Financial Management

What is the discounted cash flow technique?

The discounted cash flow technique is a financial forecasting method that helps businesses determine how much money they will have leftover after investing in a project.

The DCF method is based on the principle that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future because a dollar today can be invested and earn interest.

The technique takes into account the future cash inflows and outflows related to the project and calculates the present value of those future cash flows. This information can help businesses make more informed decisions about whether to invest in a project or not.

Discounted Cash Flow

The discounted cash flow technique is an approach to project evaluation based on the time value of money. The time value of money is a concept that states that money has a real value today and will be worth more in the future. To calculate the present value of a future cash flow, it is necessary to determine the amount of money required to be invested today and at each point in the future in order to recoup the original investment. This amount is called the “discount rate”.

How to Calculate DCF?

To calculate the DCF of an investment, you need to:

  1. Estimate the future cash flows of the investment.
  2. Choose a discount rate. The discount rate is the rate of return that you expect to earn on your investment.
  3. Discount the future cash flows to their present value. This is done by dividing each future cash flow by (1 + discount rate)^ number of years in the future.
  4. Sum the discounted cash flows to get the present value of the investment.


In a nutshell, discounted cash flow analysis is the process of analysing the attractiveness of an investment opportunity in the future. The DCF method is a widely used valuation method in a variety of industries, including investment banking, private equity, and real estate. It is a powerful tool for investors to make informed investment decisions.

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