A A A  |  Print

Return On Investment - ROI

DEFINITION of 'Return On Investment - ROI'

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

The return on investment formula:

 

Return On Investment (ROI)

In the above formula "gains from investment", refers to the proceeds obtained from selling the investment of interest. Return on investment is a very popular metric because of its versatility and simplicity. That is, if an investment does not have a positive ROI, or if there are other opportunities with a higher ROI, then the investment should be not be undertaken.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Return On Investment - ROI'

Keep in mind that the calculation for return on investment and, therefore the definition, can be modified to suit the situation -it all depends on what you include as returns and costs. The definition of the term in the broadest sense just attempts to measure the profitability of an investment and, as such, there is no one "right" calculation.

For example, a marketer may compare two different products by dividing the gross profit that each product has generated by its respective marketing expenses. A financial analyst, however, may compare the same two products using an entirely different ROI calculation, perhaps by dividing the net income of an investment by the total value of all resources that have been employed to make and sell the product.

This flexibility has a downside, as ROI calculations can be easily manipulated to suit the user's purposes, and the result can be expressed in many different ways. When using this metric, make sure you understand what inputs are being used.

There's so much more to understand about the ROI. Read FYI on ROI: A Guide to Calculating Return on Investment

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitulation

    When investors give up any previous gains in stock price by selling equities in an effort to get out of the market and into ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Conduit Issuer

    An organization, usually a government agency, that issues municipal securities to raise capital for revenue-generating projects ...
  4. Financing Entity

    The party in a financing arrangement that provides money, property, or another asset to an intermediate entity or financed ...
  5. Hyperinflation

    Extremely rapid or out of control inflation. There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is ...
  6. Gross Rate Of Return

    The total rate of return on an investment before the deduction of any fees or expenses. The gross rate of return is quoted ...
  7. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option ...
  8. Leading Indicator

    A measurable economic factor that changes before the economy starts to follow a particular pattern or trend. Leading indicators ...
  9. Wage-Price Spiral

    A macroeconomic theory to explain the cause-and-effect relationship between rising wages and rising prices, or inflation. ...
  10. Accelerated Depreciation

    Any method of depreciation used for accounting or income tax purposes that allows greater deductions in the earlier years ...
Trading Center