What-If Calculation

AAA

DEFINITION of 'What-If Calculation'

Calculations for testing a financial model using different assumptions and scenarios. What-if`calculations enable the forecaster to check the variance in end results for a financial model using various hypothetical levels for inputs such as interest rates and exchange rates. These calculations are generally performed with spreadsheet software. What-if calculations can also be referred to as sensitivity analysis or stress testing.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'What-If Calculation'

In a discounted cash flow model used to assess the viability of a project, changes in the discount rate can lead to wide ranges in the net present value of the project. The key benefit of what-if calculations in this case is that they can test the viability of the project under various scenarios. What-if calculations are similar to a sensitivity analysis, and should not be confused with the "IF" function in excel.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Net Present Value - NPV

    The difference between the present value of cash inflows and ...
  2. Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculation

    An informal mathematical computation, often performed on a scrap ...
  3. Sensitivity Analysis

    A technique used to determine how different values of an independent ...
  4. eXtensible Business Reporting Language ...

    A standard that was developed to improve the way in which financial ...
  5. Financial Modeling

    The process by which a firm constructs a financial representation ...
  6. Discounted Cash Flow - DCF

    A valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the market share of a few companies affect the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index ...

    In economics and commercial law, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is a widely used measure that indicates the amount ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does the rule of 70 indicate about a country's future economic growth?

    The rule of 70 could be used to indicate the approximate number of years that it would take a company's economic growth to ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How is the rule of 70 related to the growth rate of a variable?

    The rule of 70 is related to the growth rate of a variable because it uses the growth rate in its approximation of the number ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the benefits of using ceteris paribus assumptions in economics?

    Most, though not all, economists rely on ceteris paribus conditions to build and test economic models. The reason they do ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between the rule of 70 and the rule of 72?

    The rule of 70 and the rule of 72 give rough estimates of the number of years it would take for a certain variable to double. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the risk return tradeoff for bonds?

    Macaulay duration and modified duration are mainly used to calculate the durations of bonds. The Macaulay duration calculates ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    DCF Valuation: The Stock Market Sanity Check

    Calculate whether the market is paying too much for a particular stock.
  2. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Bet Smarter With The Monte Carlo Simulation

    This technique can reduce uncertainty in estimating future outcomes.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    Top 3 Pitfalls Of Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

    The DCF method can be difficult to apply to real-life valuations. Find out where it comes up short.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Future Value

    Future value is the value of an asset or cash at a specified date in the future that is equivalent in value to a specified sum today.
  5. Economics

    What is Deadweight Loss?

    Mainly used in economics, deadweight loss can be applied to any deficiency caused by an inefficient allocation of resources.
  6. Economics

    How to Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis

    The benefits of a given situation or business-related action are summed and then the costs associated with taking that action are subtracted.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI)

    The Herfindhal-Hirschman Index, (HHI) is a measure of market concentration and competition among market participants.
  8. Investing

    How To Implement A Smart Beta Investing Strategy

    Smart beta investing is the notion of re-writing investment rules to improve investment outcomes by targeting exposures to intuitive ideas or factors.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top Skills Hedge Funds Look For In Job Candidates

    Lucrative salary, high perks, and best quantitative brains at work. What are the top skills a candidate needs to get a job at a hedge fund?
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Why Hedge Fund Managers Make Good Advisory Clients

    Super-busy hedge fund managers should be viewed as an opportunity for sophisticated financial advisors who can step in and offer their services.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Stop-Loss Order

    An order placed with a broker to sell a security when it reaches a certain price. A stop-loss order is designed to limit ...
  2. Covered Call

    An options strategy whereby an investor holds a long position in an asset and writes (sells) call options on that same asset ...
  3. Butterfly Spread

    A neutral option strategy combining bull and bear spreads. Butterfly spreads use four option contracts with the same expiration ...
  4. Unlevered Beta

    A type of metric that compares the risk of an unlevered company to the risk of the market. The unlevered beta is the beta ...
  5. Moving Average - MA

    A widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out the “noise” from random ...
  6. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
Trading Center