The principle of compounding

The principle of compounding

Your super grows in two ways. 

The first is from the contributions that you or your employer make. The second is through investment returns. The advantage of investment returns is that they benefit from compounding. That is, the more investment returns you receive, and the higher your account balance, the more investment returns you will receive.

Here’s how compounding works…

Over time, investment returns are added to your accounts. The total then goes on to earn more investment returns. So, you may earn investment returns on your investment returns. This table is an example of how compounding can make a difference to your investment. If you make an investment of $100 today it will be worth more and more over time with positive returns. How much it’s worth depends on the investment return earned by your chosen investment option. This table demonstrates the principle of compounding, assuming your investment return earns a constant positive percentage return.
Number of Years Investment Return
1 $104 $105 $106
5 $122 $128 $134
10 $148 $163 $179
15 $180 $208 $240
20 $219 $265 $321

Remember, investment returns can be negative from time to time. When this happens, it may take some years for your investment to regain its previous value. 

However, it is important to remember that when this occurs:
  • Any decrease in value is only on paper, which isn’t ‘locked in’ unless you decide to switch investment options, or you withdraw funds from your investment; and
  • Depending on what option/s you are invested in, lower markets may represent an excellent opportunity to invest additional funds (that is, purchase additional units while the price is low). 

Help making your choice

Ultimately, you need to do what is best for you. If you need help with making your investment choice or with planning for your financial future, you can always discuss your situation with a licensed financial planner.

We’re here to help. Register now for a webinar to find out more.

The superannuation schemes administered by Super SA are exempt public sector superannuation schemes and are not regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Super SA is not required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence to provide general advice about a Super SA product. The information in this publication is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Super SA recommends that before making any decisions about its products you consider the appropriateness of this information in the context of your own objectives, financial situation, and needs, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), and seek financial advice from a licensed financial adviser in relation to your financial position and requirements.