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Investing Terminology

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Financial Terminology

Cash on Cash Return
A rate of return often used in real estate transactions. The calculation determines the cash income on the cash invested. Calculated as:

Cash on Cah Return = Annual Dollar Income/Total Dollar Investment


Net Operating Income (NOI)
A company's operating income after operating expenses are deducted, but before income taxes and interest are deducted. If this is a positive value, it is referred to as net operating income, while a negative value is called a net operating loss (NOL)


Return on Equity (ROE)
The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders equity. Return on equity measures a corporation's profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.

ROE is expressed as a percentage and calculated as:

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Return on Equity = Net Income/Shareholder's Equity

Net income is for the full fiscal year (before dividends paid to common stock holders but after dividends to preferred stock.) Shareholder's equity does not include preferred shares.

Also known as "return on net worth" (RONW).


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:

ROI = (Gain from investment - Cost of investment) / Cost of Investment

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.


Capitalization Rate (CAP or CAP Rate)
A rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the expected income that the property will generate. Capitalization rate is used to estimate the investor's potential return on his or her investment. This is done by dividing the income the property will generate (after fixed costs and variable costs) by the total value of the property. If you want to get technical, it is basically the discount rate of a perpetuity.

Capitalization Rate = Yearly Income / Total Value


Debt Cover Ratio
In corporate finance, it is the amount of cash flow available to meet annual interest and principal payments on debt. 

In general, it is calculated by:

Debt Cover Ratio = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service

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