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Trading Terms

ROE explained: how to measure and improve your trading

ROE image representation

As an investor, you're always on the hunt for profitable opportunities. But how can you determine whether a company is worth your time and money? One crucial metric to consider is Return on Equity (ROE). In this article, we'll explore what it is, how to calculate it, and most importantly, how to use it to improve your trading experience. So, buckle up and get ready to take your investing game to the next level with this comprehensive guide!

What is ROE?

ROE stands for "Return on Equity." It is a financial ratio that measures how much profit a company generates with the money invested by its shareholders.

It is often used as a measure of how efficiently a company is using its shareholders' money to generate profits. A higher ROE generally indicates that a company is generating more profits with less investment, which is generally viewed as a positive sign. However, it is important to evaluate it in the context of the industry and the company's historical performance, as well as other financial metrics.

How is ROE Calculated?

The calculation is straightforward, and it can provide a quick insight into a company's financial health. Below, we will explore how to calculate it and provide examples of how it is used in real-world scenarios.

ROE Calculation

It is calculated by dividing a company's net income by its shareholder equity. Shareholder equity is the residual amount of assets minus liabilities, also known as book value, that belongs to shareholders after all debts have been paid. The net income is the total amount of revenue minus all expenses, including taxes and interest.

Its formula is as follows: ROE = Net Income / Shareholder Equity * 100

For example, if a company has a net income of $1,000,000 and shareholder equity of $5,000,000, its ROE would be:


ROE = $1,000,000 / $5,000,000 * 100 = 0.20 or 20%

This means that the company generated 20 cents of profit for every dollar of shareholder equity invested in the business.

What’s the Difference between ROE and ROA?

ROE (Return on Equity) ROA (Return on Assets)
It measures how much profit a company generates with the money invested by its shareholders. Measures how much profit a company generates with its total assets, regardless of how they are financed.
Calculated by dividing net income by shareholder equity, which represents the amount of money invested by shareholders in the business. Calculated by dividing net income by total assets.

Here’s an example to further explain the difference between the two:

For example, suppose Company A has a net income of $1,000,000, shareholder equity of $5,000,000, and total assets of $10,000,000. Its ROE would be 20% ($1,000,000 / $5,000,000), while its ROA would be 10% ($1,000,000 / $10,000,000).


The difference between ROE and ROA can be significant, especially for companies that rely heavily on debt to finance their operations. A company with a high level of debt will have a higher ROE than ROA, while a company with no debt will have a higher ROA than ROE.

Leverage Effect

The leverage effect refers to the impact of debt on a company's profitability. A company can use debt to increase its return on equity, but this also increases the risk of the business. The leverage effect can be positive, null, or negative.

  • Positive Leverage Effect: A positive leverage effect occurs when the cost of borrowing is lower than the rate of return earned on invested capital. In this scenario, debt financing can boost a company's ROE, leading to higher profitability. However, excessive debt can increase the risk of financial distress and lower a company's credit rating.
  • Null Leverage Effect: In some cases, the use of debt has no impact on a company's profitability. This is because the rate of return earned on invested capital is equal to the cost of borrowing.
  • Negative Leverage Effect: A negative leverage effect occurs when the cost of borrowing is higher than the rate of return earned on invested capital. In this scenario, debt financing can reduce a company's profitability and lead to financial distress.

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Tips on what to do before making an investment

Before making an investment, it is important to perform a thorough analysis of the investment opportunity. Here are some steps that can help guide your analysis:

Understand the company or investment opportunity
It is important to understand the fundamentals of the company or investment opportunity, including its business model, products or services, financial performance, management team, and industry trends. This can help you determine the potential risks and rewards of the investment.
Analyze financial statements
Analyzing financial statements can provide valuable insights into the financial health of the company. Key financial ratios to consider include profitability ratios (e.g. return on equity, gross profit margin), liquidity ratios (e.g. current ratio, quick ratio), and solvency ratios (e.g. debt-to-equity ratio, interest coverage ratio).
Evaluate the competition
Macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical events can have a significant impact on the performance of your investment. It is important to consider these factors and how they may impact the investment opportunity.
Consider macroeconomic factors
These countries have a higher risk of political instability, as any political events or changes can have a significant impact on the value of their currencies.
Assess the management team
The management team plays a critical role in the success of the company. It is important to assess the qualifications and track record of the management team, including their ability to execute strategic initiatives and manage risk.
Conduct a risk analysis
Every investment carries a certain level of risk. It is important to assess the risks associated with the investment and determine whether the potential rewards justify the risk. Factors to consider include market risk, liquidity risk, credit risk, and operational risk.
Determine a fair value
Based on your analysis, you can determine a fair value for the investment. This can help you determine whether the investment is undervalued or overvalued, and whether it represents a good opportunity for long-term growth.

In conclusion, understanding and improving your ROE can be a powerful tool. By measuring your returns and identifying areas for improvement, you can make informed decisions to optimize your business operations and investments. Remember, a high ROE doesn't guarantee success, but it can provide valuable insight into the efficiency of your resources and help you achieve your financial goals. So take the time to analyze it, make necessary adjustments, and watch your results.

Not investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance.

Thank you for considering Skilling!

You are about to visit: https://skilling.com/row/ which is operated by Skilling (Seychelles) Ltd, under the Financial Services Authority Seychelles License No: SD042. Before opening an account, please read the terms & conditions and contact our customer support for any questions.

Thank you for considering Skilling!

You are about to visit: https://skilling.com/row/ which is operated by Skilling (Seychelles) Ltd, under the Financial Services Authority Seychelles License No: SD042. Before opening an account, please read the terms & conditions and contact our customer support for any questions.

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