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Difference between NPV and ROI

Difference between NPV and ROI

When it comes to making business decisions, it’s important to understand the difference between NPV and ROI. NPV stands for net present value and is a calculation of the present value of cash flows from a project. ROI, on the other hand, stands for return on investment and measures how efficient a company is in using its invested capital. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between NPV and ROI, and explain how each one can be useful when making business decisions.

What is NPV?

  • Net present value (NPV) is a financial metric that measures the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows. NPV can be used to assess the profitability of an investment and to compare different investments.
  • To calculate NPV, first, the present values of all cash inflows and outflows are estimated. The present value of each cash flow is determined by discounting it at a rate that reflects the time value of money and the level of risk associated with the investment.
  • Once the present values of all cash flows have been calculated, the present value of cash inflows is subtracted from the present value of cash outflows.
  • If the result is positive, then the investment is considered to be profitable; if it is negative, then the investment is not profitable.
  • NPV can be a useful tool for decision-making, but it is important to note that it only considers future cash flows and does not take into account other factors that may affect the profitability of an investment, such as risk or market conditions.

What is ROI?

ROI, or return on investment, is a measure of how much money an individual or business will make in relation to the amount of money that is invested. It is typically expressed as a percentage. For example, if someone invests $1,000 in stock and the stock goes up by 10%, the ROI would be 1,000 x 0.10, or $100. The higher the ROI, the more profitable an investment is considered to be. There are a number of different ways to calculate ROI, and the method that is used will often depend on the type of investment being made. For example, when buying a house, the ROI is often calculated by taking into account the expected increase in the value of the property over time. In contrast, when investing in a business, the ROI may be calculated by looking at the company’s profits and losses over time. Regardless of how it is calculated, ROI is an important metric that can be used to assess the profitability of an investment.

Difference between NPV and ROI

  • When evaluating potential investments, NPV and ROI are two of the most common metrics used. NPV, or net present value, measures the difference between the present value of an investment’s cash inflows and outflows.ROI, on the other hand, measures the percentage return on investment. Both metrics can be helpful in making investment decisions; however, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • NPV is often considered to be a more accurate measure of an investment’s true value. This is because it takes into account the time value of money; that is, it recognizes that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future. ROI does not account for the time value of money, which can make it misleading. For example, if two investments both have an ROI of 10%, but one has a shorter payback period, the NPV will be higher for the latter investment.
  • However, ROI can be easier to understand and compare than NPV. This is because ROI is expressed as a percentage, while NPV is expressed in terms of dollars.


NPV and ROI are two different measures of the same thing: how much profit your business makes from an investment. However, they use different calculations that can produce different results. Understanding the difference between these calculations will help you make more informed decisions about where to invest your money.

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