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Inflation-Adjusted Return


An inflation-adjusted return is the measure of the rate of return on an investment after accounting for inflation. It reflects the real purchasing power that the investment provides after removing the eroding effects of inflation. This is important as it helps investors understand if they are gaining or losing wealth in real terms.


The phonetics pronunciation for this keyword would be something like this: In – flay – shun – Ad – just – ed – Re – turn

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Inflation-Adjusted Return, also known as the real rate of return, is the return gained on an investment that factors in the rate of inflation. This gives investors a clearer picture of their true earning potential and spending power over time.</li> <li>Inflation-Adjusted Return is crucial in investment planning as it considers the real growth of the investment, adjusting for the eroding effect of inflation. Without using the Inflation-Adjusted Return, investors might overestimate their returns and underestimate their purchasing power in the future.</li> <li>Calculating Inflation-Adjusted Return involves subtracting the rate of inflation from the nominal return of an investment. This figure provides a more accurate perspective of an investment’s profitability by accounting for the impact of economic conditions.</li></ol>


Inflation-Adjusted Return is an important business and finance term as it provides a more accurate gauge on the actual growth or profitability of an investment, taking into consideration the effect of inflation. Standard return rates may not realistically reflect the true earning power of an investment as they do not account for the inflation rate. Inflation diminishes the purchasing power of money over time; hence a dollar today is worth more than it will be worth next year. Therefore, by using the inflation-adjusted return, investors can estimate the real value and future purchasing power of their investments, helping them devise a more effective and profitable investment strategy.


The purpose of an Inflation-Adjusted Return is to measure the real rate of return on an investment, after considering the impact of inflation. In the field of finance and business, it serves as an essential tool in gaftping a complete view of an investment’s performance. The reason behind this is that nominal return, or the raw return on an investment, might not accurately depict the actual gains, considering the lowering of buying power due to inflation in the economy. Factoring in inflation gives us a real picture of how much our investment has truly appreciated, i.e., not just numerically, but in terms of actual purchasing power.The Inflation-Adjusted Return is crucial for businesses and investors for financial forecasting and strategic planning. Since inflation inherently erodes the value of money over time, knowing the inflation-adjusted return is vital to ensure that investments are generating sufficient returns to at least maintain, if not increase, one’s purchasing power over the period of the investment. Therefore, the Inflation-Adjusted Return is an essential metric for investors, analysts, and businesses, and is heavily used for making decisions around capital budgeting, portfolio management, and investment analysis, among other areas.


1. Investment in Stock Market: An investor buys a stock for $1000 in 2020. After a year, in 2021, its value rises to $1070. The nominal return is 7%. However, if inflation over that year was 2%, the real or inflation-adjusted return would be approximately 5%. 2. Savings Account: Consider a savings account that earns an annual interest rate of 4%. If the inflation rate is 2% over the same period, the inflation-adjusted return (real return) on the savings would be approximately 2%.3. Real Estate Investment: Suppose someone bought a house for $200,000 in 2010, and it’s worth $250,000 in 2020, implying a 25% gross return over 10 years, or an average of 2.5% return per year. If inflation averaged 2% per year over the same period, the inflation-adjusted return per year would be about 0.5%.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Inflation-Adjusted Return?

Inflation-Adjusted Return, also known as the real return, is the financial return that accounts for the impact of inflation. It adjusts the returns gained on an investment by the rate of inflation to show the real earning power of that investment.

How is Inflation-Adjusted Return calculated?

Inflation-Adjusted Return is calculated by subtracting the inflation rate from the raw return of an investment. This will give the real return that reflects the purchasing power the investment has actually gained during a specific period.

Why is Inflation-Adjusted Return important?

Inflation-Adjusted Return is important because it shows the real value of an investment. Various investments can generate returns, but if the rate of inflation is higher than the return rate, the purchasing power of that investment actually decreases.

Does Inflation-Adjusted Return affect the overall return on investment?

Yes, Inflation-Adjusted Return directly affects the overall return on investment because it takes into account the rate of inflation, which can decrease the value of the return if it’s higher than the investment’s return rate.

What is an example of how Inflation-Adjusted Return works?

If you have an investment that returns 5% in a year, and the inflation rate for that same period is 2%, the Inflation-Adjusted Return would be roughly 3% (5% return – 2% inflation = 3% Inflation-Adjusted Return).

Should I always consider Inflation-Adjusted Return when making investment decisions?

Yes, it’s always essential to consider Inflation-Adjusted Return when making investment decisions. By not considering inflation, you may overestimate the potential returns and underestimate the risks.

Can Inflation-Adjusted Return go into negative?

Yes, if the inflation rate is higher than the return rate on your investment, then the Inflation-Adjusted Return can indeed become negative, signifying that the value of your investment is decreasing.

Related Finance Terms

  • Real Rate of Return: The annual percentage return realized on an investment, which is adjusted for changes in prices due to inflation or other external effects.
  • Purchasing Power: The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy.
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI): An index measuring the average price of consumer goods and services purchased by households. It is often used to identify periods of inflation or deflation.
  • Nominal Return: The rate of return on an investment without adjustment for inflation. This is in contrast to the real rate of return, which accounts for changes in the economy’s overall price level.
  • Deflation: A decrease in the general price level of goods and services, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit. Deflation can enhance the real value of cash and cash-like securities.

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