How to Measure Investment Turnover Ratio

By: Ryan Cockerham | Reviewed by: Ashley Donohoe, MBA | Updated March 21, 2019

Investment turnover ratio measures how active the fund's assets are traded.

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A variety of metrics are available today that allow individuals to effectively assess and measure the performance of a business relative to industry-wide benchmarks. This type of comparison can be particularly helpful in situations where an investor may be seeking to determine whether or not a particular company represents a credible investment or falls behind in a number of important areas.

An investment turnover ratio is one such metric that analyzes the capacity of a company to generate revenue given a specific amount of funding. Calculating the investment turnover ratio of a company can be accomplished using net sales data, as well as stockholder equity and current outstanding debt.

Tip

You can calculate the investment turnover ratio of a company by dividing the net sales value by the sum of shareholder equity and outstanding debt. The resulting number is the current investment turnover ratio of the company in question.

Basics of Investment Turnover Ratio

Broadly defined, the investment turnover ratio of a company is the resulting number value when net sales are divided by the sum of shareholder equity and outstanding debt. Whatever the final number may be, this represents the specific number of revenue multiples that could potentially be generated given the stated amount of funding.

As an example, consider the following scenario: If a company has net sales of $4 million, shareholder equity of $1.5 million and $675,000 in outstanding debt, the resulting investment turnover ratio is 4,000,000 ÷ (1,500,000 + 675,000) = 1.839. This means that at the current levels of revenue, a revenue multiple of 1.83 could be generated.

Implications of the Investment Turnover Ratio

It is important to keep in mind that the investment turnover ratio is largely distinct from other popular metrics, such as the investment-to-sales ratio. Perhaps the most important consideration regarding the investment turnover ratio is that this particular calculation is not directly related to profit in any way. For example, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that a company could have an extremely high investment turnover ratio and still be recording losses from daily operations.

Yet another important consideration regarding the investment turnover ratio is the idea that adding additional funds may not necessarily result in an increased or even identical rate of turnover. This type of stagnation could occur when market conditions have reached a saturation point and business leaders are reaping significantly reduced return on invested funds.

Although the investment turnover ratio does provide insightful metrics for investors, it is also important to remember that the specific level of investment required in order to achieve returns varies considerably among different industries. For example, some businesses require an extremely large pool of fixed assets in order to commence operations, while others may not need any at all.

With that in mind, investors should act carefully when drawing comparisons between companies existing in different sectors of the economy, as the intrinsic nature of these organizations may invalidate any conclusions drawn through the use of the ratio formula. This same rule applies to investors applying other similar formulaic evaluations, such as the asset turnover ratio.

Moving Forward With Analysis

As always, a careful and measured approach to investment analysis and strategic execution will help guarantee the best possible results over time. Any of the strategic tools included in the modern investor's toolkit should be used often and interchangeably with one another in order to ensure that the best possible collection of information is gathered.

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About the Author

Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things business and finance. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured on PocketSense, Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.

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