Investment Calculator

The investment calculator can be used to calculate a specific parameter for an investment plan. The tabs represent the desired parameter to be found. For example, to calculate the return rate needed to reach an investment goal with particular inputs, click the 'Return Rate' tab.

Your Target 
Starting Amount 
Afteryears
Return Rate%
Additional Contribution 
Contribute at the end of each
 
 

Results

End Balance$31,058.48
Starting Amount$10,000.00
Total Contributions$0.00
Total Interest$21,058.48
Balance Accumulation Graph
Breakdown

RelatedInterest Calculator | Average Return Calculator | ROI Calculator

Investing is the act of using money to make more money. The Investment Calculator can help determine one of many different variables concerning investments with a fixed rate of return.

Variables involved

For any typical financial investment, there are four crucial elements that make up the investment.

Different Types of Investments

Our investment calculator can be used for mostly any investment opportunity that can be simplified to the variables above.

CDs

A simple example of a type of investment that can be used with the calculator is a certificate of deposit, or CD, which is available at most banks. A CD is a low risk investment. In U.S., most banks are insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a U.S. government agency. This means the CD is guaranteed by FDIC up to a certain amount. It pays a fixed interest rate for a specified amount of time, giving an easy-to-determine rate of return and investment length. Normally, the longer that money is left in a CD, the higher the rate of interest received. Other low-risk investments of this type include savings accounts and money market accounts, which pay relatively low rates of interest. We have a CD Calculator for investments involving CDs.

Bonds

Risk is a key factor when making investments. In general, premiums must be paid for greater risks. For example, buying the debt of some companies rated at a risky level by the agencies that determine levels of risk in corporate debt (Moody's, Fitch, Standard & Poor's) will earn a relatively high rate of interest, but there is always risk that these companies might go out of business, possibly resulting in losses on investments.

Buying bonds from companies that are highly rated for being low-risk by the mentioned agencies is much safer, but this earns a lower rate of interest. Bonds can be bought for the short or long term.

Short-term bond investors want to buy a bond when its price is low and sell it when its price has risen, rather than holding the bond to maturity. Bond prices tend to drop as interest rates rise, and they typically rise when interest rates fall. Within different parts of the bond market, differences in supply and demand can also generate short-term trading opportunities.

A conservative approach to bond investing is to hold them until maturity. This way, interest payments become available, usually twice a year, and owners receive the face value of the bond at maturity. By following a long-term bond-buying strategy, it is not a requirement to be too concerned about the impact of interest rates on a bond's price or market value. If interest rates rise and the market value of bonds change, the strategy shouldn't change unless there is a decision to sell.

One very special kind of bond is the United States Treasury inflation-protected securities, known as TIPS. TIPS offer an effective way to handle the risk of inflation. They also provide a risk-free return guaranteed by the U.S. government. For this reason, they are a very popular investment, although the return is relatively low compared to other fixed-income investments. TIPS are guaranteed to keep pace with inflation as defined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is what makes them unique and characterizes their behavior. Please visit our Inflation Calculator for more information about inflation or TIPS.

Stocks

Equity or stocks are popular forms of investments. While they are not fixed-interest investments, they are one of the most important forms of investments for both institutional and private investors.

A stock is a share, literally a percentage of ownership, in a company. It permits a part owner of a public company to share in its profits, and shareholders receive funds in the form of dividends for as long as the shares are held (and the company pays dividends). Most stocks are traded on exchanges, and many investors purchase stocks with the intent of buying them at a low price and selling them at a higher one (hopefully). Many investors also prefer to invest in mutual funds, or other types of stock funds, which group stocks together. These funds are actively managed by a finance manager or firm to bring together as many performing stocks as possible. The investor pays a small fee called a "load" for the privilege of working with the manager or firm. Another kind of stock fund is the index fund, which bases its strategy on the performance of indexes like the Dow Jones, the S&P 500, or the Russell 2000, groups of stocks that are selected on the basis of size, quality, and many other factors.

Real Estate

Another popular investment type is real estate. The most basic way of investing is to purchase low-priced properties with reason to believe that they will appreciate in value over time. Usually, an influx of people to a community or an increase in development makes a property more valuable. Alternatively, purchased land can be built upon and made more valuable in this way. Click here to find all our relevant real estate calculators.

Another way to invest in real estate is to buy houses or apartments and rent them out. Please consult our Rental Property Calculator for more information or to do calculations involving rental property.

Commodities

Last but not least are commodities. These can range from precious metals like gold and silver, to useful commodities like oil and gas. Investment in gold is complex, as the price of it is not determined by any industrial usage, but by the fact that it is valuable due to being a finite resource. It is common for investors to hold gold, particularly in times of financial insecurity. When there is war or crisis, investors buy gold and the price goes up. Investing in silver on the other hand, is very largely determined by the demand for that commodity in photovoltaics, the automobile industry, and other practical uses. Oil is a very popular investment, and demand for oil is strong as the need for gasoline is always considerable. Oil is traded around the world on spot markets, public financial markets where commodities are traded for immediate delivery, and its price goes up and down depending on the state of the global economy. Investment in commodities like gas on the other hand, is usually made through futures exchanges, of which the largest in the U.S. is the CBOT in Chicago. Futures exchanges trade options on quantities of gas and other commodities before delivery. A private investor can trade into futures and then trade out, always avoiding the terminal delivery point.

Although the many vastly different types of investments listed above can be calculated using our Investment Calculator, it can be quite difficult to arrive at the correct definition of each variable. We highly recommend checking out our other financial calculators first to see if there is one that would more accurately meet your needs before using this Investment Calculator.