# Margin of Safety: All You Need to Know

16 January 2024

A financial ratio called the Margin of Safety calculates the sales that have surpassed the break-even point. This financial ratio shows the company's actual profit after all fixed and variable costs have been covered.

You might be curious why it is called the Safety Margin Ratio. This is the point at which a company will begin to lose money. The business needs a positive Margin of Safety to continue being profitable. The company is no longer in a loss or profit position once it reaches the break-even point.

The Margin of Safety and everything related to it has been covered in great detail in this blog. To learn more about the Margin of Safety, continue reading.

## Margin of Safety Definition

One of the guiding principles of value investing is the Margin of Safety (MOS), according to which securities should only be bought if their share price is below their estimated intrinsic value.

In short, the distinction between the projected intrinsic value and the current share price can be theorized as the Margin of Safety. In general, the Margin of Safety refers to the investor's protection against downside risk when a security is bought for a significant discount to its intrinsic value.

## Margin of Safety Formula

You can use the formula below to calculate the Margin of Safety in percentage form.

Formula of Margin of Safety

 The Margin of Safety (MOS) = 1 − (Current Share Price / Intrinsic Value)

Say, for example, that an investor believes a company's shares have an intrinsic value of ₹ 600 but are currently trading at ₹ 800. The MOS in this instance is 33%, which means that the share price has a 33% range before it reaches the estimated intrinsic value of ₹ 600.

## Margin of Safety in Accounting

The gap between current or projected sales and sales somewhere at the break-even point represents the Margin of Safety as a financial metric.

The previously stated formula is divided by actual or anticipated sales to produce a percentage value, and this ratio is sometimes used to represent the margin of safety. The amount is used to notify a firm's administration of the current margin in current sales or estimated and budgeted sales before the firm experiences a loss in both break-even and forecasting calculations.

## Application of The Margin of Safety in Investing

• Firstly, in addition to preventing potential losses, the Margin of Safety can increase returns on particular investments. For instance, if an investor buys an undervalued stock, the stock's market price may rise in the future, giving the investor a much higher return.

• Secondly, investors can use the Margin of Safety to compare the company's share price to its current market price and utilize the difference as justification for purchasing securities. It implies that the stock prices have remarkable upside potential.

• Thirdly, the Margin of Safety protects the investor from an unexpected decline in the market. Understanding a stock's intrinsic value is crucial before an investor purchases it at a discount.

Therefore, such an analysis can be carried out by estimating growth rates based on the performance of the business over the years, growth trends, and potential future projections.

• Lastly, originally predicted outcomes frequently outperform actual outcomes. Regarding production and sales, the Margin of Safety will be of little use because the business already knows whether it is making money.

Nevertheless, it is helpful as a risk-avoidance tool during the decision-making process.

### Importance of The Margin of Safety in Accounting

The size of a company's Margin of Safety is crucial to its viability. It illustrates how sales can drop before the company experiences a loss. If the business's Margin of Safety is large, the likelihood that it will suffer a loss is low, but if it is small, even a slight decline in sales could result in a loss.

A high Margin of Safety is frequently preferred because it denotes optimal performance and a company's capacity to withstand market volatility.

## Measures to Improve an Unsatisfactory Margin of Safety:

Contrary to a high Margin of Safety, a low margin of safety might signify a precarious financial position and needs to be improved by raising sales. It will protect the investors from mistakes and bad choices. Higher fixed costs are a common reason why margins of safety are lower.

Such businesses require a high level of activity. The following actions may be taken to increase an inadequate Margin of Safety because a low Margin of Safety is cause for concern-

• Boost the selling price.
• Reduce the variable costs, the fixed costs, or both.
• By using the underutilized production capacity, the output volume can be increased.
• Put an end to the production of unprofitable products and focus only on those that are.

## Significant Factors to Remember About the Margin of Safety

• A Margin of Safety is a constructed safety net that allows some losses to be accumulated without having a significant negative impact.

• The Margin of Safety combines quantitative and qualitative factors to evaluate a target price and a safety margin that involves reducing that target in investing.

• With buying shares at price levels well below their target, a Margin of Safety is built in particular instances where estimates were inaccurate or biased.

• The Margin of Safety is constructed into break-even forecasts in accounting to allow for some wiggle room in those estimates.

## Conclusion

Summarizing the above, the investment experts are advocating conservatism by propagating the Margin of Safety concept. Buying at a discount to the real business value by giving maximum weightage to the worst-case scenarios seems to sum up the value investing approach.

The Margin of Safety can be a valuable approach to wealth conservation in the long run, whereby one does not lose all or most of the money by investing in stocks.

Graham’s words echo this sentiment: “
For indeed, the investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself….” “The fault, dear investor, is not in our stars – and not in our stocks – but in ourselves….”

### Disclaimer

The stocks mentioned in this article are not recommendations. Please conduct your own research and due diligence before investing. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. Please read the Risk Disclosure documents carefully before investing in Equity Shares, Derivatives, Mutual fund, and/or other instruments traded on the Stock Exchanges. As investments are subject to market risks and price fluctuation risk, there is no assurance or guarantee that the investment objectives shall be achieved. NBT do not guarantee any assured returns on any investments. Past performance of securities/instruments is not indicative of their future performance.
Do you like this edition?
LEAVE A FEEDBACK
Want to invest?
Open a Groww account & start investing. It's fast & 100% free.
GET STARTED