If we accept that the goal of the financial manager is to create value for the stockholder, it follows that the financial manager must have a means of evaluating a prospective investment in terms of its likelihood of enhancing shareholder value. Different decision criteria may be used to evaluate proposed investments and we have gone through a pretty thorough review of most of them (NPV, IRR, Payback Period (straight and discounted), AAR, MIRR, PI). Our review included learning how to calculate each one as well as come to an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each. “Conventional wisdom” tells us that only the NPV criterion can always tell us if a particular project is a good investment and, if we have more than one project from which to choose, which one we should take. If this is the case, then why do so many financial managers in the “real world” make extensive use of the payback approach and, typically, do not take a discounted approach to payback? If you were to counsel a financial manager who is committed to using a payback criterion to evaluate prospective investments, would you take the opportunity to discuss other decision criteria that might be used? What advice would you provide as to whether he/she should continue using payback or if he/she should consider another approach and why?