The Best Finance Formulas Every Investor Should Know

Finance is a vast field with a multitude of formulas that help investors make informed decisions and assess the health of their investments. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting, understanding these finance formulas is essential for success. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the best finance formulas that every investor should know.

1. Compound Interest Formula

Compound Interest is the foundation of wealth-building. The formula is:

A = P(1 + r/n)^(nt)

  • A: The future value of the investment/loan, including interest.
  • P: The principal amount (initial investment or loan amount).
  • r: The annual interest rate (decimal).
  • n: The number of times that interest is compounded per year.
  • t: The number of years the money is invested or borrowed for.

2. Net Present Value (NPV) Formula

Net Present Value (NPV) helps assess the profitability of an investment. The formula is:

NPV = ∑(Cash Flow / (1 + r)^t)

  • NPV: Net Present Value, indicating the profitability of an investment.
  • Cash Flow: The cash inflow or outflow for a specific period.
  • r: The discount rate (the rate of return required).
  • t: The time period.

3. Return on Investment (ROI) Formula

Return on Investment (ROI) measures the return on an investment relative to its cost. The formula is:

ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

  • ROI: Return on Investment, expressed as a percentage.
  • Gain from Investment: The profit earned from the investment.
  • Cost of Investment: The initial cost of the investment.

4. Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio Formula

The Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio assesses a company’s valuation in relation to its earnings. The formula is:

P/E Ratio = Price per Share / Earnings per Share (EPS)

  • P/E Ratio: Price-to-Earnings ratio, indicating how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings.
  • Price per Share: The current stock price.
  • Earnings per Share (EPS): The company’s earnings divided by the number of outstanding shares.

5. Debt-to-Equity Ratio Formula

The Debt-to-Equity Ratio assesses a company’s financial leverage. The formula is:

Debt-to-Equity Ratio = Total Debt / Shareholder’s Equity

  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio: The ratio indicating the proportion of debt used to finance a company’s assets.
  • Total Debt: The total outstanding debt of the company.
  • Shareholder’s Equity: The residual interest in the assets of the company (assets – liabilities).

6. Dividend Yield Formula

The Dividend Yield formula helps assess the income generated from dividend-paying stocks. The formula is:

Dividend Yield = Dividend per Share / Price per Share

  • Dividend Yield: The annual dividend income as a percentage of the stock’s price.
  • Dividend per Share: The annual dividend payment per share.
  • Price per Share: The current stock price.

7. CAPM (Capital Asset Pricing Model) Formula

The CAPM formula helps investors assess the expected return on an investment. The formula is:

Expected Return = Risk-Free Rate + Beta * (Market Return – Risk-Free Rate)

  • Expected Return: The expected return on the investment.
  • Risk-Free Rate: The rate of return on a risk-free investment (e.g., U.S. Treasury bonds).
  • Beta: A measure of a stock’s risk in relation to the market.
  • Market Return: The expected return on the market.

8. CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) Formula

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) measures the annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period. The formula is:

CAGR = [(Ending Value / Beginning Value)^(1/n)] – 1

  • CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate, expressed as a percentage.
  • Ending Value: The final value of the investment.
  • Beginning Value: The initial value of the investment.
  • n: The number of years.


Understanding these finance formulas is crucial for making informed investment decisions and evaluating the financial health of companies. These formulas provide valuable insights into various aspects of finance, from evaluating investment returns to assessing the financial stability of businesses.

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