, wʌɪ-ɒ-k/ or /jiːld ɑːn kɑːst, waɪ-ɑ-k/ (depending on the accent).

Key Takeaways

  1. Yield on Cost (YOC) is a financial metric that is commonly used to measure the dividend yield of an investment based on its initial cost. This helps investors assess the return on investment (ROI) of their stock holdings over a specific period of time and evaluate the effectiveness of their investment strategy.
  2. To calculate YOC, you’ll need to know two figures: the annual dividend income received from the investment and the initial investment cost. By dividing the dividend income by the initial cost and expressing the result as a percentage, investors can easily track the performance of their investments and the income generated over time.
  3. While YOC can be an informative financial metric, it’s essential to keep in mind that it doesn’t account for factors such as capital appreciation, market fluctuations, or changes in a company’s dividend policy. This means that YOC should be considered along with other financial metrics in making investment decisions and analyzing individual stock performance.


Yield on Cost (YOC) is an important financial metric in business and investment analysis as it measures the dividend yield of an investment based on its original cost, rather than its current market price. This provides investors with valuable insight into the efficiency and performance of their investment decisions over time. By evaluating YOC, investors can gain a clear understanding of how well their investments are generating income from dividends relative to their initial outlay, enabling them to assess the success of their long-term strategies, compare different investments’ profitability, and make informed decisions about holding, selling, or expanding their positions in an ever-changing market landscape.


In the world of investing, Yield on Cost (YOC) serves as an essential tool for evaluating the success and profitability of an investment, particularly when it comes to dividend-paying stocks. Typically utilized by income-oriented investors, this metric aids in determining the performance of their investments over time, taking into account not just the present dividend yields, but also the initial cost of their stock purchases. By doing so, YOC assists investors in making informed decisions, allowing them to determine the growth of their dividend income relative to the investment costs, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

The importance of Yield on Cost lies in its ability to provide a personalized indicator of an investment’s performance, as it factors in the unique purchase cost of each individual investor. This makes YOC more relevant and insightful than other metrics such as dividend yield, which only considers the current or most recent stock price. By accounting for the true cost of the investment, YOC allows investors to observe the actual effectiveness of their strategies and offers valuable insights when it comes to evaluating potential future investment opportunities. In summary, Yield on Cost serves as a purposeful measure for investors to track the growth of their dividend incomes and make better decisions in a dynamic financial landscape.


Example 1: Dividend Investing in Stock Market Imagine an investor who purchased 100 shares of Company A at $10 per share, for a total investment of $1,000. At the time of purchase, Company A distributes an annual dividend of $2 per share, resulting in a yield of 20% (annual dividend / purchase price = $2 / $10 = 0.20 or 20%). Over time, the share price of Company A increases to $20 per share, but the company has also increased its dividend distribution to $3 per share. In this case, the Yield on Cost for this investor would be 30% (new annual dividend / initial investment ($) = $3 / $10 = 0.30 or 30%).

Example 2: Rental Property InvestmentAn individual purchased a rental property for $200,000 and estimates to make $20,000 per year in rental income, resulting in a 10% yield on cost (rental income / purchase price = $20,000 / $200,000 = 0.10 or 10%). Over the years, the property value appreciates to $250,000, and the investor has successfully increased the total annual rental income to $25,000. Now, the YOC has increased to 12.5% (new annual rental income / initial investment = $25,000 / $200,000 = 0.125 or 12.5%).

Example 3: Corporate Bond InvestmentAn investor buys a 10-year corporate bond for Company B, with a face value of $10,000 and a 4% annual coupon rate (yield) when it’s issued. The investor receives $400 annually in interest payments (yield on cost = annual coupon payment / face value = $400 / $10,000 = 0.04 or 4%). If the company’s credit quality improves, the bond price increases, and the yield in the market for new buyers decreases to 2%. However, the investor who bought the bond earlier continues to receive the same annual coupon payment of $400, resulting in a yield on cost of 4% compared to the 2% yield for new buyers.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Yield on Cost (YOC)?

Yield on Cost (YOC) is a financial metric that calculates the percentage return on an investment based on its original cost or purchase price. It measures the annual income generated by the investment relative to its initial cost, allowing investors to observe changes in dividend rates or interest payouts overtime.

How is Yield on Cost calculated?

Yield on Cost is calculated using the following formula: YOC = (Annual Income / Original Investment Cost) x 100. The annual income represents the income generated by the investment in dividends or interest, while the original investment cost refers to the price paid for the investment.

Why is Yield on Cost important for investors?

Yield on Cost is important for investors because it provides insights into an investment’s performance over time, as well as its potential value for generating income. By comparing YOC between different investments, investors can evaluate the historical performance and relative success of their holdings in terms of generating income.

What are the limitations of Yield on Cost?

The main limitation of Yield on Cost is that it does not account for capital appreciation or depreciation, focusing only on income generation. This means that investments with higher YOC may not necessarily have higher overall returns if their capital value is decreasing. Additionally, YOC does not reflect any reinvested income or any changes in the investment’s market value since the time of the initial purchase.

How does Yield on Cost differ from other yield metrics, such as dividend yield?

Yield on Cost differs from other yield metrics like dividend yield, as it measures the return on investment based on its initial cost rather than the current market price. Dividend yield, on the other hand, is calculated using the current market price, which may fluctuate over time. YOC, therefore, provides a better understanding of the return generated over the life of an investment, while dividend yield is a snapshot of investment income at a specific point in time.

Related Finance Terms

  • Dividend yield
  • Cost basis
  • Compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
  • Total return
  • Income investing

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