Investment Appraisal

Investment Appraisal:

  • Represents a series of techniques used by businesses to evaluate the potential profitability or viability of an investment.
  • Helps decision makers weigh up the potential returns against the risk and cost of an investment.

Types of Investment Appraisal:

  • Payback Period: Method evaluates how long it takes to recoup the original investment.
  • Average Rate of Return (ARR): Determines the average annual profit considered as a percentage of the initial cost.
  • Net Present Value (NPV): Calculates the value of future returns, accounting for inflation and the cost of capital.

Pros and Cons of Each Metric:

  • Payback Period: Easiest to calculate and understand. However, it does not consider cash flow after the payback period, nor does it account for the time value of money.
  • Average Rate of Return: Provides a percentage return, giving an intuitive measure of profitability. However, this metric doesn’t account for the timing of cash flow, nor the time value of money.
  • Net Present Value: More accurate measure of an investment’s potential profitability as it considers the time value of money and the entire cash flow of a project. However, it requires more complex calculations, including estimating future cash flow and a suitable discount rate.

Investment Appraisal in Context:

  • It is important to remember that the most suitable method will depend on the nature of the business, the size and scale of the investment, and the level of risk toleration.
  • Other factors that should be considered include market conditions and potential external shocks, such as changes in government policy, currency fluctuations, or market competition.


  • While investment appraisal provides a valuable tool for decision-making, it’s vital to keep in mind that all types of investment entail a degree of risk.
  • Therefore, these techniques should be used as part of a wider business analysis, not as the sole determinant in decision-making.