Perpetuity: Definition, Meaning, Formula, vs Annuity, Example

Perpetuity is defined as an annuity where payments are made infinitely. This means that the cash flows go on forever. Perpetuity can be a great investment because it can provide a continuous stream of income. Businesses that deal with natural resources, such as timberland or oil, often use perpetuities to fund themselves.

Definition of Perpetuity

A perpetuity is a kind of security that guarantees you a steady income for an infinite amount of time. A perpetuity is a stream of cash flows that happen over and over again with no end. In the context of corporate finance, the term “perpetuity” refers to an infinite amount of time. It has been used in several financial theories, such as the dividend discount model (DDM).

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How does Perpetuity work

Perpetuity is a monetary system in which a stream of cash flow payments continues indefinitely or an annuity with no end. Perpetuities are utilized in valuation analysis to calculate the present value of a company’s future projected cash flow stream and the company’s terminal value.

When it comes to businesses and companies, perpetuity can be a great thing. It can provide a never-ending stream of income, which can be very helpful for businesses that deal with things such as natural resources (e.g. oil and timberland).

It allows businesses to keep running without having to worry about finding new sources of funding. However, it is important to note that perpetuity is not without its risks.

For example, if the company were to go bankrupt, the stream of cash flow would stop, and investors would be left with nothing.

What is the formula for calculating Perpetuity

The formula for perpetuity is

PV = C / r


PV = present value

C = periodic cash flow

r = discount rate

Example of Perpetuity

A real-life example of perpetuity can be found in the case of a dividend-paying stock. If a company pays out $1 per share in dividends every year and the stock currently trades for $25 per share, then the dividend yield is 4%. This means that the investor will receive $4 in dividends for every $100 invested.

Assuming that the dividend remains the same and the stock price doesn’t change, the investor will receive $1 in dividends every year forever. In other words, the dividend payments are perpetuity.

Another example would be real estate. When an owner rents out their property, they are essentially receiving a stream of cash flows (the rent payments) that will continue indefinitely as long as the tenant remains. While it is possible for the tenant to move out at some point, it is also possible for them to renew their lease, which would keep the cash flow going.

If you consider government entities as an example, you can think of things like social security or Medicare. These are programs that are funded by taxes and are designed to provide benefits to citizens for an infinite amount of time. While the government can change the rules of these programs, it is very unlikely that they will ever be eliminated.


Perpetuity is a stream of cash flows that happen over and over again with no end. It can be a great thing for businesses because it provides a never-ending stream of income. It is an important concept in corporate finance and is used to calculate the present value of a company’s future cash flow stream. While perpetuity has its risks, it can be a great way to fund a business.

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