Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If you had an investment and you consistently lost 5% of it per year for 6 years, how do you find the total percentage loss, without knowing the original investment?

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Say that the amount of the original investment is $x$. Losing $5$% of it is multiplying it by $0.95$, so after the six years you’re down to $0.95^6x$, and you’ve lost $x-0.95^6x=\left(1-0.95^6\right)x$. As a fraction of your original investment this is


Now just simplify and convert to a percentage.

share|cite|improve this answer
Thanks! That worked perfectly. – Tyler Zika Dec 10 '12 at 6:00
@Tyler: You’re welcome! – Brian M. Scott Dec 10 '12 at 6:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.