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Adapt Your Strategy to Higher Interest Rates

While many executives and investors were thrown by last year’s interest rate increases, the cost of capital needn’t be a threat. Companies that integrate the cost of capital into their strategy and planning reap real benefits. When something is cheap, people waste it. With the cost of capital back to normal levels, it’s simply irresponsible not to make it a management discipline that changes the way you do business. To do that, executives need to rediscover the concept of economic profit (EP) — that is, revenue minus not just operating and administrative costs, but also the cost of the capital needed to produce that revenue. The authors have found that executive teams that bring the disciplines of the capital market inside a corporation deliver shareholder returns more than 50% above their industry peer indexes. That staggering difference attests not just to the value created by managing with economic profit, but also to the value squandered by ignoring it.

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