How to Calculate Net Present Value NPV

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opportunity cost

So, for example, if a two-year Treasury paid 2% interest or yield, the investment would need to at least earn more than 2% to justify the risk. Both values are affected by inflation equally in the example because they are the same currency just one year later. So if your $105 after a year with interest has lost, say, 4% of its purchasing power, well, so has the $110 that you could have after a year instead. When it comes to present value, there are two rates that affect it. If the discount rate is lower, then the present value is higher. Whereas if the discount rate is higher, then the present value will be lower.

learn QuarterlyThe compounding quarterly formula depicts the total interest an investor can earn on investment or financial product if the interest is payable quarterly and reinvested in the scheme. It considers the principal amount, quarterly compounded rate of interest and the number of periods for computation. In many cases, a risk-free rate of return is determined and used as the discount rate, which is often called the hurdle rate. The rate represents the rate of return that the investment or project would need to earn in order to be worth pursuing.

How Cost of Capital Impacts Present Value (Discount Rate vs. PV)

Most people know that money you have in hand now is more valuable than money you collect later on. That’s because you can use it to make more money by running a business, or buying something now and selling it later for more, or simply putting it in the bank and earning interest. Future money is also less valuable because inflation erodes its buying power. But how exactly do you compare the value of money now with the value of money in the future? Another problem with using the net present value method is that it does not fully account for opportunity cost.


Simply said, money now is worth more than the same amount of money in the future. Regardless of the interest rate, receiving money now is better than later, but how much better? Your $10,000 could retain its purchasing power if it is invested in an asset that generates a return, or interest, without any risk of losing the principal amount.

Example: What is $570 in 3 years time worth now, at an interest rate of 10% ?

Moreover, the size of the discount applied is contingent on the present value formula cost of capital (i.e. comparison to other investments with similar risk/return profiles). Present value provides a basis for assessing the fairness of any future financial benefits or liabilities. For example, a future cash rebate discounted to present value may or may not be worth having a potentially higher purchase price. The same financial calculation applies to 0% financing when buying a car. The calculation of discounted or present value is extremely important in many financial calculations.