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Future Value Calculator – The Value of a Series of Investments

Written by:
PK

Here you'll find a future value calculator, which allows you to model the growth of an investment over time. Enter assumptions about what you'll invest, how fast it'll grow, and how quickly you'll reinvest or withdraw, and the tool will model the investment's potential.

Future Value Calculator

Using the Future Value Calculator

This future investment modeler relies on some assumptions that you'll feed to the tool. Here's what you'll need to enter to get a result:

  • Starting Balance ($) - Enter how much you'll invest at the beginning of the investment (either your deposit or how much money you are locking up.)
  • Years to Invest - How long do you plan to invest in this instrument or opportunity?
  • Contribution Amount - Enter the periodic amount you will either add or withdraw every period (you enter length in the next field). To model withdrawing money, for example, when withdrawing for retirement, use a negative number. If you want to let the initial amount sit, enter "0".
  • Contribution/Withdrawal Frequency - If you didn't enter "0" above, choose how often you will add money to the investment or alternatively withdraw.
  • Investment Return Annually (%) - On average (specifically, compounded annually), how much do you expect the investment to return a year? For an idea, perhaps see the historical S&P 500 return calculator or its counterpart on the Dow Jones.

Future Value Calculator Outputs

When you're happy with the parameters of your model, hit the "Project Future Value" button. The tool will output four fields that show the results of the calculation:

  • Final Balance ($) - The total amount in the investment at the end of the period, including your initial deposit and any additional investments.
  • Starting Balance ($) - A reminder of how much you added when you first invested in the instrument or opportunity.
  • Market Gains ($) - The total amount that you gained in the market by investing in the opportunity.
  • Your Contribution ($) - The total additional amount that you added along the way periodically. If you entered a negative number for withdrawals, this number will show the total you withdrew.

Future Value Calculator Optional Graph

If you'd prefer to see the model represented visually, hit the "Project & Graph" button. The tool will run through the same calculations as the above, and show how your investment value changes over time.

For the default scenario in the tool, here's how the model will look:

A picture of the default scenario when run in the future value calculator with graph
Graphic representation of the default scenario in the future investment valuation tool

The Future of Your Money

Whether you're modeling the future value of a single investment you're considering or you're planning your withdrawal strategy, hopefully you had fun with the future value calculator. Of course, no tool will exactly match what the future will bring, but you arm yourself with knowledge about the possibilities by modeling the plausible.

Try these other investment calculators next:

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