A company entering the market with a goal to do business shall have the following objectives:
- Maximizing the returns on stockholders capital (wealth maximization) & and;
- Profit Maximization
Unlike traditional business theories where maximum importance was given to profit maximization, modern theories lays down facts stressing on the maximization of wealth of its stock holders. Which means, maximizing the price of the stock / shares.
Profit maximization is a short term goal mainly for a period of one year or less. A company can maximize its short term profits at the expense of its long term wealth maximization. Stock holders wealth maximization is along term goal as stockholders are investing in a company expecting good-future-returns. Wealth maximization is preferable because it considers (1) wealth for long term, (2) risks, (3) stockholders returns and timing of the returns. Timing of the returns is important, as earlier the return is received, the better. A quick-positive return reduces the risk involved in the investment due to time factor. Also, if you have quick cash in hand you can reinvest the same.
When we are discussing long and short term business objectives, we must keep in mind that very often profit maximization and wealth maximization are conflicting objectives. It is very important for an entrepreneur to decide that what is his priority, longer term business or short term business. Very often you will find business starting off very well but ultimately going down to competition. They never invest in modernization and expansion of their business process. Hence better companies with good technology took over it. A costly investment may create losses in short term but yield substantial profits in long run. A company who wants to show short term profits may continuously postpone its capital repairs or equipment replacement. These postponements will certainly hurt the long term profitability. As an investor, important is to analyze a companies business objective and find out if it is focusing more on short term and long term growth.
The biggest obstacle in the way of long term wealth maximization is our thought process. And if you have overcome your mind then the second obstacle you will face is Financial Risk linked with any investment. Risk refers to the variability of expected returns (sales, earnings etc) and its profitability. Hence risk analysis is very important. Risk analysis is a process if measuring and analyzing the risk associated with financial and investment decisions. It is important to consider risk in making capital investment decisions because of the large amount of capital involved and also because of long term nature of the investment (time factor). Compare rate of return with amount of risk involved. Investor agreeing to take risk must be rewarded with good returns and vise versa. Management of Risk and returns is a key to create a long term wealth Maximization.