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Residual income can be calculated by taking the difference between the company's net income and its equity charge, where equity charge is the product of equity capital and the cost of capital. For example, a company has $5 million in net income with $20 million in equity capital and a cost of capital of 10 percent. The equity charge is 10 percent of $20 million, or $2 million. The residual income is $5 million minus $2 million, or $3 million.
Residual income is the amount of net income generated in excess of the minimum rate of return. Residual income concepts have been used in a number of contexts, including as a measurement of internal corporate performance whereby a company's management team evaluates the return generated relative to the company's minimum required return. Alternatively, in personal finance, residual income is the level of income that an individual has after the deduction of all personal debts and expenses have been paid.