The first edition of this book appeared in 1990, and we are encouraged that it continues to attract readers around the world. We believe the book appeals to readers everywhere because the approach it advocates is grounded in universal economic principles. While we continue to improve, update, and expand the text as our experience grows and as business and finance continue to evolve, those universal principles do not change.
Not all CEOs, business managers, and financial managers possess a deep understanding of value, although they need to understand it fully if they are to do their jobs well and fulfill their responsibilities. This book offers them the necessary understanding, and its practical intent reflects its origin as a handbook for McKinsey consultants. We publish it for the benefit of current and future managers who want their companies to create value, and also for their investors. It aims to demystify the field of valuation and to clarify the linkages between strategy and finance. So while it draws on leading-edge academic thinking, it is primarily a how-to book and one we hope you will use again and again. This is no coffee-table tome: if we have done our job well, it will soon be full of underlining, margin notations, and highlighting.[…] The book’s messages are simple: Companies thrive when they create real economic value for their shareholders. Companies create value by investing capital at rates of return that exceed their cost of capital. These two truths apply across time and geography. The book explains why these core principles of value creation are genuine and how companies can increase value by applying them. (Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies 7th Edition; McKinsey & Company Inc., David Wessels, Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller; Wiley ; Preface: Page xi)