Start Now to Become a Successful Investor

By Eric Tyson

Part of Investing All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The greatest force all investors have is time. Don’t waste it. The sooner you start to save and invest, the more likely you’ll be successful.

Take the example of five people, each of whom wants to have $1 million in the bank by the time he or she retires at age 65. The first investor starts when she is 20, followed by a 30-year-old, 40-year-old, 50-year-old, and 60-year-old. Assuming that each investor starts with nothing and averages 10 percent returns each year, the following table shows how much each must save per month to reach his or her goals.

An Investor Who Is Must Invest This Much Each Month to Have $1 Million at Age 65
20 years old $95.40
30 years old $263.40
40 years old $753.67
50 years old $2,412.72
60 years old $12,913.71

Note: Assumed 10% annual rate of return

See, youth has its advantages. A 20-year-old who saves less than $100 a month will end up with the same amount of money as a 60-year-old who squirrels away $12,914 a month or $154,968 a year! That’s largely due to the fact that money that’s invested early has more time to brew. And over time, the money snowballs and compounds.