Drip Calculator.xls - This file will show you the beauty of compounding when you reinvest your dividends.  You need to input the following:

  • Initial Investment - How much your initial investment in the stock(s) is.
  • Monthly Contribution - How much you are committed to contributing each month
  • Initial Dividend Yield - What was the dividend yield of the stock (or average yield if investing in more than one) when you made your initial investment
  • Dividend Growth Rate - This is the estimated annual dividend growth rate as well as stock growth rate.  A very conservative rate would be 6%, a high estimated rate would be 15%.
  • Dividend Tax Rate - Use 0% for Roth IRA.   For taxable accounts use 15% (as of 2012).

The Value of Time.xls - This file does a great job of displaying why it is so important to invest early in life.  It tells the story of the early investor vs the late investor.  The early investor invested $5,000 a year from ages 18-27 and then stopped for a total of $50,000 invested.  The late investor started investing $5,000 a year at age 30 and continued until age 65 for a total of $180,000 invested.  Both had an average rate of return of 11%. Guess who made $2.5 million more over the life of their investments?

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