Albert Einstein once said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it” . If something has the backing of arguably one of the smartest people in history, you can surely trust it!
Compounding is the process whereby interest is addedto an existing principal amount as well as to interest already paid. We have heard of something called ‘tax on top of tax’ which governments may annoyingly do at times. Compounding is similar to that but in our favour: it is effectively interest on interest.
Compound interest is when you add the earned interest back into your principal balance, which then earns you even more interest, compounding your returns. For example, Let’s assume you have $5000 in a savings account that earns 5% in annual interest. In year one, you’d earn $250, giving you a new balance of $5250: by next year, you will earn interest on this new amount of $5250 and so on. Before you know it, your money has magically gotten much bigger than what you started with, especially if you give it enough time to grow exponentially.
You may have read the example of a penny that doubles every day to become worth over $5,000,000 by day 30. While that is an extreme example, the lessons here are applicable: that compounding + time , ends up doing wonders to your money.
Compounding can also be thought of in terms of dividend reinvestment plans (DRIP) where money earned from dividend income is reinvested to buy more shares which in turn end up buying more shares and so on.
At the timing of writing this article, savings interest rate are at an almost decades high, with some banks paying 5% or more for certain savings or GIC accounts. So putting $10K in a savings account with such a rate will give you $500 in one year and you can then reinvest that amount and in one year from then (assuming the same 5% rate) you would get $525 on that $10500 for a new total of $11,025. So using compounding, you turned $10K into $11K and change in just two years! Now imagine if you had more money and have more years to leave it there. For example, if you leave your money in the bank for 5 years, and earning the same 5% interest rate, you would get close to $3K extra or $12,762.82 to be exact.
Compounding is a great tool to use on your road to wealth and financial freedom. It is effortless and it helps that we are now at decades long historical highs for interest rate paid by the banks. So put it all to use and reap the benefits in just a few years.