This video shows how to calculate the IRR when there is just a single cash flow.

When a investment opportunity consists of a single cash inflow, you can directly calculate the investment’s Internal Rate of Return (IRR) using algebra. You simply set up an equation for a situation in which the discounted cash flow plus the initial, negative cash outflow is equal to zero, and then solve for the one unknown (the rate of return). For example, if you are investing $5,000 today and expect to receive $9,000 eight years from now, you would set up the following equation and solve for r:

0 = -$5,000 + [$9,000/((1+r)^8)]

After doing some algebra you will see that “r” equals 1.552167, which means the IRR of this investment is 155.2167%.