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Time Value of Money (TVM)


The Time Value of Money (TVM) is a financial concept that posits that money available today is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that, provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. Essentially, it’s the idea that money you have now is worth more than the identical sum in the future due to its potential to grow.


The phonetic pronunciation of ‘Time Value of Money (TVM)’ is: – Time: taɪm- Value: ˈvæl.juː- Of: ʌv or əv- Money: ˈmʌn.i- TVM: tiː viː ɛm

Key Takeaways

  1. Principle of Future Value: The Time Value of Money (TVM) principle suggests that money available today is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received.
  2. Principle of Present Value: Present value in TVM refers to the current worth of a future sum of money or stream of cash flows given a specified rate of return. It aids in comparing the two sums of money in their present position. Calculating the present value allows you to determine how much that future amount is worth in today’s dollars.
  3. Impact of Interest Rates: The interest rate plays a vital role in TVM. It can significantly increase or decrease the value of money over time. Compound interest, in particular, can be a powerful force in growing investments. Conversely, high-interest rates can lead to substantial amounts of debt when borrowing money.


The Time Value of Money (TVM) is an essential concept in business and finance because it captures the principle that money available today is worth more than the same amount of money in the future, due to its earning potential. This principle encourages investing, saving, and financial planning, as one can earn interest, dividends or potential capital gains over time. It’s fundamental to the theory of interest rates and investment appraisal, helping businesses and individuals make decisions about loans, annuities, perpetuities, and other transactions involving cash flows over time. Understanding TVM can also help individuals optimize their spending and savings strategies considering inflation, interest rates and investment returns. Hence, TVM is a crucial concept in assessing the financial feasibility and the timing of revenues, costs, and cash flow.


The purpose of the Time Value of Money (TVM) concept is to demonstrate the idea that money available at the present time has a different potential worth than the same amount in the future, due to its earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that, provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. It’s a concept that allows investors, financial analysts and economists to make decisions about where and when to invest their money to yield the maximum benefit.In terms of application, TVM is widely used in finance to calculate retirement plans, mortgage repayments, loans, savings accounts, and annuities, among others. Banks also use this principle to reward depositors for saving money over a longer period of time by offering compound interest. On the other hand, they also use this same principle to charge interest on loans and mortgages, effectively earning money over time. Therefore, understanding the time value of money can help both businesses and individuals save money, plan financial futures effectively, and compare investment alternatives wisely.


1. Saving for Retirement: In this scenario, an individual starts to save a certain amount every month from their salary at a young age towards their retirement fund. Due to the time value of money principle, this amount (however small), when invested consistently over several decades, will grow into a substantial amount due to the compound interest earned over time.2. Paying Off a Mortgage: When you take out a mortgage to buy a house, you’re not just paying back the principal amount that you borrowed. The bank also applies an interest rate to your loan, and over the years of making monthly payments, you will end up paying back significantly more than you initially borrowed. This is due to TVM principle where bank makes money over the loan tenure.3. Business Investment: Suppose a business invests in a piece of manufacturing equipment. The cost of the equipment is not merely its purchase price, but also the future stream of cash outflows related to its operation and maintenance. Meanwhile, the equipment will begin to generate cash inflows through increased production and sales. Under the principle of TVM, future cash outflows and inflows are discounted back to their present value to account for the opportunity cost of capital tied up in the investment, giving the business a more accurate picture of the investment’s net present value.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Time Value of Money (TVM)?

The Time Value of Money (TVM) is a financial concept that describes the idea that money available today is worth more than the same amount in the future, due to its earning capacity.

Why is TVM important in finance?

TVM is an important factor in finance because it is essential in financial planning, in investment decisions, and in determining the future value of money. It allows for calculation of interest and can help in inflation-adjusted comparisons.

How does inflation relate to TVM?

Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money over time. Therefore, the same amount of money today will not have the same buying power in the future. This decreased purchasing power is taken into account in TVM calculations.

What is the relationship between interest rates and TVM?

Interest rates are a key component of TVM. The higher the interest rate, the more value money has over time because of the potential to earn interest on investments or savings.

What factors are considered in the Time Value of Money?

Factors that are considered in the Time Value of Money include interest rates, inflation rates, risk and potential return on investment.

What is a present value and future value in TVM?

Present Value (PV) is the current worth of a sum of money, while Future Value (FV) is the value of the same sum of money at a specific point in the future, taking inflation and returns into consideration.

How does the Time Value of Money help in investment decision making?

TVM allows individuals and businesses to calculate the potential future value of an investment and compare it with the current investment cost. This helps to make informed investment decisions based on potential returns.

Can TVM be negative?

Theoretically, the value of money cannot be negative. However, if the inflation rate is higher than the nominal interest rate, the real value of money over time can decrease.

How is compounded interest related to TVM?

Compounded interest is a key concept in TVM. It is the process of earning interest on the initial principal and also on the interest which has been accumulated over the periods. Compounded interest can significantly increase the future value of money.

: What is discounted cash flow in relation to TVM?

: Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) is a valuation method that applies the principles of TVM. It estimates the value of an investment based on its expected future cash flows, which are discounted to the present value.

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