... as J4B was saying in hist post #3, it's abit tricky. This tells me what's published for the "public" is iffy (if not misleading).Yes … the values RBCDI displays in that screen include distributions (but note that distributions may or may not be dividend) … however, it is not as simple as adding the distribution amounts to the NAV … it is a calculation, on the assumption that the distributions are reinvested.
Other brokers such as TDDI (Webbroker) and Scotia iTrade do the same thing … as do popular quote sites like Yahoo Finance … they all display trailing returns that include distributions.
Close, maybe … but never exact … these reported trailing returns are hypothetical … no actual, real-world reinvestments take place, so they are just fictitious calculated values … and they do not (because they cannot) incorporate any of your transaction patterns into the reported performance values.
In the real world, your personal rate of return depends on several factors including the timing and amounts of your investments into the fund (ie. new money added), whether or not you DRIP, how that DRIP is executed, and so on. The important thing to remember is that RBCDI is NOT making any attempt, in this screen, to represent your personal returns. If you want your personal returns, for any particular holding, your best bet is to calculate them yourself.
You have to be careful … words often have multiple, alternate meanings … in this case, the definition you found does happen to apply, but you can’t assume that the words “trailing return” will always be used in that context.
OP was asking about returns … gains are not the same thing.
So how about this? Can we just estimate it. Eg. 10 years return is 10% as published, then prepare that the real return is 9%? Of course, if you own the funds, then your Personal ROR should be accurate.