The cost of equity is the rate of return an investor requires from a stock before exploring other opportunities.Companies have to reward shareholders for the risk that other investments will pay a higher return.  Typically, the cost of equity is higher when the overall stock market is strong, or when the company is seen as volatile. The rate of return that investors seek may come from two possible sources. In some cases, they receive dividends, which provide an immediate reward for their ownership. Or the stock could experience appreciation, enabling them to profit when they sell shares.   Cost of Equity = [Dividend Payout ÷ Share Price] + Rate of Appreciation