Group, I'm new to the board. I don't own but, am researching some financial services stocks. Let me offer my two cents.
I was taught to calculate total return on the stocks assuming that dividends are reinvested at the time they are paid. I believe the total return graphs included in the annual MD&A uses this methodolgy. Someone made the comment that a dividend is priced into the stock. That's correct, a dividend is simply a return of capital.
I would argue that calculating a return based only on your original investment is faulty logic. You could, and may, steer those dividends elsewhere for investment. Excluding the tax impact (which we really can never exclude)if you don't believe those dividends can return your bogey in that stock, you should reconsider the actual investment.
Good and intelligent conversation on this board! And everyone seems to understand that this should be fun and thought provacative.