Cost of capital

Making a business successful is simply down to ensuring you earn more than your costs. An easy way to check this in a company is by comparing the cost of the capital employed by the company with the return made on that capital. This allows you to see how much value (if any) management is adding. The cost of capital is made up of the cost of the company’s debt and the cost of its equity. The cost of debt is relatively simple in that it refers to the interest rate the company has to pay to borrow money (the riskier the company, the higher this is). The cost of equity is trickier to work out. It depends not on dividends payable, but on several other variables that combine to quantify the opportunity cost of investing in the equity given the inherent risks involved. The average cost of debt and the cost of equity – weighted depending on the percentage each represents in the capital structure – are referred to as the weighted average cost of capital, or WACC.

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
The hunt for water

The most valuable commodity

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

Bill Bonner: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to Bill Bonner about economic cycles, and the 'catastrophic credit crisis' that will make 2008 look like a picnic.


Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.


4 March 1890: The Forth Bridge is opened


The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, opened the longest bridge in the world – the Forth Bridge, nine miles west of Edinburgh, on this day in 1890.