Concept of Present Value
Topics: Time value of money, Net present value, Rate of return, Corporate finance, Investment, Present value / Pages: 6 (1264 words) / Published: Apr 22nd, 2010

WHY IS THE CONCEPT OF PRESENT VALUE SO IMPORTANT FOR CORPORATE FINANCE?
The importance of concept of present value to the world of corporate finance is that present value calculations are widely used in business and economics to provide a means to compare cash flows at different times. Present Value’s definition and simplistic formula used for normal purchases, the concept’s importance to corporate finance and why present value is the very first topic taught in finance classes explain that present value is an essential knowledgeable tool to ensure we make the best decisions with our money.
However, first, What Does Present Value - PV Mean? Present value is “the current worth of a future sum of money or stream of cash flows given a specified rate of return. Future cash flows are discounted at the discount rate, and the higher the discount rate, the lower the present value of the future cash flows. Determining the appropriate discount rate is the key to properly valuing future cash flows, whether they are earnings or obligations.” Through the definition itself, an importance to corporate finance is explained as well as why professors begin a finance course with a basis explanation in the time value of money – discounting and investment risk included.
In more detail, capital investment decisions are long-term corporate finance decisions relating to fixed assets and capital structure. Decisions are made with several criteria to consider, and where corporate management seeks to maximize value in the firm by the correctly calculated net present value when valued using an appropriate discount rate.
It would be beneficial on a personal level for the following reasons; “Learning how to use a financial calculator to make present value calculations can help you decide whether you should accept a cash rebate, 0% financing on the purchase of a car or to pay points on a mortgage.”
Present value could often the first topic taught in any finance class, due to the fact



References: Anonymous (2010). Investopedia.com. Present Value. Retrieved on 5 Apr 2010 @ http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/presentvalue.asp 2 Megginson, William (2008). Corporate Finance. Stamford: Thomson Learning. P. 86. 3 Anonymous (2010). Investopedia.com. Explaining Present Value-PV. Retrieved on 5 Apr 2010 @ http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/presentvalue.asp 4 Anonymous (n.d). FinanceProfessor.com. Future Value. Retrieved on 3 Apr 2010 from http://www.financeprofessor.com/fiancnenotes/introductoryfin/presentvalue.htm 5 Anonymous (n.d). FinanceProfessor.com. Present Value. Retrieved on 3 Apr 2010 from http://www.financeprofessor.com/fiancnenotes/introductoryfin/presentvalue.htm 6 Anonymous (2008). The Time Value of Money. Retrieved on 4 Apr 2010 from http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm?lesson=EM37

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