DEFINITION of 'Discounting'

The process of determining the present value of a payment or a stream of payments that is to be received in the future. Given the time value of money, a dollar is worth more today than it would be worth tomorrow given its capacity to earn interest. Discounting is the method used to figure out how much these future payments are worth today.


Loading the player...

BREAKING DOWN 'Discounting'

Discounting is one of the core principals of finance and is the primary factor used in pricing a stream of cash flows , such as those found in a traditional bond or annuity. For example, the succession of coupon payments found in a regular bond is discounted by a certain interest rate and summed together with the discounted par value to determine the bond's current value.

  1. Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out ...
  2. Bond

    A debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity ...
  3. Annuity

    A financial product that pays out a fixed stream of payments ...
  4. Discount Rate

    The interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository ...
  5. Present Value - PV

    The current worth of a future sum of money or stream of cash ...
  6. Time Value of Money - TVM

    The idea that money available at the present time is worth more ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

    Find out how analysts determine the fair value of a company with this step-by-step tutorial and learn how to evaluate an investment's attractiveness for yourself.
  2. Investing Basics

    Discounting With The Discount Rate

    The discount rate is the interest rate you need to earn on a given amount of money today to end up with a given amount of money in the future. Let's say you need $1,000 one year from now to go ...
  3. Bonds & Fixed Income

    How Bond Market Pricing Works

    Learn the basic rules that govern how bond prices are determined.
  4. Retirement

    Bond Basics Tutorial

    Investing in bonds - What are they, and do they belong in your portfolio?
  5. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Advanced Bond Concepts

    Learn the complex concepts and calculations for trading bonds including bond pricing, yield, term structure of interest rates and duration.
  6. Investing

    In Search of the Rate-Proof Portfolio

    After October’s better-than-expected employment report, a December Federal Reserve (Fed) liftoff is looking more likely than it was earlier this fall.
  7. Investing

    Where the Price is Right for Dividends

    There are two broad schools of thought for equity income investing: The first pays the highest dividend yields and the second focuses on healthy yields.
  8. Investing

    The Pros and Cons of High-Yield Bonds

    Junk bonds are more volatile than investment-grade bonds but may provide significant advantages when analyzed in-depth.
  9. Financial Advisors

    Ditching High-Yield Bonds for Plain Vanilla Ones

    In a low-rate environment, it's tempting to go for higher yield bonds. However, you might be better off sticking with the plain vanilla ones.
  10. Bonds & Fixed Income

    What is an Indenture?

    An indenture is a legal and binding contract between a bond issuer and the bondholders.
  1. How liquid are variable annuities?

    Variable deferred annuities and variable immediate annuities are not considered liquid. Variable deferred annuities carry ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do variable annuities have RMDs?

    Variable annuities are not subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) unless they are held in qualified plans, such ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the maximum Social Security disability benefits?

    The average Social Security disability benefit amount for a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 2 ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can variable annuities be rolled into an IRA?

    Variable annuities are often found in government or nonprofit employer retirement plans such as 403(b) or 457(b) plans. With ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I calculate the future value of an annuity?

    When planning for retirement, it is important to have a good idea of how much income you can rely on each year. There are ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do hedge funds invest in bonds?

    Hedge funds have the freedom to deploy their capital in virtually any manner. They can use leverage, invest in non-publicly ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center