The concept of tome value of money suggests that the money received at different point of time has different value. The financial manager must appreciate this fact and understand why they are different and how they are made comparable.
Time value of money is a concept to understand the value of cash flows occurred at different point of time. If we are given the alternatives whether to accept $ 100 today or one year fro now, then we certainly accept $ 100 today. It is because there is a time value to money. Every sum of money received earlier has reinvestment opportunity. For example, if we deposited $ 100 in saving account at 5% annual rate of interest, it will increase to $ 105 at the end of one year. Money received at present is preferred even if we do not have reinvestment opportunity. The reason is that the money that we receive in future has less purchasing power than the money that we have at present due to the inflation. What happens if there is no inflation? Still, money received at present is preferred, it is because most of us have a fundamental behavior to prefer current consumption to future consumption. Thus, i) The reinvestment opportunity or the earning power of the money, ii) the risk of inflation, and iii) an individual's preference for current consumption to future consumption are the reasons for the time value of money.
The concept of time value of money is useful in addressing our real life problems relating to planning for future family expenditure. For instance, if we need $ 50,000 after the retirement from job in 15 years, the amount we need to deposit at interest every year from now until the retirement is conveniently determined by using the time value of money concept.
Many financial decisions of the firm require a consideration regarding time value of money. The corporate manager must always concentrate on maximizing shareholders wealth. Maximizing shareholders wealth, to a larger extent, depends on the timing of cash flows from investment alternatives. In this regard, time value of money concept deserves serious considerations on all financial decisions.