How To Calculate Return On Investment

Published on: 22.11.2022

The primary metric for evaluating the success of an investment is its return on investment (ROI). The ratio measures how much money was made or lost on an investment concerning how much it originally cost. Whether you’re assessing the success of your stock portfolio, contemplating a business investment, or debating the merits of a proposed new initiative. This method is beneficial for calculating the return on your investment, both now and in the future.

What Is The Return On Investment (ROI)?

The term “return on investment” (ROI) refers to a formula used by financiers to assess their investments’ success and compare them. Sometimes, while making a business argument for a particular idea, it helps to employ an ROI estimate with other methods. For example, a company’s management quality may be judged by its investment return.

Return on investment may be calculated in terms of achieving one or more of an organization’s near-term goals. Such as increasing market share, constructing necessary infrastructure, or placing itself for sale rather than in terms of monetary gain.

The net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) are two of the most crucial cash flow measurements in business analysis, along with return on investment (ROI). Return on investment is a ratio. However, it is most often stated as a percentage.

What Are The Types Of ROI?

In terms of return on investment, you have three potential sources of income. Some examples are as follows:


Earning interest on your assets is one way to turn those assets into a cash flow source. A few different assets might provide your company with income, including savings accounts and bonds.

🔹Capital Gains

A capital gain is said to have occurred when an asset is sold for a higher price than what was bought in the first place. Consequently, the company that owns the asset will see a gain.


Last but not least, you can get paid in the form of dividends. In this scenario, you would get a regular distribution of a certain percentage of a company’s income.

How Do I Calculate ROI?

There are a variety of approaches to measuring return on investment (ROI). The most popular formula for calculating ROI is the net income multiplied by the entire investment cost. However, ROI can also be written as Net income multiplied by the cost of investment multiplied by 100.

Take, for instance, the case of a person who put $90 into a startup. And spent an extra $10 investigating the enterprise. This individual’s total investment was $100. The entire cost to the investor would be one hundred dollars. If that endeavor brought in $300 in income but had expenses related to people and regulations totaling $100, then the net earnings would amount to $200.

For the technique above, the return on investment (ROI) would be calculated as $200 minus $100, yielding a quotient, or solution, of 2. However, the return on investment (ROI) is often reported as a percentage. Hence, the quotient must be multiplied by 100 to get the ROI in percentage form. As a result, the return on investment (ROI) for this specific investment equals two times one hundred, or 200%.

Compare this to another example in which an investor contributed $10,000 to a startup without suffering any fees or other charges related to the transaction. The corporation had a net profit of fifteen thousand dollars. The investor brought in a profit of $5,000.

It is considerably higher than the net earnings of $200 created in the first scenario. On the other hand, the ROI provides a different perspective: The answer is 1.5 when $15,000 is divided by $10,000. When you multiply that number by 100, you get an ROI of 150%.

Although the initial investment plan generated a lower amount of money, the greater return on investment implies a more successful investment. ROI can also be calculated by dividing the investment gain by the investment basis, yielding the equation ROI = investment return/investment basis. When comparing or analyzing ROIs across departments or firms.

It is vital to indicate which formula was used to generate the %. Since there are various alternative methods to calculate ROI, it is crucial to note which method was utilized. For clarity, return on investment is expressed as a percentage rather than a ratio.

How To Interpret ROI Calculations

Several measures, all of which contribute to the overall picture of a company’s profitability, may be evaluated with the aid of return on investment. However, for the most accurate return on investment calculation, you need to know how much you made and how much you spent

If the return percentage from an ROI calculation is positive, then the firm or ROI metric being examined is profitable. If the percentage return is negative, the company or metric being evaluated is losing money. For brevity’s sake, if the percentage is more than zero, the benefits will outweigh the investment. A negative percentage indicates that the investment is losing money.

Advantages of ROI

The following are some of the advantages of using ROI ratios:

Generally easy to calculate: A few numbers are required to do the computation. And you can find them all in your accounting records or balance sheets.

Capability to make comparisons: Its broad use and straightforward computation make it a go-to for comparing the profitability of various businesses’ respective investment strategies.

Measurement of profitability: Return on investment (ROI) is the amount of money gained from an investment put into a specific department. As a result, it’s easier to compare businesses’ or sports teams’ financial success.

Limitations of ROI

The return on investment (ROI) is a popular metric for evaluating the success of a business venture. But it’s not without its flaws. Here are several examples:

⛔️Lack of capacity to include time in calculations: The investment with the more significant return on investment (ROI) seems preferable at first glance. In contrast, a second expenditure that takes only one year to get a little lower ROI is preferable to a first investment that takes ten years to generate a more significant ROI.

⛔️How an organization determines ROI may vary: Every company employs a different formula to determine the return on investment (ROI). Therefore, comparing results from multiple companies is meaningless.

⛔️Non-monetary advantages cannot be calculated: For instance, a company may determine the return on investment for new computers by calculating the net earnings and total expenses using concrete monetary values.

The Bottom Line

The return on investment (ROI) is easy and quick to figure out. However, ROI is still a significant number that business analysts use to compare and rank different investments.

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