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Calculating Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)

Investors and business professionals often seek a reliable metric to assess the performance of an investment over time. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is a powerful tool that provides a smoothed annual growth rate, making it easier to compare the growth of different investments. This blog will guide you through the process of calculating CAGR and understanding its significance.

What is CAGR?

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) represents the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer than one year. Unlike simple annual growth rates, CAGR considers the effect of compounding, which provides a more accurate measure of an investment’s growth.

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The Formula for CAGR

The formula to calculate CAGR is:

CAGR = (Ending Value/Beginning Value)^(1/n)-1


  • Ending Value: The value of the investment at the end of the period.

  • Beginning Value: The value of the investment at the beginning of the period.

  • n: The number of years.

Step-by-Step Calculation

Let’s break down the calculation process with an example:


Suppose you invested $10,000 in 2018, and by 2023, your investment has grown to $17,500. To find the CAGR over this 5-year period:

1. Determine the Ending and Beginning Values:

- Ending Value (EV): $17,500

- Beginning Value (BV): $10,000

2. Calculate the Ratio of the Ending Value to the Beginning Value:

EV/BV = 17,500/10,000 = 1.75

3. Raise the Result to the Power of (1/n):

(EV/BV)^(1/n) = 1.75^(1/5) = 1.75^0.2 =~ 1.1187

4. Subtract 1 from the Result:

CAGR = 1.1187 - 1 = 0.1187

5. Final Calculation:

CAGR =0.1187

6. Convert to Percentage:

CAGR = 0.1187 x 100 = 11.87%

So, the CAGR of the investment over the 5 years is 11.87%.

Why is CAGR Important?

  1. Standardized Growth Measure: CAGR smooths out the volatility over the period, providing a consistent annual growth rate.

  2. Comparison Tool: It allows investors to compare the growth potential of different investments or businesses effectively.

  3. Investment Planning: CAGR helps in making informed decisions regarding the expected performance of an investment.

What is a Good CAGR?

  • Large Companies: A CAGR of 5-12% is generally considered good.

  • Small Businesses: A CAGR of 15-30% is satisfactory, reflecting higher growth potential due to their relatively smaller base.

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The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is an essential metric for evaluating the performance of investments over time. By providing a standardized growth rate, CAGR helps investors and businesses make better-informed decisions. Whether you’re assessing stocks, mutual funds, or business growth, understanding and calculating CAGR can significantly enhance your financial analysis capabilities.

For further calculations and tools, you can explore resources like:

By mastering the calculation and interpretation of CAGR, you can gain deeper insights into your investments’ performance and make strategic decisions to optimize your financial growth.


*The information in this article is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice on any subject matter.


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