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The Power of Compounding: A Secret Weapon for Investors

In the world of investing, compounding is often referred to as the "eighth wonder of the world." This is because it has the potential to grow your money exponentially over time, turning even small investments into significant sums. But what exactly is compounding, and how can you harness its power to achieve your financial goals? 

"Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it."

Albert Einstein

Piggy Bank

What is Compounding?

Compounding is the process of earning interest on your interest when earning interest on cash, or in investing it is earning growth on growth reinvested.

This means that as your initial investment grows or pays dividends which are reinvested, you earn growth not only on the original principal amount but also on total value you've accrued including any growth. This snowball effect can have a dramatic impact on your returns over time. 

How Does Compounding Work?

To illustrate how compounding works, let's consider a simple example. Suppose you invest £10,000 at an annual growth rate of 5%. After one year, your investment will have grown to £10,500. In the second year, assuming you see the same growth rate of 5%, you will earn this not only on the original £10,000 worth of assets but also on the £500 you reinvested in the previous year. This means that your second year's capital growth will be £525, resulting in a total investment of £11,025. 

Even at 1% growth, the same initial investment of £10,000 with gains reinvested, would be £10,100 after year one, compounding to £10,201 in year two, without having to add anything beyond the original £10,000 but reinvest any annual gains.  With time on your side, even modest gains reinvested can build over the long term.

Obviously, there are no guarantees that investments will grow, least of all consistently year in year out as, with investments your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invested.  However, over significant periods of time, investments in shares have by most studies and measures, generally outperformed other assets.  

You also need to allow for inflation and fees but as you can see, the longer you leave your money invested, the greater the impact compounding will have. Over time, the effect of compounding can become quite significant, allowing even small investments to grow into substantial sums. 

Capital at Risk

Please do remember that as with all investments, your capital is at risk.  Past Performance is not an indication of future performance, and you may not receive back the same amount you put in when you choose to cash out your savings.  Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change.

How much could my savings be worth?

Initial deposit (capital)

£0 £10,000,000

Monthly contribution

£0 £50,000

Term (time saved)


Return % (AER)

After 1 year
Your contribution

For illustration purposes only, assuming annual compound interest, ignoring inflation. Forecast is not an indicator of future growth, which depends on the performance of chosen investments. Capital is at risk and past performance is not a reliable indicator of the future.

How to Harness the Power of Compounding

To harness the power of compounding, consider the following strategies: 

Start Investing Early

The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow through the power of compounding.

Contribute Regularly

Making regular contributions to your investments, even small amounts, can significantly boost compounding over time.

Take Some Risk

While allowing for your risk tolerance, if you have long time horizons, consider investing in assets with the potential for higher returns to amplify the effect of compounding.

Maintain a Long-Term Perspective

Avoid the temptation to react to short-term market fluctuations. Compounding works best over the long term, so stay focused on your long-term financial goals.

Minimise the impact of Tax: 

Where you can shield this long-term growth, through tax efficient wrappers such as ISAs, you can shield long term growth to keep more of the benefits from compounding.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you're new to investing or have complex financial goals, consider using a managed investment service or consulting a advisor for personalized guidance on how to effectively utilize compounding

In Summary

Remember, compounding is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your financial goals over time. By starting early, contributing regularly, choosing suitable investments, and maintaining a long-term perspective, you can harness the power of compounding to grow your wealth for the future. 

Starting to invest