Becoming a millionaire
Simple And Compound Interest
Perhaps you have heard of the miracle of compounding. Innumerable investors have used it to their advantage to make their money grow faster than would be the case with simple interest. The great thing about compounding is that it doesn't require additional work on your part: you just sit back and watch your money grow. How's that for an investment strategy?
There are two basic types of interest: simple and compound. Simple interest is the amount of interest earned on the original amount of money invested. Simple interest is paid out as it is earned and does not become part of an account's interest-bearing balance. The invested amount is called principal. Let's say you invest $100 (the principal) at a yearly interest rate of 5 percent. Multiplying the principal by the interest rate gives you an interest payment of $5. This is your simple interest. The next year and each year thereafter, you will be paid $5 of interest on the principal of $100.
Savings and Investments in Personal Finance
Personal finance also helps you make better savings and investment decisions because it focuses on your goals. Your budget (or spending plan) should be built around your day-to-day expenses, including your short-range lifestyle and financial goals. These may include your goals for your family's well-being, shelter, food, clothing, and recreation. It should also provide for future personal lifestyle and financial goals as well.
Savings and investments should be used to match your short-, intermediate-, and long-range financial goals. You save and invest for a purpose, not just to accumulate great wealth. In fact, you save and invest for many purposes, and how you save and invest depend upon the purpose. For example, if you need to replace
a household appliance costing a few hundred dollars in the next 12–18 months, you will save differently than you would if you were saving to pay for a child's education in 10–15 years. To make these decisions, you need to understand the relationship among investment risk, time horizon, and investment reward.
Make Compounding Work For You
Taking advantage of compound interest need not be a passive strategy on your part. The bigger your investment base, the more that time and math will conspire to build up your wealth. That is why investment advisors suggest taking advantage of time and a schedule of periodic investing. The results build on themselves.
You can maximize the power of compounding by following a few easy strategies:
- Invest early. The longer your money has time to work for you, the better compounding works. In fact, the effect is far more dramatic the earlier you begin and the longer you stay invested. So, the sooner you can begin investing, the more interest or dividends, and hence growth of your principal, you will accumulate through compounding.
- Invest often. Adding to your investments on a regular basis such as monthly or weekly can build your wealth quickly. The accumulation builds the base on which your interest is calculated. To stay on a schedule for periodic investing, some people take part in automatic investment plans, in which money is taken out of their deposit accounts and put into their chosen investments.
- Reinvest your dividends. If you own shares in a stock or mutual fund, you may be able to reinvest your dividends into more shares. This continues to build your investment base, allowing you to compound your return. It's putting your new income to work for you.
Category: Personal Finance