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Compounding Interest Rates Make a Difference

Using the Compounding Effect of Money and Interest Rates to Your Advantage is Key to Building Wealth

The compounding effect of money is extremely important when making any financial decision. The compounding effect of money is often overlooked or underestimated by people when making money decisions. When applied to all of your financial decisions, this effect is the KEY to long-term success! To illustrate the compounding effect of money, let's use some financial examples:

Suppose you had invested $1,000 today in a 5% savings account. In one year, that account would be worth $1,050 [$1,000 + ($1,000 x 5%)], yielding a $50 gain. However, in year two, that same initial investment would be worth $1,102.50 [$1,000 + ($1,000 x 5%) + ($1,050 x 5%)], yielding a $52.50 gain. And in year three, the same $1,000 would be worth $1,157.63, yielding a $55.13 gain. By year ten, the initial $1,000 investment would be worth $1,629 and by year 25 it would be worth $3,386.

From looking at this example, you can see that investing $1,000 today is much more valuable than investing $1,000 even a couple of years from now. To accumulate wealth, you MUST use the time value of money and the compounding effect of money to your advantage. Use this this technique in your everyday life and learn how to save a million dollars.

This second example shows how the compounding effect can work against you:

Suppose you borrowed $20,000 to purchase a car and your auto loan was at a 10% interest rate (for 5 years). Your monthly payments would be $424.94. Because the $20,000 loan continues to compound over the life of the loan, you actually pay $25,496.45 over the five-year period, meaning that you’ve in essence paid $5,496.45 because you spent the money before you had it. In fact, in your initial payments, the interest alone will account for almost 40% of your monthly payments. In this case, the bank or lender that gave you the loan uses the time value of money to their advantage.

Now look at this scenario, where instead of making the $424.94 car payment, you invest that payment at the same rate as what your car loan was (granted it’s a little high for a savings rate, but not unreasonable for other investments). Now, instead of paying the bank, you are actually earning interest and compounding the benefit for yourself. After one year you will have saved $5,340 and have earned $240 in interest. After two years, you will have saved $11,239 and have earned $1,039 in interest. By the third year, your investments will be worth almost $18,000 and you will have earned $2,457 in interest. By month 40, you will have enough money to purchase a $20,000 car in cash!

So let’s weigh the differences between the two scenarios above. In the first case you paid the bank $5,496 to borrow the money and in the second case you earned $2,457 and could buy the car in cash after just 40 months (just over 3 years)! The opportunity cost of the first alternative versus the second alternative results in a net difference of $7,953 (a $2,457 gain versus a $5,496 loss). That means that by making a simple deferral decision (buying the car in 3 years versus today), you can get ahead by almost $8,000!

The next rule is to take appropriate financial risks.