Problem
You're evaluating a series of payments and cash flows and want to compute the rate of return on your investment.
Solution
Use the IRR function to compute the internal rate of return .
Discussion
Let's reconsider the example cash flow options discussed in Recipe 14.6. In addition to looking at net present values, you also want to compute the rate of return on each investment. IRR will do that for you. The syntax for IRR is =IRR(values, guess), where values is a cell range containing the investment and cash flow value and guess is your initial guess at the rate of return.

To compute the rates of return for the two projects, project A and project B, enter these two formulas: =IRR(C8:C12) and =IRR(D8:D12). The first formula computes the rate of return for project A before discounting, and the second formula computes the rate of return for project B before discounting. These formulas return 50% and 43%, respectively, indicating that project A is the better option.
The formulas =IRR(E8:E12) and =IRR(F8:F12) compute the rates of return for projects A and B after discounting their cash flows. The resulting rates of return are 43% and 36% for project A and project B, respectively. These results again indicate that project A is the better alternative.
Using Excel
Getting Acquainted with Visual Basic for Applications
Collecting and Cleaning Up Data
Charting
Statistical Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Mathematical Functions
Curve Fitting and Regression
Solving Equations
Numerical Integration and Differentiation
Solving Ordinary Differential Equations
Solving Partial Differential Equations
Performing Optimization Analyses in Excel
Introduction to Financial Calculations
Index