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Average Rate of Return

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Average Rate of Return

Have you ever wondered how managers decide on whether to make an investment or not? A method that helps to decide whether an investment is worthwhile is the average rate of return. Let's take a look at what it is, and how we can calculate it.

Average Rate of Return Definition

The average rate of return (ARR) is a method that helps to decide whether an investment is worthwhile or not.

The average rate of return (ARR) is the average annual return (profit) from an investment.

The average rate of return compares the average yearly return (profit) from an investment while considering its cost. It is expressed as a percentage of the original sum invested.

Calculating the average rate of return

To calculate the average rate of return we need to know the average yearly profit from the investment, and the cost of investment. The ARR is calculated by dividing the average yearly profit by the cost of investment and multiplying by 100.

The formula for calculating the average rate of return:

A company is considering buying new software. The software would cost £10,000 and is expected to increase profits by £2,000 a year. The ARR here would be calculated as follows:

It means that the average yearly profit from the investment will be 20 percent.

A firm is considering buying more machines for its factory. The machines would cost £2,000,000, and are expected to increase profits by £300,000 a year. The ARR would be calculated as follows:

It means that the average yearly profit from the investment in new machinery will be 15 percent.

However, very often the average yearly profit is not given. It needs to be additionally calculated. Thus, to calculate the average rate of return we need to do two calculations.

Step 1 of calculating the average rate of return: Calculate the average yearly profit

To calculate the average yearly profit, we need to know the total profit, and the number of years in which the profit is made.

The formula for calculating the average yearly profit is the following:

Step 2 of calculating the average rate of return: Calculate the average rate of return

The formula for calculating the average rate of return is the following:

Let's consider our first example, that of a company considering the purchase of new software. The software would cost £10,000 and is expected to give profits of £6,000 within 3 years.

First, we need to calculate the average yearly profit:

Then, we need to calculate the average rate of return.

It means that the average yearly profit from the investment will be 20 percent.

A firm is considering buying more vehicles for its employees. The vehicles would cost £2,000,000, and are expected to give profits of £3,000,000 within 10 years. The ARR would be calculated as follows:

First, we need to calculate the average yearly profit.

Then, we need to calculate the average rate of return.

It means that the average yearly profit from the investment will be 15 percent.

Interpreting the average rate of return

The higher the value, the better it is; the higher the value of the average rate of return, the greater the return on the investment. When deciding whether to make an investment or not, managers will choose the investment with the highest value of the average rate of return.

Managers have two investments to choose from: software or vehicles. The average rate of return for software is 20 percent, whereas the average rate of return for vehicles is 15 percent. Which investment will managers choose?

Since 20 percent is higher than 15 percent, managers will choose to invest in the software, as it will give a greater return.

It is essential to remember that the results of ARR are only as reliable as the figures used to calculate it. If the forecast of average yearly profit or cost of investment is wrong, the average rate of return will be wrong as well.

Average Rate of Return - Key takeaways

  • The average rate of return (ARR) is the average annual return (profit) from an investment.
  • It is expressed as a percentage of the original sum invested.
  • The ARR is calculated by dividing the average yearly profit by the cost of investment and multiplying by 100 percent.
  • The higher the value of the average rate of return, the greater the return on the investment.
  • The results of ARR are only as reliable as the figures used to calculate it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Average Rate of Return

The average rate of return (ARR) is the average annual return (profit) from an investment.  

A firm is considering buying more machines for its factory. The machines would cost £2,000,000 and are expected to increase profits by £300,000 a year. The ARR would be calculated as follows:



It means that the average yearly profit from the investment in new machinery will be 15 per cent.

The formula for calculating the average rate of return:



where the formula for calculating the average yearly profit is the following:




The formula for calculating the average rate of return:


The disadvantage of using the average rate of return is that the results of ARR are only as reliable as the figures used to calculate it. If the forecast of average yearly profit or investment cost is wrong, the average rate of return will also be wrong. 

Final Average Rate of Return Quiz

Question

Define the average rate of return.


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Answer

Average rate of return is the average annual return (profit) from an investment. 


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Question

Why is the average rate of return (ARR) helpful?


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Answer

The average rate of return (ARR) is a method that helps to decide whether an investment is worthwhile or not. 


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Question

What does ARR stand for?


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Answer

Average rate of return

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Question

The ARR is expressed as…


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Answer

Percentage

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Question

What value of ARR is better?


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Answer

Higher

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Question

Are the results of the average rate of return reliable?


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Answer

The results of ARR are only as reliable as the figures used to calculate it.


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Question

Investment A has an ARR of 13 percent and investment B has an ARR of 25 percent. Which one is better?


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Answer

Investment B

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Question

Why is a higher value of ARR better than lower?


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Answer

The higher the value of the average rate of return, the greater the return on investment.


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Question

What are the two figures we need to calculate the ARR?


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Answer

  • Average yearly profit
  • Cost of investment


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Question

If the forecast of average yearly profit or cost of investment is wrong,


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Answer

the average rate of return will be wrong as well.


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Question

What are the two steps in calculating the average rate of return?


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Answer

  • Calculate the average yearly profit 
  • Calculate the average rate of return


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Question

Give an example of an investment.

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Answer

Vehicles, software, etc.

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Question

If ARR is 20 percent, it means that:


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Answer

The average yearly profit from the investment will be 20 percent.


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Question

The average rate of return (ARR) is the average annual return (profit) from...

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Answer

an investment.

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Question

A company is considering buying new software. The software would cost £10,000 and is expected to increase profits by £2,000 a year. What is the ARR?


Show answer

Answer

20%

Show question

Question

A firm is considering buying more machines for its factory. The machines would cost £2,000,000, and are expected to increase profits by £300,000 a year. What is the ARR?


Show answer

Answer

15%

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Question

A company is considering buying software that is expected to give profits of £6,000 within 3 years. What is the average yearly profit?

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Answer

£2,000

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Question

The average rate of return (ARR) is a method that helps to decide... 


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Answer

whether an investment is worthwhile or not. 

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Question

The higher the value of the average rate of return, the greater the return on the investment. 

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Answer

True

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Question

If the forecast of average yearly profit or cost of investment is wrong, the average rate of return will be...


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Answer

wrong as well. 

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Question

A company is considering buying new machinery that would cost £100,000 and is expected to increase profits by £50,000 a year. What is the ARR?


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Answer

50%

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Question

A company considering the purchase of new equipment that would cost £200,000 and is expected to give profits of £30,000 within 3 years. What is the ARR?


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Answer

5%

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Question

The average rate of return compares the average yearly return (profit) from an investment while considering its...


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Answer

cost. 

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Question

the ARR of 60% is better than the ARR of 40%.

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Answer

True

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60%

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