## Definition

Discounted Payback Period is a financial term used to determine the length of time it takes to break even on an investment, taking into account the present value of future cash flows. It is a capital budgeting procedure that includes the time value of money. In other words, it is the period it takes for the present value of expected cash returns to cover the initial investment cost.

### Phonetic

**The phonetics of “Discounted Payback Periods” would be: ˈdɪskaʊntɪd ˈpeɪbæk ˈpɪəriədz**

## Key Takeaways

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**Measure of Break-Even Time:**Discounted Payback Period (DPP) serves as a measure of how long it takes for an investment to generate enough cash flows to recover the initial outlay when considering the time value of money. This is crucial in assessing the financial risk and liquidity of a business project or venture.**Time Value of Money Consideration:**Unlike the simple payback period, DPP takes into account the time value of money, meaning it discounts future cash flows. This results in a more accurate assessment of the investment as money loses value over time due to factors like inflation or alternative uses.**Shortcomings:**Despite being a useful tool, DPP has its shortcomings. It does not consider cash flows received after the payback period, making it potentially biased towards projects with quicker returns. Therefore, it should be used in conjunction with other financial analysis methods to make a comprehensive decision.

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## Importance

The Discounted Payback Period is an important business/finance term as it helps in evaluating the viability and profitability of an investment or project. This term refers to the time it takes for an investment to generate a payback, or net present value (NPV), equal to the original investment cost, with the cash flows being discounted at the project’s cost of capital. It takes into account the time value of money, ensuring that money received in the future is worth less than it is in the present due to its potential earning capacity. Therefore, with the application of Discounted Payback Period, businesses can make more informed decisions on their investments and projects based on their potential return and associated risk, thus supporting better financial management and strategic planning.

## Explanation

The Discounted Payback Period is a capital budgeting technique employed to determine the profitability of an investment or project. It is primarily used to calculate the period it will take for an investment to generate a cash inflow that can cover and justify the initial outlay, once the time value of money has been considered. It differs from the traditional payback period by taking into account the time value of money, or the concept that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future, due to its potential earning capacity.The essence of using the Discounted Payback Period as a tool is to ensure that investments and projects undertaken by an entity are not only able to recoup their initial outlay, but also set to generate returns that are capable of compensating the investor for the time value of money. It serves as the preferred method for projects with large initial investments which face a significant risk over a longer time span. In the context of risk management, it is also often used to evaluate the risk associated with specific investments, as it can demonstrate how long it will take for an investment to reach a break-even point.

## Examples

1. Green Energy Investment: A renewable energy firm plans to construct a solar power plant. The expected cost of the project is $5 million and the expected annual cash inflow from selling the electricity generated by the plant is estimated at $1 million. The project’s Discounted Payback Period will be the time it takes for the present value of the cash inflows to equal or exceed the initial cost of the project. In this case, using a discount rate of 10%, the company calculates the Discounted Payback Period to determine when they could recoup their initial investment.2. Real Estate Investment: A real estate developer invests in a commercial property expecting to generate a steady stream of rental income. The developer would use the Discounted Payback Period to determine how many years it will take to recover the initial investment in the property, based on projected rental income, taking into account the time value of money. This could help the developer make decisions about whether to proceed with the investment.3. Tech Startup Investment: Assume a venture capitalist invests $2 million in a tech startup. The founder projects that the startup will return $500,000 per year for the next five years. The Discounted Payback Period would be used to calculate the time it would take for the investor to recoup the initial investment, factoring in a chosen discount rate to account for the time value of money. This allows the investor to understand their risk and potential timeline for seeing a return on investment.

## Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

## What is a Discounted Payback Period?

Discounted Payback Period is a capital budgeting procedure used to determine the profitability of a project. It is the time period it takes an investment or project to break even or recover its initial investment amount, considering the time value of money.

## How is the Discounted Payback Period calculated?

It is calculated by adding up the discounted net cash flows until they are equal to or surpass the initial investment.

## Why is the Discounted Payback Period important in business?

It helps businesses to identify the time period required for an investment or project to reach profitability, considering the present value of future cash flows. This can help in strategic decision-making.

## What is the difference between Payback Period and Discounted Payback Period?

The key difference between the two lies in considering the time value of money. The Payback Period doesn’t take into account the time value of money, whereas the Discounted Payback Period does, which makes it a more accurate measure of investment profitability.

## Can the Discounted Payback Period be longer than the Payback Period?

Yes, the Discounted Payback Period can often be longer than the Payback Period because it discounts the future cash inflows to the present value, resulting in a lower value thus longer time to cover the initial investment.

## Can a project be rejected based on its Discounted Payback Period?

Yes, a company may reject a project if its Discounted Payback Period is longer than a predetermined or acceptable time period. It indicates that the project may not yield sufficient return on investment in a desirable timeframe.

## How does Discounted Payback Period help in risk assessment?

The Discounted Payback Period determines the time it takes to recoup the initial investment in present value terms. The shorter the discounted payback period, the less risky the investment is considered to be, as it recovers its cost soon.

## Related Finance Terms

**Net Present Value (NPV):**This is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows over a period of time.**Internal Rate of Return (IRR):**This is the discount rate that makes the net present value (NPV) of all cash flows equal to zero under the discounted cash flow approach.**Discount Rate:**This is the interest rate used in discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis to determine the present value of future cash flows.**Cash Flow:**This is the total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business, especially as affecting liquidity.**Investment Appraisal:**This is a collection of techniques used to identify the attractiveness of an investment.