## The disadvantages of compound interest

Now, what are the disadvantages of compound interest? Believe it or not, there are downsides to what appears to be a positive force at work on your investments.

### It can work against you

Compound interest can also work against you. For example, credit cards often implement daily compound interest. This means that you increase your debt when you don’t pay off your credit cards from month to month.

The combination of a high interest rate and daily compounding can make it difficult to pay off your credit card. This can significantly increase the amount borrowers owe, which is why it’s to your advantage to pay off your credit card every month.

Certain types of loans, such as federal student loans and mortgages, generally do not charge daily compound interest.

### It takes time to build

Compound interest may not offer a quick rate of return for account holders. The smaller your account balance, the smaller the amount you will earn in interest payments. As account balances increase, interest payments will also increase. Also, the more money you add to the account over time, the faster you will increase your account balance.

For example, suppose you start with an initial capital of $5,000. Let’s say you add an additional $500 to the account per year at an interest rate of 6% compounded once a year. After 10 years, you will have $15,940.06.

Now let’s say you start with a principal of $5,000 as before. Let’s say you don’t add money to the account and it’s compounded once a year at 6% interest. After 10 years, you would only have $8,954.24.

Another scenario: Say you always start with a main balance of $5,000. If you never add money to the account and the investment is compounded once a year at 3% interest, you will have $6,719.58 after 10 years.

Now let’s see how a large investment can accumulate over a long period of time. Let’s say you start with $50,000 over 40 years. Let’s say you add $10,000 to this amount each year at the beginning of the year, at an interest rate of 8% compounded annually. You would have $3.8 million after 40 years.

As you can see, the more you put into the investment – principal, interest and time – the higher returns you will get.

### Fees are always involved

The downside of investing is that you will always pay a fee to make it happen. It’s not free. For example, mutual funds always charge an expense ratio. You may also pay annual and custodial fees, charges and commissions. This can reduce your investment costs and reduce the effects of compounding on your investments.