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How does compounding work with savings accounts and investments?

Curious about Compound interest

How does compounding work with savings accounts and investments?

In the context of savings accounts and investments, compounding refers to the process of earning interest on both the original principal amount and the accumulated interest from previous periods. This allows your savings or investments to grow at an accelerated rate over time.

Here's how compounding works:

1. Initial Principal: You start with an initial amount of money, which is called the principal. This could be the amount you deposit into a savings account or invest in an investment vehicle.

2. Interest Calculation: The interest rate, which is expressed as a percentage, determines how much interest you earn on your principal. The interest can be calculated on a daily, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, depending on the terms of your account or investment.

3. Accumulation of Interest: As time passes, the interest earned in each compounding period is added to your principal. This increases the total amount on which future interest calculations are based. Essentially, you are earning interest not only on your original principal but also on the interest that has already been added.

4. Exponential Growth: With each compounding period, the interest earned contributes to the growth of your savings or investments. Over time, the compounding effect can lead to exponential growth, as the interest earned in previous periods continues to generate additional interest.

The frequency of compounding, such as daily, monthly, or annually, plays a role in the rate at which your savings or investments grow. The more frequent the compounding, the faster your money can accumulate.

It's important to note that compounding can work in your favor when you are saving or investing, as it allows your money to grow faster compared to simple interest. However, compounding can also work against you when it comes to debt, as the accumulated interest can increase the total amount owed.

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