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Question 1065  NPV, IRR, payback period

Your 18 year old friend is considering what to do with their working life until they retire at age 65. They've sought your advice.

For simplicity, ignore taxes and assume that wages will be paid annually in arrears and will be constant (zero growth). The abbreviation 'k' (Greek kilo) means thousands, so 1k is 1000.

Let the present be time zero (t=0) and the year of retirement is time 47 (t=47).

Your friend is deciding between:

  • Studying at university for 3 years, costing $30k at the start of each year (3 cash outflows at t=0, 1 & 2), then beginning work as a financial planner for $100k pa (44 annual payments from t=4 to 47 inclusive);
  • Working as a builder's apprentice for 2 years, earning $20k pa (2 cash inflows at t=1 and t=2), then beginning work as a builder for $90k pa (45 annual payments from t=3 to 47 inclusive);

You estimate that the required return is 5% pa with either career, and that they're equally risky. The cashflows are shown below:

Career Choices and Cash Flows
Time Planner Builder
0 -30 0
1 -30 20
2 -30 20
3 0 90
4 100 90
... ... ...
47 100 90


Which of the following statements is NOT correct? Comparing the two alternatives, being a financial planner compared to a builder, the: