How does SA calculate the 487% return?

How/when/who calculated the SA percentage gain vs the S&P that is always advertised?
Today, 3-2-22, it is listed as 487% return.
The info button disclaimer states, “Average return of all recommendations since inception”.
Does this mean that the return is calculated from the very first day that the individual stock was recommended? Let’s say AMZN had been recommended 10 times as a best buy now for the month. Does each months reccomendation get thrown into the mix or is AMZN performance gain only measured from day one? I wish I could find the old chart that had each months recommendation by Tom and David dating back to day one. This leads me to another question that I’ll make a separate post about.

Hi, DrFool2.

Bill Mann (TMFOtter) has posted in the past how Foolish performance is calculated and I keep thinking I should document those responses and be able to use them whenever the question inevitably comes up again. I’m going to do a terrible job summarizing from memory but here it goes.

The performance of Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers or Everlasting Stocks is based on the aggregated performance of each recommendation from the date first recommended to the date sold, compared against the aggregated performance of the S&P 500 for the same period. If a company is re-recommended, each subsequent recommendation is treated as a unique recommendation whose performance is aggregated independently of the other recommendations of the same company.

Who notes that when David Garder decided to step away from “stock picking”, meaning he left the advisory service to work on other aspects the TMF business (Fool Foundation and RB Podcast), Stock Advisor made the decision to unwind the friendly sibling competition that defined much of the service’s 20 years, and he is guessing that the chart to which you referred as part of that effort…

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