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Money received, esp. on a regular basis, for work or through investments. Wages, dividends, realized capital appreciation, royalties, and interest, are income. [1] Gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined, including profit gained through sale or conversion of capital. Any increase in wealth — whether through wages, benefits, bonuses, sale of stock or other property at a profit, bets won, lucky finds, awards of punitive damages in a lawsuit, are all within the definition of income. Income arising either from rents of real estate or from personal property, including invested personal property, bonds, stocks, and investments of all kinds. [1]

As investors use the term, income includes the total return from an asset. The change in value of an investment over a given period, assuming reinvestment of any dividends and capital gain distributions, expressed as a percentage of the initial investment. [2] The total return includes dividends, capital gains distributions, and the increase in the net asset value of the property. [2]

Incoming was originally of game approaching the hunter. c.1300, "entrance, arrival," lit. "what enters," "money made through business or labor," first recorded 1601. [3]


  1. Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN-10: 0618176519 pg262
  2. Mutual Funds: An Introduction to the Core Concepts by Dr. Mark Mobius ISBN-10: 0470821434 pg 83
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