When most hear the term residual income, they think of excess cash or disposable income. Although that definition is correct in the scope of personal finance, in terms of equity valuation residual income is the income generated by a firm after accounting for the true cost of its capital. You might be asking, "but don't companies already account for their cost of capital in their interest expense?" Yes and no. Interest expense on the income statement only accounts for a firm's cost of its debt, ignoring its cost of equity, such as dividends payouts and other equity costs. Looking at the cost of equity another way, think of it as the shareholders' opportunity cost, or the required rate of return. The residual income model attempts to adjust a firm's future earnings estimates, to compensate for the equity cost and place a more accurate value to a firm. Although the return to equity holders is not a legal requirement like the return to bondholders, in order to attract investors firms must compensate them for the investment risk exposure.
Once again, that extra income was amazing because we were then hit with another blow. At six months pregnant, we were told that our second son would come out with health problems. I took the time to research and prepare and after he was born, our life completely changed for about two months. He was very sick, in the NICU, and almost lost his life twice. A blood transfusion was what finally saved him. During those months I did nothing in the way of working my business. Yet I still got paid. I was able to take the time to be with my son in the NICU, care for my then toddler with special needs, and still make a monthly income that could help with groceries and bills.
Now that I have this money coming in, I’m able to explore new options with investing and buying a house a bit sooner in my career. I’m also very happy to be in a place now where I can give back, so I’ve been doing a lot of donating and helping other people get their start. I’m going to be building some schools in poor areas of the world through a company called Pencils of Promise. It’s a personal thing, but I’m also interested in having people come along with me as I document those experiences. My goal is to show people that it isn’t just about the material stuff but about giving: I try to build more to make more money to give more and be an example to other people in the world but also to my kids. When they’re 30 and talking about how their parents raised them, I want them to think we’ve set a good example. I want them to know that there’s joy in giving.
However, the RI-based approach is most appropriate when a firm is not paying dividends or exhibits an unpredictable dividend pattern, and / or when it has negative free cash flow many years out, but is expected to generate positive cash flow at some point in the future. Further, value is recognized earlier under the RI approach, since a large part of the stock's intrinsic value is recognized immediately – current book value per share – and residual income valuations are thus less sensitive to terminal value.
Also, I know from my personal experience that when you only do something because you think it’s a money-spinner you end up nearly killing yourself to get the idea over the line. I remember creating a careers advice site that bored me to tears. Every word I wrote, hurt a little. All 200,000+ words! Do not put yourself through this pain. I know I won’t ever again.