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Summing the PVs of the cash flows, I get 3552. I'm going to guess that your equation assumes the first payment comes at the end of the first period, not at the start of it. For this setup, that would put the "start" date of the instrument at t=3. Personally, I would just discount all the cash flows back to today, rather than once to a forward date and then ...


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It's most common to use end of the period figures. However, it should not matter as long as you're consequent. Further, the end of period metric will be very similar to the measure at the beginning of the next period.


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few comments: 1) stock that will double in 3 years means that the yearly average return must satisty $x(1+r)^3=2x$, which gives the value of r=25.99%. (a yearly return of 25.99% is highly unrealistic) 2) the question "historically on average what % of stocks will double in 3 years?" cannot be answered without looking at the historical numbers, and the more ...


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The most common approach is to calculate returns as $r_t=\frac{p_t-p_{t-1}}{p_{t-1}}$ or $r_t=ln\left (\frac{p_t}{p_{t-1}}\right)$ using close prices at the end of the month.


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You can try finance.yahoo for example http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=GOOG+Historical+Prices it is free, for the other ones you mentioned you have to pay, usually a lot.


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Look at matplotlib.finance It downloads data from yahoo finance as well but it is much quicker than the package that you are mentioning. Regarding the reliability, I think that the data source is quite reliable.


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Surely you have to keep $150 in your account against the short sale, all of which you lose on the close out.



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