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What Is The Margin Of Safety Formula? Definition, Formula, Example, Calculator

What Is The Margin Of Safety Formula? Definition, Formula, Example, Calculator

Margin of safety formula

Investment and accounting is a world full of theories, models, and paradigms. One such concept is the Margin Of Safety formula. It’s an investment principle where an investor purchases only the securities where the market price is below the ingrained value.

In simple words, when a security’s market price is below the estimation of the intrinsic value, that difference becomes the margin of safety.

Wanna get more deets on it? Keep reading….

Margin Of Safety Formula Definition

Margin Of Safety Formula Definition

To define it, the Margin of Safety Formula is basically the difference between the break-even point and expected profitability. It’s equal to the present sales minus the breakeven point and divided by the current sales.

Any kind of revenue that would take your business above this break-even could be taken into account as the margin of safety. After considering the variable and fixed costs, if your business revenue goes above the break-even, it would be the margin of safety. Hence, the margin of safety definition is basically the quantifiable distance you are away from facing unprofitability.

Margin Of Safety Formula

Margin Of Safety Formula

In order to find the Margin Of Safety Percentage, use the margin of safety formula: Margin of Safety = (Actual Sales – Break Even Sales) / Actual Sales

You can also work out the Margin Of Safety Percentage using forecasted sales for businesses to make them grow in the future. Based on the situation, a low margin of safety could be a risk the company is willing to take. 

Let’s explore other margin of safety formulas:

1. Margin Of Safety In Dollars

formula 1

2. Margin Of Safety Ratio

formula 2

3. Margin Of Safety Percentage

formula 3

How To Calculate Margin Of Safety?

How To Calculate Margin Of Safety?

Here, I have put forward an example of the margin of using the margin of safety formula. So, basically, it’s the difference between the two figures which makes it a simple subtraction.

Below is an example of how to calculate margin of safety:

Example 1:

Haiti enterprises give a dataset for April 2022:

  • Sales (3,500 units @ $20/unit): $70,000
  • Contribution margin per unit: $12
  • Total fixed expenses for the entire month: $15,000

There was no closing and opening, and closing of finished inventory in the stock

Question: Calculate the margin of safety and break-even point for Haiti Enterprises with the help of data. In addition, draw a CVP graph and depict the sales volume representing the margin of safety and break-even point on the graph.


1. Break Even Point

Break-Even Point In Units

The break-even point in units for Haiti Enterprises is:

Fixed Cost / Contribution margin each unit

= USD $15,000/ $12

=1250 Units

Break Even Point In Dollars:

Break even point in units × Selling price of each unit

= 1,250 units × USD $20

= USD $25,000

2. Margin Of Safety

Margin Of Safety In Percentage:

Actual Sales – Break Even Sales

= USD $70,000 – $25,000

= $45,000

It means that if the $45,000 is lost in the sales revenue, the profit will come down to zero, and every dollar that’s lost apart from it would be considered a loss. 

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Margin Of Safety In Units:

= USD $45,000/ $20

= 2,250 units

What Is A Good Margin Of Safety Percentage?

Now that you know what a margin of safety is and how to find the margin of safety, you might be wondering what a good margin of safety percentage is. Basically, the value investors won’t invest in security until and unless the margin of safety is calculated to be around 20 – 30%.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1. What Is The Margin Of Safety?

The Margin of Safety is an investment principle where an inverter only purchases only securities while their market price is lower than their intrinsic value.

Q2. What Does A 50% Margin Of Safety Mean?

It means that the business is earning profits from 50 items sold, and the sales could fall by 50 items just before the break-even point is reached.

Q3. How To Find Margin Of Safety?

If you ask how to calculate the margin of safety, the answer will be:
(Current Sales Level – Breakeven Point) / Current Sales Level x 100.

Q4. Why Is Margin Of Safety Important?

The margin of safety warns the management against the risks of losses that are about to happen. A lower margin of safety forces a company to cut all the budgeted expenditure.

Q5. Is There Any Margin Of Safety Book?

Yes, there is an informative margin of safety book which you can go through if you like to know more: Risk-averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor, written by Seth Klarman, an American Investor.

Key Takeaway

Here is the Margin of Safety formula at a glance:

  • Safety margin in accounting is built into the break-even forecasts to allow some slack in the estimates. 
  • The margin of safety formula incorporates both qualitative and quantitative considerations for determining a safety margin and a price target that discounts the target. 
  • It’s an in-built cushion that allows for some losses you can incur without any significant negative effects.
  • After purchasing stocks at prices lower than their target, the discounted price develops a margin of safety if the estimates are biased.

In case you have questions, let’s meet in the comment area below. Also, stay tuned to our website for getting blogs on conceptual topics like these.

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