You must enter either a "Starting Amount" (the cash-on-hand) or the "Regular Contribution Amount" or both. Set how often you add to your investment by setting the "Contribution Frequency". If you set the "Contribution Frequency" to monthly and enter 120 for "Number of Contributions" then the "Future Value" will be for the date 10 years from the "First Contribution Date" (120 monthly contributions = 10 years).
A note or two about "Compounding Frequency". Selecting he "Exact/Simple" option sets the calculator so it will not compound the interest. Also, the exact number of days between withdrawal dates is used to calculate the interest for the period. The "Daily" option uses the exact number of days between dates, but daily compounding is assumed. (The interest earned each day is added to the principal amount each day.) The "Exact/Simple" compounding option is the most conservative setting. That is, using it will result in the lowest future value. Daily compounding will result in nearly the greatest future value (except for "Continuous Compounding".
The other compounding frequencies are based on periods of time other than days. Each period is assumed to be of equal length for the purposes of interest calculations. That is, assuming a balance of $10,000, the interest earned for January will be the same interest earned for February given the same interest rate.
New 03/04/2013 (BETA): New calculator. Please let us know of any problems — contact us
This calculator solves for the future value (FV) of a series of regular deposits or investments. When you save or invest money, you assume, in the end, you'll have more money than simply the sum of all your deposits. The ending value above what you invested is due to the interest earned (or return on investment) over the period of time you invested your money. This final amount is the FV.
We think one of the important features of this calculator is its ability to create charts. Charts give the user the opportunity to visualize the numbers. For example, click on the "Charts" button. Take a look at the first chart, "Annual Contributions with Interest". If you are looking at the results from our sample calculation, you'll easily see how by the 10th year, the annual interest earned, nearly matches the amount you contribute. Providing such information to a young person should help them to make the wise choice of saving early.
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Time Value of Money