What are Investor Ratios?

Investor Ratios Definition

Investor ratios are used to measure the ability of a business to earn an adequate return for the owners of the business. The owners have money tied up in the business and need a return commensurate with the risk involved.

Popular Investor Ratios List

A selection of popular investor ratios from the Double Entry Bookkeeping Ratios Guide.

Investor Ratio Analysis

Investor ratios measure the return to the owner of the business and therefore tend to use net income (profits after tax) in any formula calculations.

Investor ratios should not be viewed in isolation but looked at over a period of time using trend analysis and in comparison to other businesses in your industry.

In addition, in order to give a full picture of what is happening, they should be viewed relative to other ratios calculated for the business such as liquidity ratios, efficiency ratios, leverage ratios, profitability ratios, and activity ratios.

Investor Ratios Formula

There are numerous examples of investor ratios, however, it is important to select the key ratios which relate to your business. The industry sector, size, and complexity of the business will determine the most appropriate ratios to use and many may not be relevant or worth calculating, particularly for a small business.

Useful Investor Ratios
Ratio Formula
Return on Equity Net Income / Average Equity
Dividend Cover Net Income / Dividend

Return on equity is the ratio of the net income of the business to the average equity during the period. The ratio gives an indication of how well the business rewards its investors for their investment. Dividend cover is the ratio of net income to dividends for the period and is an indicator of how sustainable the dividend is.

Last modified October 28th, 2019 by Michael Brown

About the Author

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.

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