Multiple internal rates of return: when to anticipate multiple IRRs and how to take advantage of them to perform a better evaluation

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1999
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Rosbaco, Juan
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“There are different rules to delimit or exactly determine the number of Internal Rates of Return a project may have or has. These rules show that, when the sequence of signs of the cumulative cash flow vs time function is the normal one - negative figures at the start and then only positive ones – there is only one Internal Rate of Return. There are few projects in which there are multiple intersections of cumulative cash flow with the time axis : a number of acceleration projects, complex financing investments, and a few other serial projects. However, not all of them have multiple Internal Rates of Return. The discussion presented in this paper addresses the question of how to empirically infer the existence of multiple rates, and how to use them for the benefit of the evaluation. Moreover, it demonstrates that all multiple rates have the same physical meaning, which does not vary with respect to the traditional single rate case.”
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