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Gross Investment vs Net Investment - Advantages & Disadvantages

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Created on
July 7, 2022


What’s Inside

Net investment and Gross Investment helps measure the level of investment activity in an economy. While gross investment represents the total amount invested, net investment takes into account depreciation and provides a more accurate measure of the net increase in productive assets. Let's understand these in detail.

What is Gross Investment?

Gross Investment refers to the complete amount of expenditure or investment undertaken by a company to acquire capital goods. It represents the total value of resources dedicated to increasing the company's productive capacity through the acquisition of new assets. This typically doesn't take the factor of depreciation into consideration.

What is Net Investment?

Net investment measures the difference between the total expenditure on capital assets by a company and the depreciation cost of those assets. It reveals the company's spending to maintain and enhance its operations. A positive value indicates business expansion, while a negative value suggests contraction. Understanding net investment provides insights into a company's financial decisions and the direction of its operations.

Gross Investment vs Net Investment

Gross investment is the total investment before deducting depreciation, while net investment is the gross investment minus depreciation. Net investment indicates how a company's cash flows are used for expansion. It helps measure performance and growth, with increasing values indicating acceleration and decreasing values implying slowing down.

Here are some of the major differences between the both.


Gross Investment

Net Investment


Refers to the total expenses when purchasing capital goods over a period wherein depreciation isn’t accounted for.

Refers to the true expenditure incurred when purchasing capital goods over a period of time with depreciation accounted for. 


Gross investment = Sum of all capital expenses over time

Net investment = Gross investment – Depreciation


Gross investment does not take into account depreciation.

Net investment considers the impact that depreciation has.


Gives you an idea of how much money has been spent on capital goods in their entirety. 

Gives you a true understanding of the money spent on capital goods. 

Exploring the Advantages of Net Investments

Here are some of the advantages of Net investments.

  • This value helps make clear what the replacement rate of a company’s assets ought to be.
  • Provided a company is able to maintain a positive net investment value, it can help it stay in business.
  • By analysing the net value of a company, investors and analysts alike can understand how serious a company is about its business and the value it assigns its shareholders.
  • With net investment, it is possible to ascertain the extent to which a company is capital intensive.


Gross investment represents the total expenditure on acquiring capital goods, while net investment takes into account depreciation and provides a more accurate measure of the net increase in productive assets. Net investment helps assess a company's financial decisions, expansion or contraction, and its commitment to shareholders. It also provides insights into the company's capital intensity.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you calculate net investment?

Net investment is calculated by deducting depreciation from capital expenditure.

2. What is an example of net investment?

Let's take a simple example to understand net investment. If a company invests ₹15 lakhs in machinery with a 25-year lifespan and no residual value, and the annual depreciation is ₹50,000, then the net investment at the end of the first year would be ₹14,50,000.

Net Investment = ₹15,00,000 - ₹50,000 = ₹14,50,000. 

3. What's the difference between gross and net investment?

Gross investment is the total expenditure made for buying capital goods over a time period, without accounting for depreciation while net investment is the gross investment minus depreciation.


Investment and securities are subject to market risks. Please read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, mutual funds, or any other financial products.
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