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How to calculate capital value

Capital value essentially refers to the market value of a given asset or group of assets at a specific point in time. The method by which an asset's capital value is determined depends largely on the nature of the asset itself. The capital value of a home or automobile, for instance, comprises complex variables and requires the services of a specially-trained appraiser. By contrast, the capital value of such assets as stocks can be easily determined based on the number of units, or shares, someone holds and the current stock market price. Such a valuation is explained below.

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  1. Using your Internet browser, go to a finance website by typing the web address (see "Resources" below) into the address bar at the top of the browser and press the ENTER key.

  2. Type the name or symbol of the stock into the form located at the top of the home page. Click the "Get Quotes" or "Go" button.* Note the price and time of the last trade as well as the current date.

  3. Using your calculator, multiply this price by the number of units of stock held. The result is the capital value of holdings for this particular stock as of the time noted.

  4. Tip

    Yahoo! Finance has a "Get Quotes" button, and CNBC has a "Go" button. Noting the time and date is important because stock prices can change in the course of several minutes. If this calculation is performed for multiple stocks, add the products together in order to obtain the total capital value of all stocks held.

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Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Internet connection
  • Internet browser
  • Name(s) of stock(s) held

About the Author

Nicholas B. Sisson holds a B.A. in economics from Ithaca College and a certificate in technical communication from J.B.S. Technical Communications, Ltd. Working in investment operations, Sisson participated in an initiative to revise and rewrite his group's procedure manual. More recently, Sisson created definitions of financial terms for the glossary of a major financial website. He has been writing since 2008.

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