Leverage refers to the ability to lift a heavier load using a fulcrum, a lever and a second lighter weight. The common image is a board on a triangular pivot point with a heavy weight (M1) on one end and a lighter weight (M2) on the other. As the lever shifts towards the lighter load it starts to lift the heavier weight.
In effect, as the distance ‘b’ gets longer, it becomes easier to lift M1.
This principle works with finances too. How so?
Well, in finance, leverage is the use of borrowed funds (M2) to increase the profits (M1) of the company. Simply put, the money is borrowed to purchase assets and then these assets are sold or utilized to generate profit. The core accepted principle is that the cost of the borrowed funds is less than the profits generated before the interest is paid. An example is appropriate here.
Airlines use leverage to increase their profits. They identify