Fair Value in Investing: Definition, Calculation and InvestingPro Instant Data

Fair Value in Investing: Definition, Calculation and InvestingPro Instant Data

When it comes to investing, one term that often floats around is “Fair Value.” Investors, both novice and seasoned, grapple with understanding what this concept means and how it impacts their decisions. In this article, we will demystify the notion of Fair Value, exploring its significance, calculation, and relevance in the financial market.

What is Fair Value in Investing? 

Fair Value, in the world of investing, refers to the estimated worth of an asset or security based on objective analysis and rational judgement. It’s the price at which an asset or security should theoretically exchange hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, assuming both parties are well-informed and acting in their best interests.

Stock Fair Value: A Practical Example 

Suppose that Company X is a technology firm with a current Market Value of $100 per share. Analysts, using the Income Approach and considering factors like Company X’s growth prospects and financial data, calculate its Fair Value at $120 per share.

In this scenario, the Fair Value ($120) is higher than the Market Value ($100), indicating that Company X’s stock may be undervalued in the market. Investors may view this as an opportunity to buy the stock, expecting its price to eventually align with its Fair Value, potentially resulting in capital gains.


On the other hand, if the calculated Fair Value were, for example, $80 per share, lower than the Market Value of $100, it could suggest that Company X’s stock is overvalued, and investors might consider selling or reevaluating their investment in the company.

InvestingPro: Fair Value Example 

InvestingPro, our proprietary stock valuation tool allows investors to unlock Fair Value data instantaneously.

Within the image below we can see that, at the time of writing, the Apple Fair Value is $153.20 whilst the stock price is $177.82. This suggests that the stock is currently overvalued.

What is the purpose of Fair Value in investing? 

The primary purpose of Fair Value is to determine the true worth of an asset or security.  Investors use Fair Value to make informed decisions, helping them avoid overpaying for assets or missing out on profitable opportunities.

How is Fair Value Calculated? 

The process of calculating Fair Value can be intricate, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, some common methods are employed in the valuation of various assets. These methods include:

1. Market Approach

Compares the asset’s Fair Value to similar assets in the market.

2. Income Approach

Evaluates the asset’s income-producing capabilities, such as dividend yield for stocks.

3. Cost Approach

Calculates the Fair Value based on the cost of replacing or reproducing the asset.

Fair Value vs. Market Value 

Fair Value represents the estimated worth of an asset, determined through rigorous analysis and objective judgement, offering investors a forward-looking perspective on an asset’s intrinsic value. In contrast, Market Value is the real-time price at which an asset is currently traded, influenced by market dynamics, investor sentiment, and short-term factors. While Fair Value guides long-term investment decisions, Market Value is utilized for immediate trading choices and reflects present market sentiment. Striking a balance between these two values is crucial for investors, enabling them to navigate financial markets effectively and make well-informed, strategic decisions while remaining responsive to short-term market conditions.

Fair Value Investing Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Can Fair Value change over time?

Yes, Fair Value can change due to various factors like changes in market conditions, economic data, and financial performance. Investors need to regularly re-evaluate their investments to account for these changes.

Q. Is Fair Value always accurate?

Fair Value is an estimate based on available data and judgement. It provides a reasonable approximation of an asset’s worth.


Fair Value plays a significant role in the world of investing. It is a tool that allows investors to make well-informed decisions by estimating the true worth of assets and securities. While the calculation methods may vary, the overarching goal is to provide a rational basis for buying or selling decisions in the financial market. Understanding Fair Value is essential for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of investment.

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