The time value of money (TVM) is the concept that money available at the present time is worth more than the identical sum 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. TVM is also sometimes referred to as present discounted value.
The time value of money draws from the idea that rational investors prefer to receive money today rather than the same amount of money in the future because of money’s potential to grow in value over a given period of time. For example, money deposited into a savings account earns a certain interest rate and is therefore said to be compounding in value.
Basic Time Value of Money Formula
Depending on the exact situation in question, the TVM formula may change slightly. For example, in the case of annuity or perpetuity payments, the generalized formula has additional or less factors. But in general, the most fundamental TVM formula takes into account the following variables
FV = Future value of money
PV = Present value of money
i = interest rate
n = number of compounding periods per year
t = number of years
Based on these variables, the formula for TVM is:
FV = PV x [ 1 + (i / n) ] (n x t)
Time Value of Money Example
Assume a sum of $10,000 is invested for one year at 10% interest. The future value of that money is
FV = $10,000 x (1 + (10% / 1) ^ (1 x 1) = $11,000
The formula can also be rearranged to find the value of the future sum in present day dollars. For example, the value of $5,000 one year from today, compounded at 7% interest, is
PV = $5,000 / (1 + (7% / 1) ^ (1 x 1) = $4,673