# Macaulay Duration

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## Definition of 'Macaulay Duration'

Macaulay duration is a measure of the time until the present value of cash flows from an investment equals the investment's cost. It is calculated by taking the weighted average of the present values of the cash flows, with the weights being the time until each cash flow is received.

Macaulay duration is often used to compare the risk of different investments. An investment with a longer Macaulay duration is considered to be riskier because it takes longer for the investment to pay off.

Macaulay duration can also be used to calculate the interest rate sensitivity of an investment. An investment with a longer Macaulay duration will be more sensitive to changes in interest rates.

The formula for Macaulay duration is:

```
Macaulay Duration = (1 / PV) * S (CFt * t)
```

where:

* PV is the present value of the investment
* CFt is the cash flow received at time t
* t is the time until the cash flow is received

Macaulay duration is a useful tool for understanding the risk and interest rate sensitivity of investments. However, it is important to note that Macaulay duration does not take into account the volatility of the cash flows. For this reason, it is often used in conjunction with other risk measures, such as the standard deviation of returns.

Here is a more detailed explanation of the formula for Macaulay duration:

The first term in the formula, (1 / PV), is the discount factor. This term represents the present value of a dollar received in the future. The second term, S (CFt * t), is the weighted average of the cash flows. The weights are the time until each cash flow is received.

To calculate Macaulay duration, you first need to find the present value of the investment. This can be done using the following formula:

```
PV = CF1 / (1 + r) + CF2 / (1 + r)2 + ... + CFn / (1 + r)n
```

where:

* PV is the present value of the investment
* CFt is the cash flow received at time t
* r is the interest rate

Once you have the present value of the investment, you can calculate the weighted average of the cash flows. This is done by multiplying each cash flow by the time until it is received, and then adding the results together.

The weighted average of the cash flows is then divided by the present value of the investment to get Macaulay duration.

Macaulay duration is a useful tool for understanding the risk and interest rate sensitivity of investments. However, it is important to note that Macaulay duration does not take into account the volatility of the cash flows. For this reason, it is often used in conjunction with other risk measures, such as the standard deviation of returns.

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