How Do You Calculate Compound Annual Growth Rate In Excel

Productivity Software

Calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel is a key financial analysis tool that helps to determine the average annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time. As someone who is passionate about financial analysis, I often find myself using this calculation to gain insights into the performance of various investment opportunities. Here, I’ll walk you through the process of calculating CAGR in Excel, sharing some personal insights and tips along the way.

Understanding CAGR

First, let’s understand what CAGR actually represents. CAGR is a measure of the annual growth rate of an investment over a specified time period longer than one year. It takes into account the fact that the value of the investment has been compounding over time, providing a more accurate picture of its growth compared to a simple average.

When analyzing investments or business metrics, CAGR allows us to compare the growth rates of different investments on a like-for-like basis, providing a clearer understanding of their performance.

Calculating CAGR in Excel

To calculate CAGR in Excel, we can use a simple formula that involves the ending value, beginning value, and the number of periods.

Here’s the formula:

CAGR = (Ending Value / Beginning Value) ^ (1 / Number of Periods) - 1

Now, let’s walk through an example to illustrate this formula in action. Suppose I want to calculate the CAGR of an investment that grew from $10,000 to $25,000 over 5 years.

Using the CAGR formula in Excel, I would input the following:

CAGR = (25000 / 10000) ^ (1 / 5) - 1

Upon entering this formula into an Excel cell, I would find that the CAGR for this investment is approximately 20.18%.

Personal Touches and Commentary

When I first started using CAGR for financial analysis, I found it to be a game-changer. It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of investment performance and make more informed decisions. I often use CAGR to evaluate the historical performance of stocks, mutual funds, and other investment opportunities before making investment decisions.

One thing to keep in mind is that CAGR does not account for volatility or fluctuations within the specified period. It provides a smoothed annual growth rate, assuming steady growth over the entire period. This is important to consider when interpreting the results of CAGR calculations.


Calculating compound annual growth rate in Excel is a valuable skill for anyone involved in financial analysis. By understanding and applying this calculation, we can gain deeper insights into investment performance and make more informed decisions. Remember to consider the limitations of CAGR and use it in conjunction with other financial metrics for a comprehensive analysis of investments.