Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Cash-on-Cash Return


Cash-on-cash return is a financial metric used to evaluate the performance of an investment, specifically in real estate. It calculates the annual pre-tax cash flow generated by the investment, divided by the initial cash invested. This metric allows investors to determine the income generated by their investment relative to the amount of money they initially put in.


The phonetics of the keyword “Cash-on-Cash Return” can be represented as: /ˈkæʃ ɒn ˈkæʃ rɪˈtɜrn/This is based on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) system, and it breaks down as follows:- Cash: /ˈkæʃ/- on: /ɒn/- Cash: /ˈkæʃ/- Return: /rɪˈtɜrn/

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: Cash-on-Cash Return is a financial metric used to measure the cash yield on a real estate investment. It calculates the annual pre-tax cash flow received from an investment property, compared to the initial capital invested.
  2. Calculation: Cash-on-Cash Return is calculated by dividing the annual pre-tax cash flow by the initial investment amount, and then multiplying by 100 to express as a percentage. This provides investors with a simple way to understand the profitability of their investment on an annual basis.
  3. Use: Cash-on-Cash Return is commonly used by real estate investors to evaluate the performance and profitability of investment properties, as it only considers the cash flow generated by the property and not any potential appreciation or tax benefits. It is a useful metric to compare different investment properties, and can help identify investments with the highest potential cash yield.


Cash-on-Cash Return is an important financial metric in business and investing, as it measures the annual pre-tax cash flow relative to the initial cash investment made. This metric offers investors and business owners a clear understanding of the efficiency and profitability of an investment, enabling them to compare different investment opportunities effectively. Assessing the Cash-on-Cash Return allows them to make more informed decisions and prioritize investments that are likely to provide higher yield and faster recoup of their capital. This, in turn, helps optimize the allocation of financial resources in a portfolio, thereby increasing the chances of long-term success and financial stability.


Cash-on-Cash Return serves as an essential metric in the financial and business world, primarily for evaluating the performance of investments, particularly in real estate. Its primary purpose is to present investors with a clear measure of the investment property’s cash income derived from their initial capital investment. Investors use this financial tool to gain insight into the return on investment (ROI) based on the property’s cash flow generation relative to the invested equity. By examining the Cash-on-Cash Return, investors can make better-informed investment choices and identify the assets’ potential to generate lucrative returns. Apart from aiding in the decision-making process, Cash-on-Cash Return ensures that investors fully comprehend the risks and opportunities associated with their investments, thus allowing them to optimize their investment strategies. By comparing the Cash-on-Cash Returns of various potential investments, investors can better allocate their capital resources and identify high-performing assets in their portfolios. It provides a more comprehensive evaluation of the investment’s performance by taking into account the actual cash inflows and outflows, as opposed to merely focusing on the rise in asset value. Consequently, with Cash-on-Cash Return as an invaluable metric, investors can effectively analyze and manage their investment portfolios to maximize gains and achieve long-term financial success.


Cash-on-cash return, also referred to as the equity dividend rate, is a metric used in real estate and investment transactions to calculate the return on investment based on the cash income generated by an investment relative to the cash investment made by the investor. Here are three real-world examples of cash-on-cash return from different types of businesses or investment scenarios: 1. Real Estate Investing: Suppose an investor purchases a rental property for $100,000, putting a 20% down payment ($20,000) and taking a mortgage loan for the rest. The annual rental income generated by the property is $6,000, and after subtracting the operating expenses, taxes, and mortgage payments, the investor’s net cash flow is $2,000 per year. In this case, the cash-on-cash return would be ($2,000 / $20,000) x 100 = 10%. 2. Franchise Business: An individual acquires a franchise for $200,000 and invests an additional $50,000 in renovations and other initial costs, totaling a $250,000 cash investment. Throughout the year, the franchise generates a net cash flow of $40,000. To calculate the cash-on-cash return, the formula would be ($40,000 / $250,000) x 100 = 16%. 3. Startup Investment: An angel investor provides a startup company with a $100,000 cash investment in exchange for equity. After one year, the startup generates a net cash flow of $15,000 (excluding reinvestments or growth initiatives) that is paid back to the investor. In this scenario, the cash-on-cash return is ($15,000 / $100,000) x 100 = 15%. It’s important to note that cash-on-cash return does not offer a complete assessment of an investment’s performance, as it does not consider factors such as appreciation, taxes, or changes in market conditions. Nevertheless, it offers a useful metric for gauging the short-term cash yield of an investment relative to the cash invested.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Cash-on-Cash Return?
Cash-on-Cash Return (CoC) is a financial metric that evaluates the performance of an investment, primarily in real estate, by measuring the cash income generated by the investment in relation to the initial cash invested. It is expressed as a percentage.
How is Cash-on-Cash Return calculated?
Cash-on-Cash Return is calculated using the following formula: CoC = (Annual Cash Flow / Initial Cash Investment) x 100
What is the importance of Cash-on-Cash Return in finance and business?
CoC serves as an important metric for investors, particularly in real estate, to assess the performance of an investment, compare different investment opportunities, and make informed decisions in regard to their cash flow and potential returns.
Does Cash-on-Cash Return include the appreciation or depreciation of an asset?
No, CoC strictly measures the cash income generated from an investment in relation to the initial cash invested, and does not take into account any asset appreciation or depreciation.
Can Cash-on-Cash Return be used for evaluating non-real estate investments?
While CoC is primarily used for evaluating real estate investments, it can also be applied to other investment types like stocks or bonds that generate income or dividends, as long as the calculation focuses on cash income in relation to the initial cash investment.
Is Cash-on-Cash Return the same as Return on Investment (ROI)?
No, although both metrics are used to evaluate the performance of an investment, Cash-on-Cash Return focuses solely on the cash income of an investment in relation to the initial cash invested, while Return on Investment takes into account the total return including asset appreciation or depreciation.
When is Cash-on-Cash Return considered favorable?
A favorable Cash-on-Cash Return is subjective and depends on the investor’s expectations and risk tolerance. Generally, a higher CoC percentage indicates better performance and a more attractive investment opportunity, but it is crucial to consider other factors such as market conditions, asset quality, and risk factors before making an investment decision.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More