Can I invest twice as much and get there in half the time?

Time matters compound growth

When I give an example of investing over a career I often get the question, “Can I invest twice as much and get there in half the time?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. Compound growth isn’t linear. It’s an exponential curve. That means the longer you stick with it, the faster it goes.

I picture it like trying to build a snowball on a gentle snowy hill. At first, the entire effort comes from you. Packing snow, rolling it. This is your early saving years. But as time goes on it starts to grow and roll by itself. As it gets bigger it continues to pick up momentum. Then at the end it’s rolling out of control!

As much as I wish I could tell you a secret or the shortcut, this is the pure math of the situation. The takeaway is to get started early, even if it’s small. Small seeds grow tall trees.

In investing, the three things you control are: How much you put in, how long you invest, and the fees you pay along the way. That’s why I say “invest early and often” and why I prefer low-fee index funds. You got this!

As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.


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Jeremy Circle

Hi, I’m Jeremy! I retired at 36 and currently have a net worth of over $4 million. 

Personal Finance Club is here to give simple, unbiased information on how to win with money and become a multi-millionaire!