# Present Value of a Single Cash Flow Present value provides a basis for assessing the fairness of any future financial benefits or liabilities. For example, a future cash rebate discounted to present value may or may not be worth having a potentially higher purchase price. The same financial calculation applies to 0% financing when buying a car. Future value (FV) is the value of a current asset at a specified date in the future based on an assumed rate of growth.

The rate represents the rate of return that the investment or project would need to earn in order to be worth pursuing. A U.S. Treasury bond rate is often used as the risk-free rate because Treasuries are backed by the U.S. government. So, for example, if a two-year Treasury paid 2% interest or yield, the investment would need to at least earn more than 2% to justify the risk. One way to tell if you’re looking at a future value or present value problem is to look at how many times the interest rate is being applied.

## Present Value / Continuous Discounting

For instance, the present value of an annuity containing 5 monthly payments of \$100 can be obtained by adding the present value of each single sum (i.e., \$100). bookkeeping for startups is current value of a future amount of money evaluated at a given interest rate. The letter “i” refers to the percentage interest rate used to discount the future amount (in this case, 10%). Both (n) and (i) are stated within the context of time (e.g., two years at a 10% annual interest rate). The present value of a single amount allows us to determine what the value of a lump sum to be received in the future is worth to us today. The present value of a single amount is an investment that will be worth a specific sum in the future.

• The present time is noted with a “0,” the end of the first period is noted with a “1,” and the end of the second period is noted with a “2.”
• In the discussion above, we looked at one investment over the course of one year.
• The present value of a single sum tells us how much an amount to be transacted in the future is worth today.
• Present value (PV) is a way of representing the current value of future cash flows, based on the principle that money in the present is worth more than money in the future.

This article explains the computation of the present value of a single payment to be received at a single point of time in future. To understand the computation of the present value of a series of payments to be received in future, read ‘present value of an annuity’ article. If you want to calculate the present value of an annuity (a series of periodic constant cash flows that earn a fixed interest rate over a specified number of periods), this can be done using the Excel PV function. To calculate the present value of a series of payments, we will be using the below formula. Please pay attention that the 4th argument (fv) is omitted because the future value is not included in the calculation. As stated earlier, calculating present value involves making an assumption that a rate of return could be earned on the funds over the time period.

## Foundations Of Financial Management

In present value situations, the interest rate is often called the discount rate. Some individuals refer to present value problems as “discounted present value problems.” For example, suppose you want to know the value today of receiving \$15,000 at the end of 5 years if a rate of return of 12% is earned. At 12% interest per year compounded semiannually, the company needs to invest \$334,000 today to accumulate \$600,000 in 5 years.

### What is PV of \$1 or lump sum?

The Present Value of \$1 (also called the Reversion Factor) is the current value of a lump sum to be received at some time in the future. The lump sum is discounted to an equivalent current value by a discount rate based on the premise that a lump sum received sooner is more valuable than a lump sum received later.

The FV equation assumes a constant rate of growth and a single upfront payment left untouched for the duration of the investment. The FV calculation allows investors to predict, with varying degrees of accuracy, the amount of profit that can be generated by different investments. A comparison of present value with future value (FV) best illustrates the principle of the time value of money and the need for charging or paying additional risk-based interest rates. Simply put, the money today is worth more than the same money tomorrow because of the passage of time. Future value can relate to the future cash inflows from investing today’s money, or the future payment required to repay money borrowed today.

## Present Value and Single Amount

The present value of a single sum tells us how much an amount to be transacted in the future is worth today. An annuity consists of various payments or receipts and the present value of each of these payments or receipts are computed and then accumulated or added up in order to derive the present value of the annuity. Hence, the present value of an annuity is calculated by adding the present value of the single sums of the annuity. Instead of using the above formula, the present value of a single cash flow can be calculated using the built-in Excel PV function (which is generally used for a series of cash flows). A single amount has a present value (PV) when it is discounted from its current worth. The PV calculation takes into account the time value of money, or the idea that a rupee today is worth more than a rupee tomorrow.

## Calculating Present Value Using a Financial Calculator

In other words, the discount rate would be the forgone rate of return if an investor chose to accept an amount in the future versus the same amount today. The discount rate that is chosen for the present value calculation is highly subjective because it’s the expected rate of return you’d receive if you had invested today’s dollars for a period of time. Money not spent today could be expected to lose value in the future by some implied annual rate, which could be inflation or the rate of return if the money was invested. The present value formula discounts the future value to today’s dollars by factoring in the implied annual rate from either inflation or the rate of return that could be achieved if a sum was invested. PV calculations can also tell you such things as how much money to invest right now in return for specific cash amounts to be received in the future, or how to estimate the rate of return on your investments. Our focus will be on single amounts that are received or paid in the future.

It also addresses what a period is in terms of present value calculations and distinguishes between the formula for present value with simple interest and compound interest. A present value of 1 table states the present value discount rates that are used for various combinations of interest rates and time periods. A discount rate selected from this table is then multiplied by a cash sum to be received at a future date, to arrive at its present value. The interest rate selected in the table can be based on the current amount the investor is obtaining from other investments, the corporate cost of capital, or some other measure. The discount rate is the investment rate of return that is applied to the present value calculation.

×