How to Use the FV Function in Excel

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If you use Microsoft Excel for keeping track of your money, you might use it for calculating loan amounts or budgeting your finances. To go along with these, you might track your investments too, 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 obtain this amount to easier work toward your goal.

The FV Function in Excel

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

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

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

Use the FV Function

As an example, we have our rate in cell B2, number of payments in cell B3, and payment amount 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 display the result. This is where you’ll enter the formula for the function. To find the future value of our investment with the data you see, you’d use the following formula:

=FV(B2/12,B3,B4)

FV function formula with required arguments only

Note: The interest rate is divided by 12 because it’s an annual interest rate.

Easy, right? Now let’s add in those optional arguments. Here, we’ll 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 a 1 for the last optional argument of type to indicate 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)

FV function formula with all arguments

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

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

FV function formula with type argument

When you want to find out how much your investment is worth in the end, the FV function in Excel comes through. For additional help with your finances, take a look at how to use Microsoft’s Money in Excel.





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