Time Value of Money Explained

Learn the basics of the Time Value of Money and its importance in making informed financial decisions. Our beginner's guide covers present value, future value, interest rates, and more with practical examples to help you invest wisely, manage loans, and plan your savings effectively.

## Sunita Rao CFA

CFA | Wealth Coach

The idea known as the Time Value of Money (TVM) states that money has a greater value now than it will have in the future. A financial concept known as the "Time Value of Money" states that the worth of a sum of money varies with time. In other words, having Rs. 100 now is worth more than possessing Rs. 100 tomorrow. Why? Because inflation may cause prices of products and services to rise over time, decreasing the purchasing power of your money.

It's not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you and how many generations you keep it for .

In banking and investing, the Time Value of Money (TVM) idea is essential. It stands for the notion that, because of its prospective earning potential, a dollar now is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. A lot of financial choices and investment strategies are based on this idea. We'll go over what the Time Value of Money is, why it matters, and how to utilize it to help you make better financial decisions in this beginner's guide.

#### What is the Time Value of Money?

At its core, the Time Value of Money is based on the premise that money available now can be invested to earn returns. This means a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow because today's dollar has the potential to grow through investment.

#### Key Takeaways

- A sum of money is worth more today than it will be in the future due to the time value of money.
- According to the time value of money theory, money can only increase through investments, hence delaying an investment results in a lost opportunity.
- The amount of money, its future value, the amount it can earn, and the time period are all taken into account in the formula for calculating the time value of money.
- The number of compounding periods is a significant factor in savings accounts as well.

The time value of money is negatively impacted by inflation since rising prices result in a decline in your purchasing power.

## How Does the Time Value of Money Relate to Opportunity Cost?

The idea of opportunity cost is fundamental to the time value of money concept. Only when money is invested over time and yields a profit can it expand. Uninvested money eventually loses value. Therefore, regardless of how confidently it is expected, a sum of money that is expected to be paid in the future is losing value in the meantime.

## Why Is the Time Value of Money Important?

Making informed financial decisions can be aided by understanding the temporal worth of money. Assume, for example, that an investor had a choice between Project A and Project B. With the exception of Project B's 1 crore cash payoff in year five, both projects are similar. Project A promises a 1 crore cash payout in year one. The compensation differs. The1 crore reward after five years is not as good as the 1 crore payout after one year.

## How Is the Time Value of Money Used in Finance?

It would be difficult to identify a single area of finance in which decision-making is unaffected by the time value of money. One of the most widely used and significant techniques for valuing investment prospects is discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, which is based on the time value of money. It is also a crucial component of risk management and financial planning. To guarantee that their account holders will have enough money in retirement, pension fund managers, for example, take the time value of money into account.

## What Impact Does Inflation Have on the Time Value of Money?

The value of money changes over time and there are several factors that can affect it. Inflation, which is the general rise in prices of goods and services, has a negative impact on the future value of money. That's because when prices rise, your money only goes so far. Even a slight increase in prices means that your purchasing power drops. So that money you earned in 2020 and kept in your piggy bank buys less today than it would have back then.

## The Bottom Line

Money has a different value in the future than it does in the present. The same holds true for previous money. We call this phenomena the time value of money. It can be used by businesses to assess the possibility of upcoming developments. Additionally, you can utilize it as an investor to identify potential investments. To put it simply, understanding TVM and how to compute it can assist you in making wise financial decisions regarding your investments, savings, and spending.

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Originally published May 24, 2024