Unexpectedly Intriguing!
04 February 2005

Update: Welcome Carnival of the Capitalists!

In looking at the WaPo's Social Security Hoax, Patrick Ruffini has run some "what if" numbers:

What would happen if you invested \$1,500 annually for 40 years at a conservative 6% rate of return? Your ending balance would be \$246,072, \$167,372 MORE than the current system (and eight times more than the Post analysis would lead you to believe).

But what if you want to invest a different amount of money? What if you want to see what a different rate of return might net you? Political CalculationsTM is here for you with the tools to help chart your financial future!

In the table below, enter the indicated information to find out what the future value of your investment will be. One neat feature provided below allows you to account for increases in the amount you regularly deposit into your investment (the rate of escalation). This feature is particularly handy if the amount you regularly deposit is linked to your paycheck, and you receive annual raises!

When you're finished, click the "Calculate" button to see your results.

Investment Information
Input Data Values
Starting Balance (\$USD)
Annual Rate of Return (%)
Compounding Rate of the Investment
Amount of Regular Deposit into Investment (\$USD)
Frequency of Regular Deposits
Annual Rate of Escalation in Deposits (%)
Number of Years the Investment is Held

Calculated Results Values
Ending Balance
Programmer's Note: The math behind this tool is the same as that behind the Social Security vs. PRAs calculator I previously put together. Also, I have mathematically modeled the best and worst case inflation-adjusted rates of return from the stock market, which might help you in assessing risk in your investment.

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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