Historical Cost

Dictionary Says

Definition of 'Historical Cost'


A measure of value used in accounting in which the price of an asset on the balance sheet is based on its nominal or original cost when acquired by the company. The historical-cost method is used for assets in the U.S. under generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP).

Investopedia Says

Investopedia explains 'Historical Cost'


Based on the historical-cost principle, under U.S. GAAP, most assets held on the balance sheet are to be recorded at the historical cost even if they have significantly changed in value over time.

For example, say the main headquarters of a company, which includes the land and building, was bought for $100,000 in 1925, and its expected market value today is $20 million. The asset is still recorded on the balance sheet at $100,000.

Not all assets are held at historical cost. For example, marketable securities are held at market value on the balance sheet.

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  2. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  3. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  4. Momentum Investing

    An investment strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. The momentum investor believes that large increases in the price of a security will be followed by additional gains and vice versa for declining values.
  5. Momentum Investing

    An investment strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. The momentum investor believes that large increases in the price of a security will be followed by additional gains and vice versa for declining values.
  6. IPO ETF

    An exchange-traded fund that focuses on stocks that have recently held an initial public offering (IPO). The underlying indexes tracked by IPO ETFs vary from one fund manager to another, but index IPO ETFs are usually passively managed and contain equities that have recently been offered to the public.
Trading Center