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On the one hand it could pay out the cash as a dividend. On the other hand the firm can invest the extra cash in a project. The project could be building a new factory for example. The aim of this project would be to provide future cash flows that would increase shareholder wealth. The project should only be undertaken if its expected return is greater than that of a financial asset of comparable risk. In this study I will be looking at the different ways of measuring the cost of equity and why it is important to measure it accurately. From the firm’s perspective, the expected return is the cost of equity capital. The capital asset pricing model (CAPM) is one method for calculating this. However, before we look at the model, we must understand how the concept was derived. Stanford professor William Sharpe and the late finance specialists John Lintner and Fischer Black focused on calculating what part of a security’s risk can be eliminated by diversification and what part cannot. The result was the capital asset pricing model. The basic concept behind the model is that there is no premium for bearing risks that can be diversified away (unsystematic/specific risk)

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