Why every % matters…

October 8th, 2018 | Posted by shauniekent in Educational - (0 Comments)

Well obviously we want to build wealth, but it’s important to realize how even a little extra % gain each year can be significant. Making or losing an extra 1% may seem insignificant over a year, but over a period of several years it’s effect becomes very significant.

“Compound interest is the 4th wonder of the universe”  quote sometimes attributed to Einstein.

The below table illustrates a £10,000 starting amount growing annually at 7, 8, 9 and 10 %. It also shows the final value difference between growing annualy at 7% compared to 8, 9 or 10%.

Starting Capital Annual Gain % Capital after 15 Yrs Difference compared to 7% after 15 Yrs Capital after 20 Yrs Difference compared to 7% after 20 Yrs
10,000 7% £27,590 £38,697
10,000 8% £31,722 15.0% £46,610 20.4%
10,000 9% £36,425 32.0% £56,044 44.8%
10,000 10% £41,772 51.4% £67,275 73.9%

£10,000 growing at 10% annually turned into £67,275 after 20 years, which is almost 73.9% higher that the £38,697 it would have become if grown at 7% annually.

If we continue for 25 years, for a portfolio growing an additional 3% per year, the final value after 25 years is almost double what is would have been!

This brief analysis doesn’t factor in regular contributions or the inherrent variability of annual performance – but does highlight the importance of making a few extra % every year across the whole portfolio (stop chasing those individual multibaggers that almost always dissappoint). Doing so makes a large difference to the future size of your pot of money.

Have i mentioned before that the average private under performs the wider market….? Imagine a typical investor who would have had triple the amount in capital after 25 years – if only they had matched the market (perhaps by buying a index tracking fund). They have missed out on a lovely compounded growth in capital. The truth is they may have given up long before faced with continued disappointing investing results.

Ok, so how do I go about harnessing the power of compound interest…? See my next blog post for an overview of how i would tell a friend or family member to invest, if they’ve already decided they want to invest in the stock market.

Here is a good article explaining CAPE. CAPE is basically a way of telling how reasonably priced the whole market is. At the top of a bubble CAPE will be high, and in a slump, low.

If this was boiled down to one lesson it would mean to take caution when CAPE is high, be greedy when others are fearful ie when CAPE is low. This is because historically CAPE returns to its long run average.

An alternative approach to stock market forecasts

UK Value Investor is a great site for those wishing to beat the market investing in large FTSE companies but with little effort. I think there might be a small subscription charge but Johns Kingham’s methods are pure common sense.

I’ve just finished the chapter in Joel Greenblatts book on Spin-offs and how the canny private investor can profit from them. I did a quick google for ”spin off lse” today and noticed the Cookson group has very recently split into two new companies – Vesuvius and Alent. One is to do with steel, the other ceramics/chemicals i believe. A cursory glance is all i’ve given to this situation to see if Joel’s principles could apply in this spin off situation. The answer is that they do not. Both new companies have large market caps and so are accessible to an institutional investor. This eliminates the small investor advantge.

That’s not to say that either company may not be a good investment on its own merit, but that the opportunity inherent from a specific type of spin off can not be found here on account of the large market caps of both new companies. Never mind, at least i’m putting my new analytical skills into practice.


I have been interested in shares and investments for a couple of years now. I have learnt a tremendous amount but am still fresh enough to remember the ignorance of my beginnings and the biases I unknowingly held. That’s not to say I’m free from bias, but certainly less so.

I want to set out a series of posts on different sectors of the market and summarise what I’ve learnt from my own experiences and from what I’ve read on the web. I hope they are succinct, snappy and mostly an accurate assessment .
I’ll be starting with mining companies…