Return on Equity ROE: Explained

What is it, how to calculate it, formula, why it's important

Hey there, fellow money lovers, and welcome to my article all about ROE (return on equity)! Now, this may not be the latest celebrity gossip or exciting news, but trust me, understanding ROE is SUPER important for any business or investor. And don't worry, I'll make this topic fun and easy to understand!

What is ROE?

ROE is a key financial ratio used to measure how much profit a company generates for each dollar of shareholder's equity. Shareholder's equity is the money that shareholders have invested in the company, plus any accumulated profits. So, ROE shows how efficiently a company is using the money invested in it to generate profits.

ROE is expressed as a percentage, and a higher ROE is generally better since it indicates that the company is generating more profits with each dollar invested by shareholders. However, this ratio should always be compared to industry averages or competitors.

How to Calculate ROE

The formula to calculate ROE is:

ROE = Net Income / Average Shareholder's Equity

The net income is the profit that a company has generated after all expenses have been deducted. Average shareholder's equity is calculated by adding the beginning shareholder's equity to the ending shareholder's equity and dividing that number by two.

Why is ROE Important?

The ROE ratio is important for several reasons, including:

  1. It measures a company's profitability: A higher ROE indicates that a company is generating more profits with the money invested in it. This makes the company more attractive to potential investors.
  2. It measures a company's efficiency: A high ROE also indicates that a company is using its resources efficiently. This is important for a company's long-term success since it shows that it can use its capital to make more money.
  3. It helps in making investment decisions: Investors can use ROE to compare different companies in the same industry and make better investment decisions.

Factors that Affect ROE

Several factors can affect a company's ROE, including:

  1. Industry: Different industries have different average ROE ratios. For example, high-tech companies typically have higher ROEs than utilities or other stable industries.
  2. Financial Leverage: Financial leverage refers to the amount of debt a company has. Companies with high debt tend to have higher ROEs since they are using less equity, but they are also more risky.
  3. Tax Rate: A company's tax rate can also affect ROE since taxes reduce the company's net income.

Pros and Cons of ROE

Like any financial ratio, ROE has its pros and cons. Here are a few:


  • Easy to understand
  • Shows how efficiently a company is using its resources
  • Can be used to compare different companies in the same industry


  • Can be easily manipulated by accounting practices
  • Does not take into account the risks associated with a company
  • Variations in ROE can be due to different accounting methods used by different companies


ROE is an important financial ratio that measures how efficiently a company is using its resources to generate profits. While a high ROE is generally good, it is important to compare the ROE of different companies in the same industry. Several factors can affect ROE, including industry, financial leverage, and taxes. Although ROE has its pros and cons, it is still a widely used ratio that investors and analysts should understand.

That's all for now, folks! Thanks for reading and I hope this article helped you understand ROE a bit better. Stay tuned for more exciting financial topics!

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