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Visualized: How Long Does it Take to Double Your Money?

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Visualized: How Long Does it Take to Double Your Money?

Visualized: How Long Does it Take to Double Your Money?

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At first glance, a 7% return on your investment may not seem that impressive. Yet what if you heard that your money could double in roughly 10 years?

The above graphic takes the rule of 72 shortcut and uses the more precise logarithmic formula to show how long it takes to grow your money at different annualized returns.

Why it Pays to Know the Math

Using the classic rule of 72, an investor can estimate how long it takes to double their money. At 7% annual returns, an investor would see $10,000 grow to $20,000 in about a decade by taking 72 and dividing it by 7%, the rate of return.

While the rule of 72 serves as a guide to estimating when your money will double, the more accurate way to arrive at this number is through a logarithmic equation.

In short, it divides the natural log of 2 by the natural log of 1 and adds this to the rate of return. We can see in the table below how leads to different results from the rule of 72:

Rate of Return Rule of 72
# of Years to Double Money
Logarithmic Formula
# of Years to Double Money
2%36.035.0
3%24.023.5
4%18.017.7
5%14.414.2
6%12.011.9
7%10.310.2
8%9.09.0
9%8.08.0
10%7.27.3
11%6.56.6
12%6.06.1
13%5.55.7
14%5.15.3
15%4.85.0
16%4.54.7
17%4.24.4
18%4.04.2
19%3.84.0
20%3.63.8

Consider if an investor put their money in the S&P 500. Historically, it has averaged 11.5% returns between 1928 and 2022. In 6.4 years, their money would double, assuming these average returns.

If they were to put this money in a savings account, where the average savings rate is 0.6%, it would take 120 more years for their money to reach this potential.

In real terms, which takes inflation into account, an investor would see their money lose value if they parked it in a savings account. Historically, inflation has averaged 3.3% over the last century.

Historical Asset Returns

Here’s how often different assets double, based on historical returns between 1928 and 2022:

AssetAverage Annual Return
1928-2022
# of Years to
Double Money
End Value of $100 Invested
1928-2022
3-Month T Bill+3.32%21.22$2,140.51
Real Estate+4.42%16.03$5,121.52
U.S. T Bond+4.87%14.58$7,006.75
Gold+6.48%11.04$8,866.76
Corporate Bonds*+6.96%10.30$46,379.53
S&P 500**+11.51%6.36$624,534.55

Source: NYU Stern. *Represents Baa corporate bonds, which are considered investment grade. **Includes reinvested dividends.

We can see that 3-month T-Bills, often considered among the safest assets, doubled about every 21 years. Often, investors consider this a place to put cash that is low-risk and highly liquid.

Interestingly, real estate assets had returns of 4.4%, doubling roughly every 16 years. Between 1928 and 2022, the value of $100 invested in real estate assets would be worth $5,121.52. By contrast, the value of $100 invested in the S&P 500, including reinvested dividends, would have reached over $624,000.

Data from NYU Stern shows that the S&P 500 has doubled about 10 times since 1949—through recessions and bull markets—illustrating the power of investing over the long run.

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Personal Finance

Mapped: Federal Tax Paid Per Capita Across Canada

We show which provinces and territories pay the most and least tax after adjusting for the number of tax filers in each jurisdiction.

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A Canadian map of federal tax paid per capita with the values for BC, Alberta, NWT, Ontario and Quebec as question marks

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The following content is sponsored by Fidelity Investments

Mapped: Federal Tax Paid Per Capita Across Canada

Which parts of Canada pay the most personal tax? In 2021, according to the latest available data, people in Ontario paid by far the greatest share: 42% of the total. Of course, Ontario is also the most populated province.

But if we look at which parts of the country paid the most and least taxes on a per capita basis, the picture looks different. In this graphic from Fidelity Investments, we show the amount paid per tax filer for each province and territory.

A Breakdown of Tax Per Person

We took the total personal federal tax paid in each province according to 2021 tax filing data from the Canada Revenue Agency. We then divided the total tax paid by the number of people filing taxes in the province. Below, we rank the provinces and territories from least to most taxes on this basis.

Province or TerritoryFederal Tax Paid Per Person
New Brunswick$4,186
Prince Edward Island$4,491
Nova Scotia$4,708
Manitoba$5,001
Newfoundland and Labrador$5,033
Quebec$5,352
Saskatchewan$5,596
Nunavut$6,314
British Columbia$6,828
Yukon$6,897
Ontario$6,969
Alberta$7,608
Northwest Territories$7,876
All of Canada$6,368

All of Canada is calculated as the total federal taxes paid in Canada divided by the total number of tax filers in Canada.

New Brunswick paid the least taxes on a per capita basis. Within the province, 13% of people worked in retail jobs, the highest proportion nationally. Retail positions in New Brunswick earned $34,000 annually on average. As a whole, 71% of people in New Brunswick earned less than $49,000 per year.

The Highest Taxes Per Capita

The Northwest Territories (NWT) paid the most taxes relative to the number of tax filers. Public administration workers made up nearly a quarter of tax filers, four times the national share of 6%. These workers, which include local, provincial, federal, and aboriginal government employees, had an average annual income of $120,000 in the NWT.

Additionally, the territory also had a relatively high proportion of people working in mining, who earned $221,000 a year on average.

However, it’s important to note that the NWT faces a high cost of living. On average, households in the capital city of Yellowknife paid 28% more for food and 47% more for shelter than the average Canadian household in 2021.

On a per person basis, Ontario paid the third highest taxes in Canada. The province had the highest proportion of finance and insurance workers, who earned $106,000 annually.

Reducing Your Taxes

Generally, a higher income leads to higher taxes. However, you can explore allowable deductions such as RRSP contributions to save more of your money.

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Use Fidelity’s income tax calculator to quickly estimate your taxes.

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