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Unlocking Financial Jargon:
A High Schooler's Guide to ROI

APEF: Solving the Financial Illiteracy Crisis

Hey there, financial wizards in training! Ever heard the term "return on investment"? It might sound boring, but it's actually pretty cool. In this guide, we'll break down what ROI means and why it's an important concept for your financial journey.

So, what exactly is ROI? ROI, or Return on Investment, is a way to measure the profitability or success of an investment (or, more simply, how much you get back for what you put in). Think of it as a tool to help you determine if your hard-earned money is working for you or not... Buy a pair of shoes for $50, wear them for a year, and you've got a decent ROI. But invest $100 in a savings account with 5% interest, and watch your money multiply like magic – that's a sweet ROI! The ROI formula is quite simple:


Don't let the formula scare you; we'll break it down step by step.

  • Net Profit: This is the money you make from an investment after subtracting any costs or expenses. It's the sweet reward for taking a financial risk.

  • Cost of Investment: This is how much money you initially put into the investment. It includes the purchase price and any additional costs like fees or maintenance.


Why does ROI matter to you, a high schooler?

Because every choice you make, from buying a new phone to taking a class, has an ROI. Understanding it helps you make smart decisions that benefit your present and future self.

Let's break it down with some real life examples:

  • Spending ROI: Think of it as the "bang for your buck." Would that fancy game give you more hours of fun than a library pass? Will those sneakers make you feel more confident than volunteering at a cause you care about? Choose investments that give you the most "bang" for your buck, whether it's happiness, knowledge, or cool experiences.

    • Education: You spend $10,000 on a college education and the skills you gain result in a higher-paying job that earns you an extra $5,000 annually. Your net profit is $5,000. Plugging this into the ROI formula:


Your ROI is 50%, showcasing the positive impact of your education investment.

  • Saving ROI: Ah, the magic of compound interest! The longer you save, the faster your money grows. Imagine putting $20 a month in an account with 2% interest. In 5 years, you'll have over $1,200! Or maybe you want to try your hand at the stock market:

    • Imagine you invest $500 in stocks, and after a year, your investment grows to $600. Your net profit is $100. Plugging this into the ROI formula:


Your ROI is 20%, meaning your investment gained a 20% profit.


But wait, there's more!


ROI isn't just about money. It applies to everything you invest your time and effort in.

  • Learning ROI: Taking that extra math class might feel like a drag now, but it could lead to a higher GPA, a scholarship, and ultimately, a career you love – that's a huge ROI!

  • Skills ROI: Mastering coding or learning to play an instrument might not pay off immediately, but it could open doors to new opportunities and boost your confidence – another win for ROI!



  • ROI isn't always about money: Sometimes, the best returns come in the form of knowledge, skills, and experiences.

  • Every decision has an ROI: Choose investments that give you the most value, whether it's financial, emotional, or personal growth.

  • Start early: The sooner you start making smart choices, the bigger the ROI you'll enjoy in the long run.


So, young financial minds, go out there and conquer the world of ROI! Make every decision count, invest in yourself, and watch your future self thank you for being such a smart cookie.

Bonus Tip: Check out online ROI calculators to compare different financial options and see how your choices can pay off in the long run.

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