Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to fund a potentially profitable acquisition or development of an asset. This could also be referred to as the ratio of company’s debt to equity. While both involves borrowing, leverage is actually different from margin.
Margins are borrowed funds to be invested in other financial instruments to buy securities. This will cover the remaining needed capital after the company has paid only a percentage of the whole selling price. Margins also act as collateral of the company’s debt to the creditor.
An example of leverage is when a man buys 10 apples for a total of $100. He pays only $10 borrowing $90 from a friend. He then sold the apples for $12 each which makes a total of $120. Afterwards, he pays the friend $90 retaining $30 which is surprisingly a 200% gain from his $10 investment.
Advantages of Leverage
Leverage has been one of the business industry’s key to a more prosperous Online Trading Reviews. This becomes a common practice of businesses because of its advantages.
One of leverage’s advantage is that it can make your capital work gainfully. The ratio of your initial investment to the borrowed fund makes your money increase more than its value. In the example above, the man’s invested capital produces twice its value through the borrowed fund.
The smaller amount the company has paid for the leverage results to another HQBroker Review which is tax treatment. Leverage lowers the company’s tax obligation than its supposed tax without leverage.
Interest expense treated as deduction makes the company’s tax obligation lower.
Disadvantages of Leverage
Even though leverage usually acts advantageously that it becomes a norm, the risks shall not be disregarded. Disadvantages may arise from leverages not controlled and managed properly.
While leverage can make disproportionate gains, it can also result to disproportionate losses. This is in case of a “bad season” of an entity. In the man and his apples’ example, assuming he has not succeeded in selling all his products. Only 5 apples was sold and the other had perished. The man will have $60 gross sales which would equate to $40 net loss or 400%.
Another disadvantage is when the company becomes highly leveraged. This means that the company’s obligation has grown larger than its equity. This happens when a company uses leverage for an asset with long-term returns. Lenders assign payments in a timely manner. If the debt is due before the company starts seeing returns, this becomes the problem.
Companies that are highly leveraged are at risk of declaring bankruptcy. They are also very sensitive to economic declines. One option to survive is to increase the amount of the equity capital. But the thing is, investors hardly give money to highly leveraged companies. If they do, they would want to be compensated by a large share of the company’s ownership.
Nonetheless, leverage serves a great importance in business industry. Almost, if not all companies employ leverage system in their venture to success. It’s been proven effective through the course of time. Though of course, some entities were not lucky to enjoy its advantages.