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The holding period return is the rate of return (profit or loss) of an asset during the time for which it is held or owned.
You can either include or exclude income from holding the asset like interest (in the case of preferred stock or a bond) or dividends (as in a stock). It really depends on what it is that you want to understand. If you are only interested in the capital appreciation/depreciation return on the asset, then don't include the income but if you want to understand the full return then include the income.
For example, if you purchased a stock for $10 a share and sold it for $15 a share, then your holding period return solely based on the change in the price would be 50%. If you want to include the $1 in dividends that you received during the holding period, then your return would increase to 60%.