This Free Tool Will Guide You To Becoming a Millionaire

Update: My newer post, “The Epic Tool You Need To Retire Early Like a King,” includes a revamped version of this tool. Read both of these posts to find out what I mean. Don’t miss out! 🙂

 

Take a look at yourself. Can you imagine becoming a millionaire? No? 

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible. Yes, you can become a millionaire even if you’re not a high income earner.

For instance, Gen Y Money (GYM) has the mindset and goal to achieve $1,000,000 net worth by age 40.

In the introduction of her Young Money Bootcamp course, she mentions that she was able to increase her net worth by ten times from $55,000 to over $600,000 in under ten years. The beauty? She did this without making more than six figures at her job.

If you believe that you can do it, like GYM, you’re already ahead of most people.

 

Continuation from Last Week

In my last week’s post about your BFF, Mr. Compound Interest, I mentioned how I wish I met him sooner.

So, today is a continuation of last week’s discussion about Mr. Compound Interest.

Man, I just can’t get enough of his sexiness!

Money works for you / compound interest calculator / make money

Yes, I love him so much that I had to talk about him again. But it’s only because I really want to help you become a millionaire (or even billionaire)!

If you remember in my last post, I showed an example of two mice, Pinky (Ms. Dummy) vs. Brain (Mr. Smartie), who both started investing early, but at different times. If you missed it, feel free to take a look at their hypothetical results here. BTW, the dummy ended up outsmarting the genius!

Despite these results, I felt that this example wasn’t enough to prove my point. In addition to that, I wanted to illustrate how Mr. Compound Interest works hard for you. It really shows in his abs of steel, doesn’t it?

 

millionaire tool / freebie / compound interest / make money / save money

 

Mr. Compound Interest Freebie For You!

With that said, my fiance and I created this free tool (desktop friendly) that proves you can become a millionaire without much effort! Don’t worry, our tool is just as handsome as Mr. Compound Interest above. 😉

Again, the catch is to be patient and start as early as possible.

 

Why We Created Mr. Compound Interest Freebie

I felt more inclined to write this post and create this tool after having a small argument with my parents. We weren’t fighting, but they were laughing at me as if I was Krusty the Clown.

via GIPHY

 

They don’t believe that it’s possible to become a millionaire. They think I’m unrealistic and just a dreamer, but like what Money Hungry Man said in my last post’s comments, the numbers don’t lie…

It’s crazy to think Brain would have less money after so many years of investing [compared to Pinky with only 10 years of investing], but the numbers don’t lie. Start Early, even if it’s a small amount. Let Mr. Compound Interest do the heavy lifting.

Again, the numbers don’t lie and we will show you how with our tool.

I was even more surprised to find out that other people, such as my friends and co-workers, were unaware of these results!

Despite learning about time value of money in school, it seems like many people don’t realize how powerful compounding interest can be.

As a test, we gave this tool to our friends to use. To our surprise, they were surprised with the results. After seeing these numbers, they are now motivated to put this into practice. We hope this will open up your eyes too!

 

How to Use the Mr. Compound Interest Tool

How you achieve your first million dollars will depend on a few factors — the age you start investing, your savings rate, and the average return on your investment. Let’s not forget the factor that most people lack… patience.

Okay, shall we dive in and take a closer look at each input? Yasss!

Avatar created using Bitmoji

If you haven’t downloaded your free tool yet, you can grab it right here. Again, make sure you use your desktop since this is an .xlsx file.

 

1) Your Age

age compound interest

First, input the age that you’ll start saving. I highly advise you to start now even if you’re only 16.

After that, input the age you expect to retire.

Despite your age, it’s never too early nor too late. However, if you’re in your 40s and haven’t started, you might want to increase your savings rate.

As mentioned in my previous post, the best time to become BFFs with Mr. Compound Interest was yesterday, but the second best time is today. Investing as early as possible is always good because you can start contributing small amounts. That way, you won’t feel the pinch later.

But looking at the bright side, starting in your 40s is better than starting in your 50s. I know a few of my parents’ friends, in their late 50s, who are now aggressively saving as much as they can to prepare for retirement. Now, all you’ll hear them say (over and over again) is: “I wish I started sooner.” So, treat their words as your time machine to becoming a millionaire!

 

2) Savings Input

compound interest savings / compound interest calculator

Next, input your monthly savings target. The “Annual Savings” field below should automatically calculate.

For simplicity, let’s say you aim to save $600 every month until you turn 65.

Some of you might be thinking: “$600 per month?? Are you cray??”

Now, assume you make the average Canadian salary of $51,000 per year. Your annual take-home pay would be roughly $40,000. Even saving 18% of that would be $40,000*0.18=$7,200 per year. That equates to $600 per month. Don’t forget that you may be eligible for a company match as well, so even more added to your savings!

Honestly, I could write an entire post that is specific to how you can save $600 per month without depriving yourself. But that’s not my focus for this post. For now, just take my word that saving $600 per month is very doable without popping out the box of instant noodles.

Believe it or not, it’s even possible to save $1,000 per month and still enjoy life. Hm… not a bad idea. It’s something I’ll consider blogging about in the next few weeks.

 

Related: How To Save (and Spend) Money The Sexy Way!

 

3) Expected (Long-term Average) Return

Now that you determined your age, retirement date, and savings rate, it’s time to make an assumption about the average long-term returns on your investments. I know, this one’s a bit tricky and uncontrollable.

expected return compound interest calculator

According to this Globe and Mail article, John Heinzl wrote that the S&P 500 had an annual return of roughly 8.2% for 20 years ended December 31, 2015. He stated that this period is worth mentioning because it includes the two bear markets — the tech bubble between 2000 to 2002 and the financial crisis in 2008 to 2009.

Heinzl also adds:

“Twenty years not long enough for you? Over the past 50 years, the S&P 500’s compound annual growth rate was even better, at 9.7 per cent.”

 

With all that said, he believes that an 8% return assumption, after inflation, is reasonable.

As we all know, historical returns are not guaranteed indicators of future returns. But if you think about it, nothing in life is guaranteed.

I don’t mean to scare off anyone here, but death can unexpectedly happen at any time. Your company may cut you without notice. When a couple gets married, no one would ever think of a divorce.

You get my point.

$hit happens. But the best you can do is take on calculated risks and prepare a bit.

Prepare by doing what you can control such as starting early, earning more, and saving more. It also helps to set aside some emergency fund that will cover your butt.

Although you cannot control the markets, Mr. Compound Interest will do most of the heavy lifting for you over the very long term. There will be times where he loses steam and compounds the opposite way (i.e. bear markets).

Compound interest calculator
Avatar created using Bitmoji

During these times, it will be scary as eff! But instead of getting all emotional and letting go, hang onto him and give him hope. If you could, consider feeding him more stocks at a discount. Eventually, he will gain traction and start picking up again.

If you’re skeptical of Heinzl’s 8% assumption, feel free to use a more conservative number in the spreadsheet. You can even insert a real rate of return (inflation adjusted) by inputting a value that’s between 4% and 5%.

 

Becoming a Millionaire Requires Patience

Go ahead and use the tool. You can tailor it specifically to your situation.

compound interest / money makes money / compound interest calculator

So, did I prove that compound interest can turn you into a millionaire without much effort?

Again, the only discipline you’ll need is patience… and maybe some drive to earn more. Making more money will definitely increase your chances of achieving a $1,000,000 net worth sooner.

As you play around with these numbers, make sure your inputs are realistic. Overall, be honest with yourself and set some challenging but achievable goals.

 

Now, you’re likely going to ask:

“Where should I park my money to get these potential returns?”

I am in the progress of creating a free 101 investing course to offer some tips. Stay tune for it!

 

Summary

Overall, most people are skeptical about becoming a millionaire, let alone a multimillionaire (or even billionaire). But with patience, smart savings, and Mr. Compound Interest doing most of the heavy lifting, you’re richer than you think!

The tool we made for you will give you an idea of what you’ll need to achieve your first $1,000,000. Your results ($1 million net worth) will depend on these inputs:

1) The age you start investing

2) How much you save per month (and for how long)

3) The assumption of long-term average returns

While you cannot control market returns, you can certainly control when you start investing, and how much you save per month. Again, your inputs should be realistic and achievable.

 

Over to you

My question to you again. After seeing how compound interest works, can you imagine yourself becoming a millionaire?

 

More $avvy Reads for You!

Want more $avvy tips for help?

compound interest / money makes money
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Here are more money tips and motivational reads for you:

How To Achieve Your Goals the Warren Buffett Way

5 Amazing Money Tips From a Billionaire That Will Change Your Life

This Investment Beats Bitcoin

This Quote From a Billionaire Will Inspire You To Become Rich!

You Can Live Like This Billionaire: Here’s How!

10 Ways To Develop a Rich Mindset: #10 is Seriously Mind-Blowing!

15 Financial Goals That You MUST Achieve: What’s YOUR Score?

 

If you like what you read, feel free to pin my posts! Don’t forget to subscribe (at the yellow bar on top) for more weekly money tips and inspiration! I promise that I do not spam. I also do not share anyone’s information.

 

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31 Comments

  1. Panda!

    I’m so glad Mr. Compound Interest made a return appearance…and brought a friend, the great tool!

    Mr. DS even opened up the tool tonight and goes, “whoa, nice spreadsheet!”

    You have a way of writing to make it “fun” and even though I don’t condone the use of you calling yourself a dummy (because you are super smart and an amazing writer!) you make it sound so easy that even a dummy could do it…or better yet, inspire newbies/fresh high school students to get excited about money, saving, investing!

    “Start investing while you’re young and hot!” lol. I am looking forward to seeing that pin btw!

    And “Invest from the comfort of your home” <– have pic of a fat kitten sprawled out across the keyboard…I would pin that instantly. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspirational post – you make anyone believe they can become a millionaire!

    ~ We started from the bottom now we heeeaahh!

    1. Hi Mrs. DS!

      Thanks for your kind words… I try to make it less dry because honestly, who wants to learn about “compound interest”?? And who really wants to watch their paint dry on the walls? So, I want to make the topic seem less boring!

      I love that — start investing while you’re young and hot hahaha. I love your ideas!

      Even a pin “We started from the bottom now we heeeahhh” seems pretty eye catching 😛

  2. Haha, Mr. Compound Interest is super hot, he really works hard on his obliques!

    Thank you as always for the mention!! Haha, you are my blog BFF for always mentioning me!

    Yeah, I don’t think it is that difficult- especially if you start young (I applaud the 16 year old reading this!), that being said 1 million is not what it used to be, but it’s still not bad and a portfolio of that amount can be generated into $35,000-$40,000 annual dividend income.
    GYM recently posted…Have a No Spend Minimalist Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    1. haha I don’t think the male readers seem to like Mr. Compound Interest… i.e. Mr. DS and Damn Millennial… LOL!!!

      Whoever is 16 and starts taking this advice is going to be rich… rich to the point where that they can live life on their own terms 😀 I wish my parents or someone taught me this when I was that young… Oh well, better now than never.

      And thanks, I appreciate that you like the spreadsheet/table/chart. We play with it to see different case scenarios… we even [unrealistically] try to see what it would take to reach $5 or $10mm!! It’s too bad we couldn’t apply the double digit growth like what we experienced after the crisis haha…

  3. This is pretty good tool Ms. Panda. Everyone interested in creating wealth should have one. Like you and your fiance, I created something like this when I was younger. I didn’t like my job and the 60+ hours a week that came with it so I was planning my exit. I called it my “quit now” spreadsheet. It answered the question, how long will it take until I have enough to quit. Good stuff. Tom
    Tom @Dividends Diversify recently posted…O My! Now I’m a Real Estate Guy.My Profile

    1. I love your idea! “QUIT NOW” spreadsheet. It’s the perfect name for it!

      Or in more raw terms, call it the GTFO (get the f*** out) spreadsheet lol

      It’s definitely a useful tool to view the different possible scenarios. It helps with planning and thinking of the realistic possibilities to achieve anyone’s FI goals.

      For example, if a person can only realistically save $500 per month, but they see from the spreadsheet that it requires $800 savings per month to reach their FI by age X, then they will have to find ways to make up the $300 shortfall.

      They can make up this $300 shortfall by:
      1) finding ways to cut unnecessary spending
      2) earning more money
      3) making sure they have taken advantage of free money from somewhere

      They can even change the annual contributions in the field (quarter way, half way, etc.) if they decide to change their savings rate each year. There are so many possibilities!

      Once that’s done, they can also see how much they can withdraw at retirement without eroding the nest. This spreadsheet helped us answer some of these questions, so we are hoping it would help others too! 🙂

    1. Did you mean to say that to Mrs. DS? I think she’s mesmerized by him! haha j/k… but not joking about how useful Mr. CI can be 😀

  4. Cool chart Panda! I used it myself and liked how you made it easy to figure out what your investments could potentially look like as you reach your retirement age.
    Hopefully their are really kids under 20 years old reading this post and planning to save, invest, and let compounding do the work. Planning as early as you can really help because you will getting better returns than someone planning to invest later on like you mentioned.

    1. I’m glad you find it easy to use!

      I definitely like spreadsheets like these because you can play around with numbers and come up with different scenarios.

      Sometimes it even makes us calm when we see actual numbers rather than blindly guessing. Well, I know you have to sort of guess and make assumptions for market returns, but at least there are a lot of things you can still control from your end (i.e. saving, earning higher income, become creative with how you achieve those goals… basically finding ways to preserve and create wealth) 😀

  5. I can’t believe they were laughing at you! Well, you showed them that they need to shut up. 😀

    Compound interest is so strong and effortless. The hard part is actually putting in the savings. I know because I knew all about compound interest as a young man and still didn’t save!

    I guess I am Mr. Pinky now… :/
    MrDoublingDollars recently posted…2017 Net Worth Report [+72,103!]My Profile

    1. I was surprised to see how strong compound interest is myself! Even after seeing the numbers many times on spreadsheet, I’m still like WHAT??

      Ask people the following question:
      Would you rather take 1) a penny that doubles every day for 1 month, or 2) take $1,000,000 up front?

      Most people would say the latter because they don’t realize. But when you plug that penny in the spreadsheet, you’re like WHOA!! I know it’s unrealistic to see doubling returns everyday for 30 days, but this doubling penny is a good example to show how strong compound interest is!

    1. I’m happy to hear that you love the spreadsheet! lol

      I wonder what lesson three will be? I gotta think of that one… there’s probably a lot to talk about when it comes to compounding interest!

    1. haha you’re just like Mr. DS! Both not very fond on Mr. Compound Interest’s image! I can see why LOL!

      I bet if I used a female and called her Ms. Compound Interest (and still wore jeans on the beach), your comment would’ve been different!! 😛

  6. Mr Compound Interest can do magic things as you say. And until you see it in black and white, it can really be hard to believe. Especially if you are young and time is on your side (but it’s never too late!!!)

    Loving the spreadsheet Ms. Panda! I wonder if the annual contribution should go to zero when you reach your desired retirement age?

    It’s great to see how many years you’ll have to contribute to get to your number!

    1. Hi Sara!

      I’m glad you like the spreadsheet! Compound interest is indeed magical over the years!

      The great thing about the sheet is you can adjust your annual savings in the annual contributions field in however way you want.

      For example, maybe 5 years in, you decide to change your savings rate to $1,000 per month instead of $600. You can easily change the “annual contributions” field to 1,000×12=$12,000 per year for as long as you like. And still keeping the first 5 rows as $600×12=$7,200 in “annual contributions.”

      And yes, you can definitely make it equal to $0 as long as you calculate that your nest egg is enough to fund your lifestyle without having to save another penny.

      But at the same time, make sure the nest doesn’t erode too quickly or to the point where you run low. There’s also “longevity risk” (living way longer than expected) and running low or out of money, lol. That’s another uncertainty in addition to market returns. Overall, there are so many different scenarios!

    1. Oh wow!! 6 more years is awesome! Who knows, maybe it will be even sooner if markets continued to do well? lol… But either way, good stuff!!

      Thanks for your kind words about the spreadsheet. I’m glad you think the design is cool 🙂

  7. My goodness I hate when people photo shop my body with someone else’s face and put it on a meme!

    I think one important part you mention is the emergency fund. I’m a huge fan of saving and investing, but a rainy day will eventually come and when it does that fund cushion is crucial. The last thing you want to do is take your invested money out and slow the compound effect.

    Also, I love the new Panda logo! Panda Panda Panda Panda
    Money Hungry recently posted…Stock Purchase O/Dividend Increase January 2018My Profile

    1. haha all the guys must be hatin’ on you and your body now!! jk 😀

      Emergency fund is definitely important. I am a little paranoid without one. I know it’s odd how I’m okay with taking on leverage to invest, but on thing I cannot tolerate is a $0 emergency fund.

      Thanks for noticing my new logo! I’m glad you like how it turned out! Now my job is to be Fin$avvy carebear according to Mr and Mrs. DS, haha.

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