The simple answer is you don’t. You calculate the expected return on capital of what the business is expected to earn, and base your return, as a shareholder, from that. For example, over the last seven years, (2012–2018) the Harley Davidson Motor The expected return is based on historical data, which may or may not provide reliable forecasting of future returns. Hence, the outcome is not guaranteed. Expected return is simply a measure of probabilities intended to show the likelihood that a given investment will generate a positive return, and what the likely return will be. The purpose of calculating the expected return on an Hence the expected return calculation is based on historical data and hence may not be reliable in forecasting future returns. It can be looked at as a measure of various probabilities and the likelihood of getting a positive return on one’s investment and the value of that return.