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Chapter 6. Measuring Investment Returns II. Investment Interactions, Options and Remorse...
Independent investments are the exception... In all of the examples we have used so far, the investments that we have analyzed have stood alone. Thus, our job was a simple one. Assess the expected cash flows on the investment and discount them at the right discount rate. In the real world, most investments are not independent. Taking an investment can often mean rejecting another investment at one extreme (mutually exclusive) to being locked in to take an investment in the future (pre-requisite). More generally, accepting an investment can create side costs for a firm's existing investments in some cases and benefits for others.
I. Mutually Exclusive Investments We have looked at how best to assess a stand-alone investment and concluded that a good investment will have positive NPV and generate accounting returns (ROC and ROE) and IRR that exceed your costs (capital and equity). In some cases, though, firms may have to choose between investments because They are mutually exclusive : Taking one investment makes the other one redundant because they both serve the same purpose The firm has limited capital and cannot take every good investment (i.e., investments with positive NPV or high IRR). Using the two standard discounted cash flow measures, NPV and IRR, can yield different choices when choosing between investments.
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