Yield – the earnings are generated and realized on an investment over a particular period. Year to date (YTD) refers to the period extending from the beginning of the year to the present. In business, note that the beginning of the year is not always January 1; many companies have fiscal years beginning at other times. Year-to-date information is useful in looking for trends or measuring performance against goals. Comparing year-to-date information among companies with different fiscal-year start dates can distort an analysis: the time included may vary, and seasonal factors may become skewed. It is also important to remember that the extra day in leap years, as well as the fact that holidays sometimes fall on different dates, may distort year-to-date comparisons.