Investment Concepts – Sources and Responsibilities

The bottom line of every business is controlled by finance. The strength of finance includes control of the future of all the employees of a certain company. There are diverse aspects of investment controlled by finance. A company’s cash flow management is based on its investment policies. A proper financial investment helps a company in maintaining a perfect balance in the cash flow such that there is no sudden deficit that could lead to hazardous results. Financial investment in a planed manner has a role to control the investment, insurance and risk management issues of a company. These together contribute towards economic success.

Risk, Rate and Diversification 
Before one goes through the deep features that are included in financial investment, it is required to understand the concept of risk. There are basically two different meanings that are given to risk. It could either be considered as loss of a certain portion of the capital investment or not enough profit as compared to the assets at stake. It is impossible to eliminate risk entirely. It can be reduced by diversifying the business. The intelligence lies in managing the risks such that if taken in the short term, it produces a long-run benefit. One should manage risks such that it lies well-within the context of the aimed goals. (The Daily Angle, 2009)

The next important part of investment is the rate of return. It is often believed that the more a person takes risks; the higher would be the rate of return. Whenever there is greater amount of security that comes from lower amount of risks, it becomes more suitable for the risk avert investors. This is termed as risk/rate trade off.

The third most important part of investment in finance is in terms of diversification. It is a reality that if a company deals in just one sort of business, there is a higher probability of failure. If the same company has many forms of business, then one form can certainly counteract the other. This is the benefit of diversity. Diversification in business can be adopted in the following ways:

• Across asset classes 
• Across markets and regions 
• Across investment management styles

Factors of Successful Investment

• One would have to decide the appropriate time as to when to sell a fixed-interest investment. If a person sells the same before the time of maturity, there are chances for the rate of interest to fall within the period of holding the investment. If this happens, the seller could enjoy a profit on the original investment. 
• At the same times, if the interest rate rises during the time of investment, then there are chances that the seller would receive a lower amount as compared to the amount he could have received at maturity. This would therefore result into a loss. 
• Another important factor that the investor must keep in mind is that the way a form of maturity or bond performs in the market would be different for different bond or maturity based on the economic conditions of the market. There could be arise but at the same time a fall too. (Vong, 2006)

Sources of Finance

Internal Sources

Personal Savings: In this form of financial sourcing, a businessman invests money in his own business. A substantial amount is used for running one’s own business.

Retained profits: In this form of sourcing, a businessman doesn’t use his money but saves it. These profits are termed as kept by the accountants and not spent.

Working Capital: The daily expenses that are accounted in the firm are termed as the working capital. This includes stationery, rent, wages etc. The working capital can also be defined as the difference between the assets and the current liabilities of a company.

Sale of Assets: This form of financial sourcing is required when the business is in desperate need of cash. At this point of time, the only alternative left for the company is to sale some of its fixed assets as they do not provide any revenue and use it in the development of the business. (Radcliffe, 2005)

External Sources

Ownership Capital:

Ownership refers to those businessmen who are shareholders. This occurs in a limited liability company as the partners and the owners of businesses are not holders of shares. There are two types of shares:

Ordinary Shares: These are those shares that are issued to the owners of a company. These shares can be entitled to dividends once a fixed amount of profit has been made or after a certain date. The ordinary shareholders can put funds into the companies through their respective retained profits. This might not bring in large amount of funds but it is preferable as a low-cost source of finance. The ordinary shareholders can also put their funds by paying for a new issue of shares. This is efficient when a company is in the growing stage.

Preference Shares: These are those shares which have a fixed percentage of dividends even before the ordinary shareholders receive any amount of dividends. It can be advantageous as these dividends are not required to be paid in those years when the profit has decreased substantially. There are no voting rights associated with these shares so there is total control of the shareholders. It does not put any restriction in the borrowing power of the company. (Brigham, 2004)

Non-Ownership Capital:

Debentures: These are the raised capital of a company in the long-term for which interest is paid under a written acknowledgement. They can be advantageous when the interest rates are volatile in nature. The coupon rate of debentures can be changed according to the fluctuation in the market rates.

Bank-Lending: These are the most important forms of financial sourcing. These are generally for a shorter period of time but at times they can also be taken on a medium-term basis. In case of short-term lending, the companies are required to keep an overdraft which is given by the bank and the interest is charged accordingly on the given amount. This is generally done for a period of three years or less. The medium-term lending is done on a three to ten year basis. This sort of lending is done for the larger companies according to a set margin depending on the riskiness and credit-standing of the borrower.

Leasing: In this form of financial sourcing, there is an owner of an asset who allows another person to use it. Here, the user is responsible for the equipments granted. (Metrick, 2006)

Terms of Investment in Finance

Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost gives the best possible alternative that could be considered in making the investment decisions of a company. The basic principle of economics is to consider the resources as scarce. Under the situation, opportunity costs refer to that cost which makes sure that there is optimum utilization of the resources. Let’s say a company invests a sum of 5,000,000 ADE in the training and research programs, then its effectiveness can be measured when the company analyses the consequences of spending the same amount in some other operational cost. So, before accessing the rue cost of any financial decision, calculation of opportunity cost is a fundamental.

Net Present Value (NPV)

The value of inventory changes for a company gradually over a certain period of time. The net present value is the actual present value derived from the cash flows over that period of time. It includes a specific discounted rate which is according to the rate at which the capital needed for a certain project could be returned. So, NPV is the total value that a particular investment in the firm adds value to that firm. If it is greater than zero, it is accepted or else rejected. 
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

IRR gives an indication of the quality of the investment. It tells the company whether they should make the investments or not. So, a good IRR indicates that a particular project gives a better yield as compared to the alternative investments. In general, IRR should be larger than the cost of the capital for adding value to a company. (Wilmerding, 2006)

Discounted Rate of Return

The discounted rate of return gives the expected rate of return of an investor from an investment.

Roles of Investment in Finance

Strategic Role: The strategies with respect to the investment in finance are based on its objectives. The strategic role of financial investment is to ensure that the policies implemented by the company eliminate all those elements that have no contribution to the financial success of the company. A company should plan its financial strategies in such a way that they are not only opportunistic in nature but also practically feasible. They are bound to avert risks to the maximum. A proper dissemination of the policies of a company is also a part of the strategic role of the financial investment. This keeps the employees on track of the financial restrictions of the company.

Operational Role: The operational role of the financial investment process is to restrict the company members from crossing the boundaries of financial distress. The operations should provide a platform for the future planning of the company. This is more prominent with maximum involvement of the manager. Another important role of the financial investment is the training of the members of a company to live up to the financial requirements of the company. This includes the budgeting process and the methodologies involved in maintaining the cash flow. All the assets and the debts should be managed as a part of the operational role of the financial investment. So, much of the balance sheet of a company owes its being to the operational role of financial investment.

Responsibilities of Investment in Finance

The financial investment of a company is bound to affect the stakeholders. A company lives on the expectations of many of its stakeholders. Even during tough financial times, the company should make sure that it is able to meet the stakeholders’ expectations. This has an adverse affect when the prices of the shares of an organization suddenly lower. A stakeholder would invest in a company when he is confident of the fact that the investment in the company would not let the prices go down. A company should therefore have a risk calculated amount that helps it in these periods. (Lerner, 2008).

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