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The discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, in finance, is a method used to value a security, project, company, or asset, that incorporates the time value of money. Discounted cash flow analysis is widely used in investment finance, real estate development, corporate financial management, and patent valuation. Used in industry as early as the 1700s or 1800s, it was widely discussed in financial economics in the 1960s, and U.S. courts began employing the concept in the 1980s and 1990s.