When you invest your money in a scheme for a specific period, it is a good idea to track your investment performance regularly. It is more important and relevant for market-driven investment vehicles like mutual funds as compared to fixed income schemes like fixed deposits and PPFs. So, we have a lot of qualitative and quantitative performance metrics to gauge how efficient an investment is. Return on Investment or ROI is one such way. In this article, we will discuss ROI in detail.

  1. What is Return on Investment?
  2. How to calculate ROI
  3. How to use ROI
  4. Benefits and limitations of ROI
  5. How ROI continues to evolve

1. What is Return on Investment?

Every investment has one or more purpose. Most of us invest so that we get something back in addition to what we invested – to earn some kind of a benefit or return. So, one can gauge the efficiency of an investment by checking the potential returns. This way, you can easily make a decision on whether to invest or not. You can also check the ROI history to understand the performance trend of the scheme.

The performance of the scheme is good if it delivers the promised returns or more. Return on investment or ROI , for this reason, is significant for fixed-income investments like PPF or FD as well as equity-based investment tools like equity funds. ROI, therefore, is a comparison metric and help you understand the return factor of an investment and optimize your financial portfolio accordingly.

 

2. How to calculate ROI

Return on investment is generally calculated as total earnings divided by the actual investment cost. The bigger the ratio, the higher the gains accrued.

 
ROI

In the formula explained in the above image, “investment gains” means the amount earned after redeeming or selling the investment. Remember, ROI is estimated in percentage – this makes it easier for investors to compare it with others.


ROI calculation with an example


Say, you made a lump sum investment of Rs. 50,000 in an equity fund. After 3 years’ maturity period, you redeem the scheme and the amount credited to you is Rs. 75,000. So, ROI as per the formula can be calculated as follows:

ROI = (75,000 – 50,000) / (50,000) = 1/2 or 50%

3. How to use ROI

You must have seen people using the words return and profit interchangeably. But they may not mean the same all the time. Return on investment only touch the money you capitalize in a scheme, mutual fund or a company, and the return you make on that amount based on the profit of the complete scheme, fund or company. Hence, do not think that ROI is the same as the return you make on your equity. Only in single ownerships does equity means the overall assets of the company.

There are many ways in which you can determine the ROI to assess the profitability of which a few are given below.

  • Divide your net income (after all the deductions from the total income), interest, and taxes by the overall costs and liabilities. This will help you gauge your income rate in comparison to the capital invested.
  • Divide your net income and income taxes by proprietary equity and other liabilities to generate an income rate on invested money.
  • Divide net earnings by total investments plus reserves to estimate the income rate on proprietary (ownership) equity and stock equity.

4. Benefits and limitations of ROI

Benefits

Limitations

User-friendly: It is easy to calculate and you just need to know the cost and profit earned. You do not need the help of a financial expert to understand this. Ignores time value of money:
Different schemes have different tenures and maturity periods. So, a 50% ROI for a 1-year FD and the same for a 5-year ELSS cannot be comparable. Rate of return scores here as a performance metric.
Globally understood: The formula is used across the world. It is simple enough to interpret and explain it to people. ROI doesn’t take inflation into consideration: It also doesn’t count additional costs like processing fee, stamp duty etc.
Versatile: ROI formula has many applications like understanding profitability of a scheme and doing a comparative analysis among others. ROI results are easy to manipulate: So results can change from investor to investor. Use the same inputs to get an exact value.

 

5. How ROI continues to evolve

In recent times, many investors and enterprises are looking at a new way of calculating ROI – it is called Social Return on Investment. Aside from capital and profit, this SROI also takes socio-environmental factors into consideration. This ensures even more accuracy as they use extra-financial value. If you are an investor with Cleartax Invest, be assured that our experts use both ROI and SROI to handpick best performing schemes from top fund houses. So, if you are looking for a way to fulfill your short-term or long-term financial goals, please click on the CTA below.

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