Year-to-date (YTD) is the period between the first day of the calendar year and the current date.
To calculate the year-to-date (YTD) return on a portfolio, subtract the starting value from the current value and divide by the starting value.
Multiply by 100 to convert this figure into a percentage.
Assume that on January 1st of last year you invested a total of $50,000 in three assets. On December 31st, the portfolio was comprised of the same three assets, then valued at $10,000, $15,000, and $35,000.
The YTD return in dollars is $60,000 - $50,000 plus $10,000.
The YTD return percentage therefore is 20%, or $10,000 / $50,000 * 100.
Over the past year, each dollar you invested produced 20 cents of profit.