Understanding XIRR in mutual funds: a comprehensive guide to extended internal rate of return

Learn more about XIRR, how it works, and how to calculate it, as well as offer some practical tips for using XIRR to evaluate your mutual fund investments.
3 mins
31 July 2023

We constantly invest a fixed amount in financial products such as mutual funds to secure our financial future. We may desire to redeem our assets after 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years. During that time, we usually divide the money we originally invested by the maturity amount we got to determine how much profit we made. But do you really think it is the best way to determine how much we gained? There has been no denying that returns have traditionally been the fundamental norms for investors when making a perfect investment decision.

Returns can be stated in a number of ways and nomenclatures and XIRR is one such term.

XIRR, also known as the Extended Internal Rate of Return, is a metric used to calculate the return on investment for mutual fund investments. It is a mathematical formula used to measure the annualised return on investments that involve investments made and returns received at multiple time intervals.

XIRR is a useful tool for investors to evaluate the performance of their mutual fund investments. It takes into consideration the multiple investments and withdrawals made by the investor at different time intervals. In simple terms, XIRR is a method that calculates the returns on investments that happen at different points in time.

How XIRR works in mutual funds?

XIRR calculates the annualised return on investments by considering the cash flows in and out of the mutual fund investment at different points in time. These cash flows can be investments made by the investor, the income earned from the mutual fund investment and the withdrawals made by the investor.

What is a good XIRR in mutual funds?

The good XIRR for mutual fund investments depends on several factors, such as investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. A good XIRR for a mutual fund investment should be at least higher than the inflation rate. It is essential to check the XIRR of a mutual fund against its benchmark index and the average returns of similar mutual funds.

How to calculate XIRR in mutual funds?

You must enter the transactions (additional purchases, SIP/SWP instalments, redemption) and the related dates in the designated area of an MS Excel sheet in order to compute XIRR for mutual funds. The statement of account that the AMC (Asset Management Company) will send you will include information about these transactions.

You can use the following formula in MS Excel to determine a mutual fund's XIRR:
"=XIRR (values, dates, guess)"

Here, you must enter cash inflows (dividends, SWP, redemptions) as positive values and cash outflows (lump-sum purchases and SIP payments) as negative values (i.e., place a minus sign before the amount).

The entry "Guess" is optional. It is by default taken to be 0.1.
If you have not yet redeemed your mutual fund units, you must enter the current investment value along with the NAV (Net Asset Value) of your mutual fund investment to compute XIRR.

Transactions like dividend reinvestment should be excluded because they don't result in actual cash flows. Moreover, switches should be considered a form of redemption when determining the XIRR at the level of schemes. But switches are irrelevant in the computation if you are computing XIRR at the portfolio level for mutual funds.

What is XIRR in NPS?

XIRR can also be used to calculate the return on investment for investments made in the National Pension Scheme (NPS). It calculates the annualised rate of return on investment and takes into consideration the contributions made and the returns earned at different time intervals.

As you can see from the examples above, XIRR is the best approach to calculating your real-world investment returns. CAGR is crucial to consider when choosing a mutual fund, but XIRR is critical when evaluating the returns on the investments you make. And IRR is employed for investments with equally spaced cash flows in time, but most investments are not as evenly spaced as you saw above in the case of mutual funds.

So, when a series of investments is made over time, involving transactions such as withdrawals, dividends, switching, and so on, XIRR is a superior approach to compute the return. XIRR is a far better tool for calculating mutual fund returns.

Calculate your expected investment returns with the help of our investment calculators:

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Frequently asked question

What is XIRR in mutual funds?

XIRR is an extended internal rate of return which is a method to calculate your returns on mutual fund investment at irregular periods of intervals.

How is XIRR Calculated?

XIRR can be calculated easily by using an inbuilt Excel function. Its formula is "=XIRR (values, dates, guess)".