How to use the FV function in Excel

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If you use Microsoft Excel to keep track of your money, you can use it for calculation of loan amounts or budgeting your finances. To comply with them, you can also track your investments, which means using the FV function.

In Excel, the FV function calculates the future value of an investment. With just a few pieces of data, you can get that amount to work more easily toward your goal.

The FV function in Excel

The syntax of the function is FV(rate, periods, payment, pv, type) where the first three arguments are required.

You can use pv argument for the present value. You can also add type such as 0 for payments due at the end of the period or 1 for the beginning of the period. If one of the two optional arguments is omitted, the function accepts 0.

To determine the future value of your investmentmake sure you have the annual interest rate, the total number of payments and the amount of the payment for each period.

Use the FV function

As an example, we have our rate in cell B2, the number of payments in cell B3 and the amount of the payment in cell B4. Note that you must enter the payment amount as a negative number when using the FV function.

Investment data in Excel

Select the cell to show the result. Here you will enter the formula for the function. To find the future value of our investment with the data you see, you will use the following formula:

=FV(B2/12,B3,B4)

Formula FV function only with required arguments

Note: The interest rate is divided into 12 because it is an annual interest rate.

Easy, isn’t it? Now let’s add these optional arguments. Here we will add a pv (present value) of 100, which must also be a negative number. You can use either the value or a cell reference in the formula.

=FV(B2/12,B3,B4,-100)

FV function formula with present value argument

Now, let’s add 1 to the last optional argument of type to indicate that the payments are due at the beginning of the period. Again, you can enter the value or use a cell reference in the formula:

=FV(B2/12,B3,B4,-100,1)

Formula of the FV function with all arguments

If you want to use type argument without pv argument, you can do this by entering nothing between the commas in the formula such as:

=FV(B2/12,B3,B4,,1)

Formula of the FV function with argument type

When you want to know how much your investment ultimately costs, the FV feature in Excel comes. For more help with your finances, take a look how to use microsoft money in excel.

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