How To Calculate Return On Investment (ROI)?

Return on Investment (ROI) is a ratio used to determine the amount of profit generated by a specific investment over a given time period. It is the ratio of net return to investment costs. It measures the performance and effectiveness of an investment, thereby indicating the profitability in relation to the cost of the investment.



What Is Return On Investment (ROI)?


Every investment has a specific goal. The majority of investors expect to receive additional value for their investments. By examining the potential returns, they can evaluate the efficacy of an investment. This will assist them in determining whether or not to invest in a particular avenue. Additionally, investors can examine the ROI history to determine the performance trend of the scheme. If the scheme delivers returns in excess of those promised, its performance is deemed outstanding. 


An ROI relates to the money invested in a company and the income received based on the company’s net income. If the return on investment is positive, it is beneficial. Similarly, investors should steer clear of negative ROIs, which can result in net losses.


ROI attempts to directly measure the return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost. ROI is a popular metric due to its adaptability and ease of calculation. It is a comparative metric that can help investors comprehend the investment return factor and optimize their financial portfolios accordingly.


How Do You Calculate And Interpret ROI?


The ROI formula is easy to understand. ROI measures the percentage change in investment value. There are different methods of calculating ROI. A few of them are 


  • Net income formula


Net income formula ROI is calculated as (Net Return on Investment/Cost of Investment) * 100.


  • Capital Gains formula


ROI is calculated as [(Final Value of Investment - Initial Value of Investment) / Investment Cost]*100.


  • Annualized Gain formula


Annualized ROI = [(1+ROI)^1/n – 1] *100%, where n is the number of time periods for the investment held(in years).


Return on investment is a metric for measuring an investment’s profitability. It measures the profit made on an investment in excess of the investment’s cost. It is a straightforward ratio of net earnings to investment costs. ROI is expressed as a percentage, so it is simple to compare it to the profitability of other investments.


Using any of the aforementioned three approaches, ROI can be calculated. Let’s take the example of  Mr. Abhishek, who has invested INR 60,000 in a mutual fund plan. At the time of redemption three years later, the value of the investment was INR 96,000. Anurag is able to calculate the ROI utilizing the aforementioned methods.


  • Net Income Approach


Return On Investment = (Net Return on Investment/Cost of Investment) *100%

Net return on the investment: 96,000 – 60000 = Rs 36,000

The cost of the investment: Rs 60,000

Return on Investment (ROI): (36000/60000)*100= 60%


  • Capital Gain Approach


Return On Investment = ((Final Value of Investment - Initial value of investment)/ Cost of investment)*100%

The final value of the investment: Rs 96,000

The cost of the investment: Rs 60000

Return on investment: ((96000-60000/60000)*100 = 60%


  • Annualized Return Approach


Using the following calculation, the annualized returns may be determined.

Return per annum = [(1+ROI)^1/n - 1]*100% , 

where n = the number of years the investment has been held.


Therefore, Mr. Abhishek’s annualized return is [(1+60 percent)^1/3 – 1]*100 percent = 16.96 percent. 16.96 percent represents the annualized rate of return. This indicates that the investor received an average annual return of 16.96% during a three-year period. Consequently, the investment increased from INR 60,000 to INR 96,000.


How To Interpret ROI Calculations?


Return on investment (ROI) has gained a lot of traction in capital purchases, investments, corporate decisions, and venture capital investments. ROI is a metric used to compare net returns to total investment costs when making business decisions.


ROI calculates the increase in investment value as a percentage of the initial investment for investment purposes. The ROI is expressed as a percentage. The investment return can therefore be either positive or negative.


Positive ROI indicates that overall benefits outweigh the initial investment. The total returns, on the other hand, are lower than the initial investment when the ROI is negative. A positive ROI suggests the portfolio is generating a profit, whereas a negative ROI means it is generating losses.


ROI And Types Of Assets


Return on investment (ROI) is a performance metric that is used to assess the efficiency or profitability of an investment or to compare the efficiency of several investments. ROI attempts to directly measure the amount of return on an investment relative to the cost of the investment.


There are different methods of calculating ROIs for various reasons. Generally, the above-mentioned formulae are the most prevalent and are used to determine a business’s profitability. It considers the net income of the business unit, which remains after subtracting taxes and other expenses, as well as the business unit’s total assets.


There are certain types of assets that are distinct from typical assets. Their inclusion in return on investment calculations is frequently variable. Here are a few examples of such assets and how they impact ROI:


  • Intangible assets of the business: Intangible assets are those that cannot be seen but whose presence can be felt. These include the likes of goodwill, trademarks, patents, and copyright. They have no book value and are not listed on the company’s balance sheet. However, the cost incurred in their upkeep or acquisition is reflected as a cost on the income statement, so impacting net income. Depending on their accounting techniques, businesses may or may not include them in their overall assets.


  • Non-operating assets: They are not vital to an organization’s ongoing activities, although they may nevertheless create income or give a return on investment (ROI). These assets, such as unallocated cash and marketable securities, loans receivable, idle equipment and vacant property, etc., are included alongside operating assets on a company’s balance sheet, and they may or may not be separated. Since they affect the balance sheet, these assets are frequently factored into the ROI calculation.


  • Depreciation: It is the expense incurred as a result of the deterioration and aging of tangible assets and is a direct expenditure. Depreciable assets will have a direct impact on the company’s return on investment and other profitability ratios. As depreciation is a direct expense, it will diminish the company’s net profit. The return on total assets will decrease as net profit decreases. Therefore, there is an inverse relationship between depreciation and the rate of return on total assets.


In addition to including these assets in the ROI calculation, total costs and total results must also be considered. In addition, annualized ROIs must be considered when comparing the ROIs of various investments made by different organizations.


The Benefits Of Return On Investment


ROI is a crucial factor when making investment decisions. It aids in comparing investments with high and low returns. This, in turn, enables investors, financial planners, advisors, and managers to maximize their investment returns by investing in higher-return investments. Some of the benefits of ROI are as follows:


  • User-Friendly Formula: ROI calculations are straightforward and simple. The only information an investor needs to know is the investment’s cost and net profits. It does not require the assistance of a financial professional to determine its ROI value.


  • Globally accepted: The ROI formula is widely used and understood worldwide. ROI can be easily calculated and it is also simple to interpret.


  • Versatile: ROI is a versatile and effective metric for making investment decisions. It has many applications, including calculating the profitability of a scheme and comparative analysis.


  • Financial Management: ROI contributes to the financial management of an investor’s portfolio by helping with investment decisions. It aids in analyzing the optimal plan that can generate the highest return on investment costs. Using this formula, it is possible to compare various investment plans.


The Limitations Of Return On Investment


  • Ignores the time value of money: Various schemes have distinct terms and maturities. Therefore, ROI on a 1-year FD cannot be compared to ROI on a 3-year ELSS. Here, the rate of return is a performance metric.


  • Inflation: ROI does not account for inflation and does not include additional costs such as processing fees, stamp duties, etc.




ROI is the simplest and most effective method for calculating the returns on any investment or comparing investments. Investors use it frequently to evaluate and rank investment decisions. Return on investment is not always equivalent to profits. It provides an estimate of how much profit will be generated from the amount invested. Despite its limitations, return on investment (ROI) remains an essential metric for determining the return on an investment and its potential profitability.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  • What are some ways to improve the ROI?

    • Rebalance your portfolio to increase your return on investment: Rebalancing the portfolio is the first step toward enhancing the return on investment. Even if you are investing for the long term, it is never a good idea to simply make investments and ignore them. When you rebalance your portfolio, you reduce your risks and realign it with your objectives.
    • Diversify the portfolio: During the bull and bear market cycles, a concentrated portfolio might produce high returns or substantial losses. Nonetheless, a diversified portfolio can help to mitigate portfolio risk. Losses from one investment are offset by gains from others. This ensures that the portfolio’s return approaches the expected return.
    • Reducing investment expenses: Investors must invest with a specific objective in mind. Periodically, they will need to monitor their portfolio and rebalance it only if the investment objective is not met. Investing for very short durations, panicking over minor market fluctuations, and frequently rebalancing the portfolio will only increase investment costs. To increase portfolio returns, investors must reduce portfolio expenses.
    • Avoid retaining loss-causing advice: Many investors buy stocks and mutual funds based on the recommendations of friends, television personalities, and other investors. This practice can prove fatal in the long-term investment journey It is essential to have control over your investments by understanding the types of investments you make. If you make investments based solely on what others do, you might suffer losses. This significantly affects our return on investment. Without knowledge of a company’s fundamentals, it is difficult to determine if a falling stock will regain strength or not. This could lead to significant losses.


  • What is the difference between Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Investment (ROI)?


Return on investment (ROI) and return on equity (ROE) are both indicators of performance and profitability. It is preferable to have a higher return on investment (ROI) and a return on equity (ROE). Investment strategies are determined by investors using return on equity (ROE) and return on investment (ROI) ratios. Although both criteria are used to evaluate the effectiveness of an investment, the results may not always be in the same direction.


Return on equity represents a company’s net income as a proportion of its shareholders’ equity (ROE). It establishes a company’s profitability by revealing the amount of net profit it can generate with shareholder funds. 


Return on Equity = Net Income/Shareholder's Equity


ROI is a metric for evaluating the returns of an investment or comparing the relative efficiency of various investments. The return on investment (ROI) is determined by subtracting the investment’s cost from its return. The term “return on investment” refers to the profit-to-investment ratio for a given financial year (ROI). In other words, ROI calculates the overall benefit (return) of an investment by adding the investment’s gain or loss to the investment’s cost. 


Return On Investment  = Net Income / Investment Cost


Despite their significance, these terms cannot be interchanged because they serve distinct functions. ROI attempts to quantify the profit generated by a business investment or decision. The purpose of calculating ROI is to determine the profitability of an investment so that you can determine how effective your investments are at generating income for your business. ROE measures the return on shareholders’ investment. The purpose of calculating ROE is to assess a company’s profitability relative to its shareholders’ equity.


  • Why is a good ROI important?


ROI is essential because it enables investors to comprehend the advantages of their current or prospective investments. Return on investment ratios can also be used by businesses and investors to gain a better understanding of the market for a particular industry and how past investments have performed. 


What constitutes a “good” ROI will vary depending on the investor’s risk tolerance and the amount of time it takes for an investment to generate a return, among other things.


Interested in how we think about the markets?


Read more: Zen And The Art Of Investing

Watch/hear on YouTube:



Start investing through a platform that brings goal planning and investing to your fingertips. Visit to discover Direct Plans and Fixed Deposits and start investing today.

#MutualFundSahiHai #KuveraSabseSahiHai!

Leave a Comment