Meaning & Examples of Compound Annual Growth Rate – Latest

Compound Annual Growth Rate

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a key financial metric that measures the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period longer than one year. It represents one of the most accurate ways to calculate and determine returns for anything that can rise or fall in value over time. Investors and financial analysts use CAGR to evaluate the performance of different investments, understand the return potential of assets, and make comparisons between them. Below, we’ll delve into the meaning, calculation, and examples of CAGR, helping to illuminate its significance in financial analysis.

Understanding CAGR

CAGR calculates the geometric progression ratio that provides a smoothed annual rate of return. Thus, it makes it possible to understand how an investment would have grown if it had grown at a steady rate. The beauty of CAGR is its ability to normalize returns for investments over varying periods, providing a clear picture of investment performance without the fluctuations that yearly returns often show.

Calculating CAGR

The formula to calculate CAGR is:


  • Ending Value is the final value of the investment,
  • Beginning Value is the initial value of the investment, and
  • n is the number of years.

This formula gives a single growth rate number, representing the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown at the same rate every year.

Examples of CAGR

Stock Market Investment: Suppose you invested $10,000 in a stock, and after 5 years, your investment is worth $16,105. To find the CAGR:

  • Beginning Value = $10,000
  • Ending Value = $16,105
  • n = 5 years

Applying the CAGR formula, we find the growth rate of this investment over the next 5 years.

  1. Business Revenue Growth: A business with a revenue of $1 million in year one and $1.5 million in year five wants to calculate its revenue growth rate using CAGR to understand its performance over these years.
  2. Savings Account: For a more personal finance perspective, consider a savings account that started with $5,000 and grew to $7,000 over 3 years. Using the CAGR formula, one can determine the annual growth rate, which represents how much the savings account has grown each year, on average.

Importance of CAGR

CAGR is a useful measure for comparing the growth rates of different investments. Because it provides a smoothed annual rate, it allows for easier comparison across investments of different sizes and time frames. This makes CAGR particularly valuable for investors considering where to place their funds for the best growth over time. However, it’s important to remember that CAGR does not reflect investment risk.

Limitations of CAGR

While CAGR is a powerful and useful tool, it has its limitations. It assumes that the investment grows at a steady rate, which is rarely the case in real-world situations where market volatility and fluctuating returns are common. Moreover, CAGR does not account for the effect of additional contributions or withdrawals from the investment over the period.


In summary, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a critical financial metric. That helps investors and analysts gauge the performance of investments over time. By providing a smoothed annual growth rate. CAGR makes it easier to compare the performance of different investments across various time frames and asset classes. While it offers a clear and straightforward way to understand investment growth. It’s important to also consider its limitations and the actual context of the investment’s performance.

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