Net present value is the present value of the cash inflows minus the present value of the cash outflows. For example, let's assume that an investment of $5,000 today will result in one cash receipt of $10,000 at the end of 5 years. If the investor requires a 10% annual return compounded annually, the net present value of the investment is $1,210. This is the result of the present value of the cash inflow $6,210 (from above) minus the present value of the $5,000 cash outflow. (Since the $5,000 cash outflow occurred at the present time, its present value is $5,000.)
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