Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Calculator

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Internal Rate of Return Formula

The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a powerful tool for evaluating the potential profitability of an investment. The formula for calculating IRR is:

Internal Rate of Return formula


  • NPV = Net Present Value
  • N = total number of periods
  • n = non-negative integer
  • Cn = Cash flows
  • r = Internal rate of return

The IRR calculation involves finding the discount rate that sets the net present value (NPV) of all cash flows equal to zero. This is the rate at which the investment's future cash flows are worth exactly its initial cost.


When it comes to evaluating investment returns, two common metrics are Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Return on Investment (ROI). While both can be useful, they have some important differences.

ROI is a simple calculation that compares the amount of money you've gained or lost from an investment to the amount you put in. It's a good starting point for evaluating investments, but it has some limitations. For example, it doesn't take time into account - something that produces $1 over 10 years has the same ROI as something that produces $1 in 1 year.

IRR, on the other hand, is a more complex calculation that includes a factor of time. It takes into account not just the amount of money you'll receive from an investment, but also when you'll receive it. This makes it especially useful for evaluating longer-term investments or those without a defined term.

For example, let's say you're considering two investments with the same ROI of 10%. Investment A will return your initial investment plus 10% in one year. Investment B will return your initial investment plus 10% in five years. While their ROIs are the same, their IRRs will be different. Investment A's IRR will be 10%, while Investment B's IRR will be lower, due to the longer time horizon.

Ultimately, both ROI and IRR can be useful tools for evaluating investments, but it's important to understand their differences and choose the one that's most appropriate for your situation.

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