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Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Investment

Last Updated : 24 Nov, 2021
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Ex-ante is a Latin term that means “before the event,” and it refers to the estimated return on an investment or the earnings that a company or an individual can expect to earn at the end of a given period. Simply put, it is the prediction of an event before it occurs, with the actual outcome being unknown. The obtained ex-ante value can then be compared to the actual performance when it occurs by making a prediction of the outcome. Ex-post is also the Latin word for “after the event,and it is the polar opposite of “ex-ante.” The concept is used by investment firms to forecast a security’s expected returns based on the security’s actual or historical returns. Ex-post represents the actual results achieved by the company, which is the return earned by the company’s investors, as opposed to ex-ante, which is based on estimated returns. Investors can use ex-post data to determine a security’s actual performance, excluding any forecasts or projections that may be influenced by market shocks. The ex-post value of a security can be calculated by subtracting the price paid by investors from the security’s current market price. The ex-post value of an asset is determined by adding the asset’s beginning and ending values over a given time period. 


Ex-ante investment refers to the investment that enterprises and planners in the economy wish to make at the start of a period. The actual or realized investment, on the other hand,  Ex-post or actual investment is the measurement of a time (e.g., a year) after the fact, when more investment is required. It should be emphasized that Keynes included stocks of unsold products in his investment calculations. To put it another way, an ex-ante investment is one that is planned or wanted before it is made, whereas an ex-post investment is one that is made after it has been made. Ex-ante investment plus Ex-post investment equals real investment. As a result, the real investment may differ from planned investment due to unforeseen inventory additions or reductions (stock of goods). This component of ex-ante and ex-post investment is taken into account while determining National Income.

Planned investment is a component of government spending that aids in the expansion of the economy’s productive capacity, and it is similar in the case of a business firms’ investment. Outlays for other areas, such as rural development and education, are included. Unlike unplanned investment, which is usually connected and required, plan spending is part of Budget forecasts that are decided following consultations with ministries and stakeholders. Taxes, customs charges, the sale or leasing of natural resources, and different fees such as national park admission fees or licensing fees can all be used to fund government spending. When governments borrow money, they are required to pay interest on the borrowed funds, which can result in government debt. Government expenditure changes are a key component of fiscal policy intended to keep the macroeconomic business cycle stable.

It is critical to grasp the distinction between the terms Ex-ante and Ex-post in the context of the saving-investment method to determine the equilibrium level of income in the economy since equilibrium occurs only when ex-ante savings and ex-ante investment are equal. Similarly, ex-ante investment refers to the amount of investment that businesses plan (or expect) to make during a time, whereas ex-post investment refers to the amount of investment that firms have actually made at the conclusion of the period. Ex-post savings and ex-post investment are always equal at any level of income. The distinction between ex-ante and ex-post is significant because all variables in the theory of income determination are ex-ante (planned) variables.

Ex-ante investment work: Investors can utilize ex-post data to determine a security’s real performance, excluding any forecasts or projections that may be influenced by market shocks. The ex-post value of a security may be calculated by subtracting the price paid by investors from the asset’s current market price. For example, consensus estimates, in particular, aid in the establishment of a corporate earnings baseline. When analysts’ forecasts are far above or below those of their colleagues, it’s also feasible to determine which analysts in the group covering a certain stock are the most predictive.

Ex-post investment work: The value produced may then be used to assess investment price variations or profits, as well as anticipate a security’s or investment’s predicted returns. The accuracy of the risk assessment techniques may then be determined by comparing the ex-post value (actual returns based on previous returns) to the expected returns. 

The ex-post investment is the investment of a period [e.g., a year] that is measured after the fact. It’s worth noting that Keynes included unsold products in his investment, which he dubbed “unplanned investment.” As a result, the real investment is equal to the sum of the planned and unanticipated investments. It’s important to remember that sometimes investments are made that weren’t originally planned or intended. Unplanned investment is the term for this sort of investment. When unsold completed items amass owing to low sales, unplanned investment occurs. As a result, an economy’s real investment is the sum of planned and unanticipated investments.


The difference between the two outcomes may reveal additional information about how to improve the prediction process and make it more accurate. It also allows analysts to assess how well they performed in comparison to the goal they set out to achieve. Aggregate demand rises when investment rises. National income and employment will continue to increase until equilibrium is restored, that is when savings equal investment. A reduction in investment has the inverse impact. However, the change in national income will be greater than the change in investment. So, for both firms and the economy, ex-ante and ex-post investments are equally important to be taken into the account. 

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