The investment statement demystified

How many of us even open our investment statement? And how many of us actually understand it? Let’s look at the major sections and answer the most common questions.

Your statement provides a recap of what’s happened during the period, as well as a snapshot of where you stand.

How much do I have?

Your portfolio at a glance summarizes the value of your registered and non-registered investments. The amount of your total investments is the same as the current valu.

Book cost is the total amount paid to purchase an investment, including any transaction charges related to the purchase, adjusted for reinvested distributions, returns of capital and corporate reorganizations.

How are my investments diversified?

Your asset mix shows how your portfolio is allocated among three asset classes: money market, fixed income and equity. Balanced funds and asset allocation funds will be split between the fixed income and equity categories. Your asset mix may change each quarter as a result of fund activity.

What transactions have I made?

Your activity summary lists the total amounts of transactions within your portfolio for the quarter and for the year. It may include investments, redemptions, fees, taxes or transfers. The change in value line shows the impact of capital markets on your investments.

What am I invested in?

If you have registered investments and non-registered investments in your portfolio they are reported separately.

In the summary, you will see:

  • a list of your holdings - if your holdings include investments that may be subject to a deferred sales charge (DSC) upon redemption, they will be marked with an asterisk in the summary
  • book cost - the total amount paid to purchase the investment, including any transaction charges related to the purchase, adjusted for reinvested distributions, returns of capital and corporate reorganizations
  • current value - the market value of the investment at the end of the reporting period
  • per cent of holdings - the percentage of your plan/account that each investment represents

Depending on your plan/account type, additional information will be provided, such as a contribution summary, payment summary or income summary.

In the plan detail, you will see the details and transactions for each holding.

What is my personal rate of return?

Your performance summary summarizes how each of your plans/accounts have performed year-to-date, as well as the last one, three and five years, if you were invested at the starting date for each period.

How is my rate of return calculated?

Your rate of return may be different than the fund's or investment’s rate of return. It uses a dollar-weighted formula that is consistent in the Canadian investment industry.

It also takes into consideration your plan/account activity, including any amounts that are withdrawn or contributed, and when these transactions occur. Details of these activities can be found in your performance summary, such as:

  • amount invested (new contributions, transfers in)
  • amount redeemed (withdrawals, transfers out)

Your returns will also reflect the mix of investments and risk level of your plan/account. When you review your returns, consider your investment goals and the amount of risk you’re comfortable with.

What’s the next step?

Open your mail and be ready to decipher your investment statement!


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

About the Author

Siddhi Sheth, CFA, CBV, CPA, CA, MAcc.

Siddhi Sheth, CFA, CBV, CPA, CA, MAcc., is a strategic financial consultant with Investors Group. Her vision is to build strong and lasting client relationships by providing complete and distinct financial planning solutions, which cover all aspects of clients’ needs, dreams and goals. Siddhi has been active in the accounting and finance industry for over 10 years. She obtained her training at two of the large international accounting firms, working in audit and assurance, corporate tax, mergers and acquisition, tax, and valuations.