When I first started penning this blog, I was a fairly recent graduate with just a few years of working experience. Living in KL, I constantly worried about reducing my credit card debt (stemming from furnishing the house I had just bought) while keeping up with the burden of mortgage payment at the same time.
That is when I got to know “my enemy who is also my friend” – compound interest.
See, if you owe the lender 10 bucks (RM10) and are charged an interest rate of 10% per annum, that 10 bucks will become 30 bucks by the end of 20 years for interest without compound + principal. But with a compound interest of just 10%, you would be looking at coughing up RM73! Incidentally, did you know that banks in Malaysia are permitted to charge daily compounding tiered interest when you miss your credit card payments?
Compound interest though, is not always your enemy.
On the other side of the coin, let us look at how compound interest becomes our best friend for investing.
You see, the formula works exactly the same way.
Invest RM10 today with an interest of 10% (which some unit trusts may potentially fetch), by the end of 20 years that same RM10 will be RM72. Or less optimistically, at 7% it’ll be RM40. This is after considering the fact that you’re not adding anything extra to the initial investment.
For this reason, compound interest has often been touted as the eighth wonder of the world when applied to money and investing. Compound interest can help us achieve our financial goals, such as being able to retire comfortably, becoming financially independent, or even achieving millionaire status.
My investment portfolio is still in its infancy, with some unit trusts bought via my EPF Account 2 thus far. However, as I look forward to growing my savings and investments to be better prepared for the future, I’ve now got my eye on several other unit trusts and private retirement schemes. The good news is I am still young and have plenty of time left to invest and take advantage of my friend (compound interest)!
Have you started taking advantage of your friend?
To learn more about the magic of compounding interest and how it can produce the right results for your investments, check out InvestSmart, an investor empowerment initiative by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). In addition to providing you with knowledge, information and education, InvestSmart also organises stock market and unit trust seminars for retail investors. The seminars aim to encourage members of the public to take control of their finances so that they can be responsible for their own future and wealth, to equip investors with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to exercise good judgement and discretion in making investment decisions, and to encourage more informed retail participation in the capital market. To find out more, log on to: