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1 AN INVESTMENT: A PLUNGE INTO THE UNKNOWN (2 of 2)

1 AN INVESTMENT: A PLUNGE INTO THE UNKNOWN (2 of 2)

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APPLICATION 1

ENERGY PRICE UNCERTAINTY REDUCES INVESTMENT SPENDING
APPLYING THE CONCEPTS #1: How do fluctuations in energy prices affect investment decisions by firms?
One important way volatility of oil prices can hurt the economy is by creating uncertainty for firms making investment decisions.
Consider whether a firm should invest in an energy-saving technology for a new plant:



If energy prices remain high, it may be profitable to invest in energy-saving technology.



If prices fall, these investments would be unwise.



If future oil prices are uncertain, a firm may simply delay building the plant until the path of oil prices are clear.

When firms are faced with an increasingly uncertain future, they will delay their investment decisions until the uncertainty is resolved.

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12.2 EVALUATING THE FUTURE (1 of 3)

Understanding Present Value
PRESENT VALUE AND INTEREST RATES



Present value
The maximum amount a person is willing to pay today to receive a payment in the future.

PRINCIPLE OF OPPORTUNITY COST
The opportunity cost of something is what you sacrifice to get it.

1.

The present value—the value today—of a given payment in the future is the maximum amount a person is willing to pay today for that payment.

2.

As the interest rate increases, the opportunity cost of your funds also increases, so the present value of a given payment in the future falls. In other words, you need less
money today to get to your future “money goal.”

3.

As the interest rate decreases, the opportunity cost of your funds also decreases, so the present value of a given payment in the future rises. In other words, you need
more money today to get to your money goal.

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APPLICATION 2

THE VALUE OF AN ANNUITY
APPLYING THE CONCEPTS #2: How can understanding the concept of present value help us evaluate an annuity?



Suppose you and your employer both had set aside funds for the day you retire at age 65. Just before you retire, your employer offers you’re the following options: 1) You
can have the $500,000 that was set aside, or 2) the firm would take the $500,000 and purchase you an annuity contract---a financial instrument that would pay you a fixed
annual payment of $35,000 per year as long as you live.



The first step in making this decision would be to calculate the present value of the annuity payments and compare it to the $500,000. Of course,, you do not know for sure
how long you would live, so you would need some estimates of the probability of surviving at each age into the future. You would multiply that probability by the yearly
annuity payment to obtain an expected annuity payment for every future year. Finally, you could need to choose an interest rate and calculate the expected present value of
the annuity payments and compare it to the $500,000.



Hopefully, your firm offered you a well-price annuity. But the decision is still yours. The annuity would be a better deal for you if you were healthier than average and
expected to live longer than the average person. On the other hand, if you had poor health, it would not be a good idea.

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12.2 EVALUATING THE FUTURE (2 of 3)

Real and Nominal Interest Rates
REAL-NOMINAL PRINCIPLE
What matters to people is the real value of money or income—the purchasing power—not the face value of money.



Nominal interest rate
Interest rates quoted in the market.



Real interest rate
The nominal interest rate minus the interest rate






Expected real interest rate
The nominal interest rate minus the expected inflation rate.

real rate = nominal rate – inflation rate

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12.2 EVALUATING THE FUTURE (3 of 3)



There are different types of interest investments.



Corporate bonds are considered more risky than federal
government bonds, so pay a higher interest rate.



Long term investments are more risky than short term
investments, so again pay a higher interest rate.

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12.3 UNDERSTANDING INVESTMENT DECISIONS (1 of 3)

As the real interest rate declines, investment spending in
the economy increases.



Neoclassical theory of investment
A theory of investment that says both real interest rates and
taxes are important determinants of investment.

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12.3 UNDERSTANDING INVESTMENT DECISIONS (2 of 3)
Investment and the Stock Market



Retained earnings
Corporate earnings that are not paid out as dividends to their owners.



Corporate bond
A bond sold by a corporation to the public in order to borrow money.



Q-theory of investment
The theory of investment that links investment spending to stock prices.

price of a stock = present value of expected future dividend payments

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12.3 UNDERSTANDING INVESTMENT DECISIONS (3 of 3)
Both the stock market and investment spending rose
sharply from 1997, peaking in mid-2000.

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12.4 HOW FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
FACILITATE INVESTMENT (1 of 4)



Liquid
Easily convertible into money on short notice.

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12.4 HOW FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
FACILITATE INVESTMENT (2 of 4)



Financial intermediaries
Organizations that receive funds from savers and channel
them to investors.

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12.4 HOW FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
FACILITATE INVESTMENT (3 of 4)







Securitization
The practice of purchasing loans, re-packaging them, and selling them to the financial markets.

Leverage
Using borrowed funds to purchase assets.

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