Do You Make This Common Mistake When Writing Financial Packages?

A recent promotion that came across my desk reads: "You can triple your money – a 300% profit."

It's a common mistake, but tripling your returns is a 200% profit, not 300%. The rule is to take the multiple (in this case, tripling means 3 times), subtract 1 (3 – 1 = 2), and multiply by 100 to calculate the percentage return (2 x 100 = 200%).

Sounds odd, but think about it. When you earn a 100% profit, you have doubled your money, right?

Well, 2 – 1 = 1 x 100 = 100%.

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Published: May 12, 2003

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