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7.1 Now versus Later Concepts

This section discussed the underlying concepts of the time value of money (TVM). Because it is possible to earn interest income on cash that you decide to deposit in an investment or an interest-bearing account, money that you have now or receive sooner will be more valuable to you than the same amount of money received later.

7.2 Time Value of Money (TVM) Basics

Future value refers to the value that a current amount will eventually grow into at a given interest rate over a specific period of time. The single-period scenario is one way in which future amounts are calculated. Compounding, which is interest earned on interest, also affects the future value of money.

7.3 Methods for Solving Time Value of Money Problems

Calculations can be used to determine future and present dollar amounts, discount and growth rates, and periods of time required for specific growth. Time value of money problems can be solved using mathematical equations, calculators with financial functions, and spreadsheets. A useful tool for conceptualizing present value and future value problems is a timeline. A timeline is a visual, linear representation of the timing of periods and cash flows over a set amount of time.

7.4 Applications of TVM in Finance

The idea of the time value of money is often considered to be the cornerstone concept of the study of finance. TVM can help investors and savers understand the value of money today relative to its earning potential in the future. TVM is critical to understanding the effect that inflation has on money and why saving your money early can help increase the value of your savings dollars by giving them time to grow and outpace the effects of inflation. Of course, it is important to remember that there will always be possible options that are sacrificed with every option you decide on and every choice you make.

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