Cumulative Cash Flow vs Discounted Cash Flow: A Forex Trading Guide

4 min read

A popular decision-making tool for investors or businesses is the comparison of the two main methods of cash flow analysis, cumulative cash flow and discounted cash flow (DCF) forecasting. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two and provide an overview of how each works in the context of forex.

Cumulative cash flow vs discounted cash flow review

Discounted cash flow (DCF) is an important part of financial analysis. It helps investors evaluate the expected future value of a company and determine whether it is a sound investment opportunity. It is based on the concept of time value of money, which states that money is worth more today than in the future. In this article, we will compare the cumulative cash flow and discounted cash flow valuation methods, and review their advantages and disadvantages.

What is CumulativeCash Flow?

Cumulative cash flow (CFF) is the total cash flow from all sources over a period of time (such as a year or quarter). It is the sum of all cash inflows (from investments, sales, etc) and cash outflows (interest payments, expenses, etc). CFF allows investors to assess the current value of a company over a period of time and compare it to prior periods. By comparing CFF to current market factors, investors can gain insight into the future viability of a company.

What is Discounted Cash Flow?

Discounted cash flow (DCF) is a method of valuing a company based on the present value of future cash flows. It is calculated by discounting all future cash flows with a required rate of return. This method is useful for investors to get the “fair value” or intrinsic value of a company, as it takes into account both future expected cash flows and the time value of money.

Differences between Cumulative Cash Flow and Discounted Cash Flow

The main difference between cumulative cash flow and discounted cash flow is in how they account for the time value of money. While CFF simply sums up all cash flows from various sources over a period of time, DCF factors in the present value of the future cash flows. This helps investors accurately predict the future value of a company.

Another difference is that CFF only provides information on past performance, while DCF offers insight into future performance. CFF does not take into consideration changes in market factors that can affect the value of a company, while DCF can be used to project the value of a company given different market scenarios.

Advantages of Cumulative Cash Flow

Cumulative cash flow is a simple and straightforward method of valuing a company. It does not require complex calculations and can provide a quick, reliable measure of a company’s current performance. This makes it an effective method for short term investment decisions. It is also a useful measuring stick for financial performance as it allows investors to compare the current performance of a company to prior periods.

Advantages of Discounted Cash Flow

Discounted cash flow is a powerful tool for evaluating an investment opportunity. It takes the time value of money into account and gives investors insight into the future value of a company. This allows investors to gain a clear understanding of the expected return on an investment and make more informed decisions. DCF is also flexible, as investors can modify the required rate of return to better analyze different scenarios.


Cumulative cash flow and discounted cash flow are both important methods of valuation. CFF provides a quick assessment of current performance while DCF can be used to analyze future performance and the potential return on an investment. By understanding the differences between the two methods, investors can make more informed decisions and increase their chances of success.

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