Investment decisions are the decisions taken in respect of the big capital expenditure projects. Such expenditures may involve investment in plant and machinery, vehicles, etc. A common characteristic of such expenditures is that they involve a stream of cash inflows in future and initial cash outflow or a series of outflows.
Financial management is not only concerned with sourcing of funds, effective utilization of such funds is equally important to successfully achieve the corporate objective of ‘wealth maximization’. Effective utilization of funds can be achieved by investing them in productive activities or assets. Such decisions of selecting the right avenue of investment for a relatively longer term are called investment decisions.
Business assets can be broadly classified into two categories namely short-term or current assets and long-term or fixed assets. Investment decisions are mainly concerned with the latter i.e. fixed assets which generally involve big cash flows and big initial capital investment. Investment decisions are also known as capital investment decisions because of the involvement of huge capital requirement.
A steel manufacturer considering investment in new plant and machinery, a service-oriented company thinking of introducing new and improved organization-wide software, a pharmaceutical company thinking of buying patents for certain drugs. Such circumstances involve big investment decisions. A wrong decision at any of these stages can make thing worse than one can expect. Such decisions are very long-term decisions and involve a huge investment of money, human resource, and other assets. So, it’s not a frequent situation for a business and right decision making is very essential. Else, circumstances can be horrible for all concerned with them.
Now, the question is how to make sure that the decision is correct and rational. In a profit-oriented organization, it is simple to decide on to the objective of investing. The decision would be considered appropriate if it is a profitable investment and enhances the wealth of the shareholders. Capital budgeting techniques are utilized to do investment appraisal for such investments.
There are some capital budgeting techniques which assist an entrepreneur in deciding whether to invest in a particular asset or not. The analysis is based on the cash flows generated by using those assets and initial or future outlays required for acquisition of the asset. Such investment techniques or capital budgeting techniques are broadly divided into two criteria:
Discounting Cash Flow Criteria
Discounting cash flow criteria has three techniques for evaluating an investment.
- Net Present Value (NPV)
- Benefit to Cost Ratio
- Internal Rate of Return
Non-Discounting Cash Flow Criteria
Non-discounting cash flow criteria have two techniques for evaluation of investment.
- Payback Period
- Accounting Rate of Return
The capitalization rate is a concept relevant to the real estate market.
Liquidity is an asset quality that measures how easy and quick it is to convert an asset or security into cash or equivalent. Liquidity risk is the risk that pertains to the conversion of assets, securities, or bonds into cash without affecting their market price due to unfavorable economic conditions.
Income Stock is a type of equity security, which provides regular dividends to the shareholders of the company. Moreover, these are stocks that provide investors with a steady income source and less risk appetite.
Market risk is the risk of change or decrease in the value of investments due to changes in uncontrollable market factors. These market factors can be recession or depression, changes in government policies affecting key interest rates, natural calamities, and disasters, political unrest, terrorism, etc.
A hedge is a crucial component of the risk management process. Hedging one’s portfolio helps to mitigate risk and manage one’s exposure. Once you have hedged your portfolio, you might want to know what portion or percentage of your portfolio is risk protected. This is where we use the hedge ratio.
An accredited investor is an individual person or an institutional investor. These accredited investors have special privileges and rights which allow them to invest in financial securities that are not usually available to the general public. They get to invest or trade in securities that are not available to general investors. Or, in securities that are not registered with any financial watchdog.
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