Best Compound Interest Investments in the UK

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Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury


Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

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Adam Woodhead
Adam Woodhead

Adam Woodhead


Adam is a Co-Founder and content creator for TIC. His key areas of interest are Crypto and blockchain technology.

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Last Updated 11/05/2024
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Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Quick Answer: What Investments Give the Best Compound Interest?

  • “CDs (Certificates of Deposit): Secure, low-risk investments ideal for steady growth.”

  • “Dividend-paying stocks: Optimise your earnings through dividend reinvestment strategies.”

  • “REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts): Diversify with real estate for potential high returns.”

  • “ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds): Broad exposure across markets, suitable for varied risk appetites.”

designed to showcase the best compound interest investments in the UK, featuring a money tree symbolizing growth and symbols representing financial planning and the UK market. It's intended to convey the concept of accumulating wealth over time through smart investments that benefit from compound interest

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Understanding Compound Interest

Compound interest is a powerful concept in finance, often described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ by investors. It refers to the process where the interest earned on a sum of money is reinvested, so that in subsequent periods, interest is earned on the initial principal and the accumulated interest. This results in exponential growth of your investment over time, making it a critical concept for anyone looking to build wealth.

The magic of compound interest lies in its ability to accelerate the growth of your savings or investments. It’s particularly potent over long periods, making it a cornerstone of retirement savings plans, investment strategies, and financial planning.

How to Calculate Compound Interest: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating compound interest may seem daunting, but it’s quite straightforward once you understand the formula. Let’s break it down:

  1. Identify the Principal Amount (P): This is your initial investment or the original sum of money you start with.

  2. Determine the Annual Interest Rate (r): Expressed as a decimal. For example, if the interest rate is 5%, then r = 0.05.

  3. Decide the Number of Times Interest is Compounded Per Year (n): This could be monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.

  4. Determine the Number of Years the Money is Invested or Borrowed for (t): The duration for which the money compounds.

The compound interest formula is:

A = Accrued amount (principal + interest)


  • A is the amount of money accumulated after n years, including interest.

  • P is the principal amount.

  • r is the annual interest rate (decimal).

  • n is the number of times interest applied per time period.

  • t is the time the money is invested or borrowed for, in years.

Example: If you invest £1,000 (P) at an annual interest rate of 5% (r = 0.05), compounded annually (n = 1), for 10 years (t), the calculation would be:

A = 1000 (1 + 0.05/1)^(110) = 1000 (1 + 0.05)^10 = 1000 1.05^10 ≈ £1,628.89

This means that after 10 years, your investment would grow to £1,628.89.

Understanding and applying the concept of compound interest can significantly impact your financial planning and investment strategies. It illustrates the importance of starting early and the power of letting time work in your favor.

The Compound Interest Formula: Unlocking Investment Growth

The compound interest formula is the key to unlocking the true potential of your investments. It’s expressed as:

A = P (1 + r/n)^(nt)


  • A is the future value of the investment/loan, including interest.

  • P is the principal investment amount.

  • r is the annual interest rate (decimal).

  • n is the number of times interest is compounded per year.

  • t is the number of years the money is invested or borrowed.

Each variable in this formula plays a crucial role:

  • Principal (P): The larger your initial investment, the greater the final amount due to the multiplying effect of compound interest.

  • Annual Interest Rate (r): A higher rate accelerates the growth of your investment.

  • Compounding Frequency (n): The more frequently interest is compounded, the more interest is added to the principal, leading to increased returns.

  • Time (t): The longer your investment period, the more time compound interest has to work its magic.

Adjusting these variables can significantly change your first investment portfolio’s growth trajectory.

The Rule of 72

The Rule of 72 is a simple way to estimate how long it will take for an investment to double at a given annual rate of return. Divide 72 by the annual rate of return to get the approximate number of years it will take for the initial investment to double.

Example: If your investment earns a 6% annual return, it would take about 72/6=12 years to double.

This rule is a quick and useful tool for comparing the potential effectiveness of various investments and understanding the impact of different interest payments and rates.

Utilising Spreadsheets for Compound Interest Calculations

Spreadsheets are powerful tools for calculating compound interest. Here’s how to set one up:

  1. Set Up the Variables: In separate cells, input your principal amount, annual interest rate, compounding frequency, and investment duration.

  2. Apply the Formula: Use the compound interest formula in a cell to calculate the future value. For instance, in Excel or Google Sheets, you can use the formula =P*(1+r/n)^(n*t).

  3. Experiment: By adjusting the variables, you can see how different scenarios affect your investment.

Effective spreadsheet management involves:

  • Regularly updating data for accuracy.

  • Using built-in functions for more complex calculations.

  • Creating charts and graphs for visual representation of your investment growth.

Leveraging a Compound Interest Calculator for Accurate Projections

Online compound interest calculators are user-friendly tools that automate the calculation process. They are perfect for quick estimations and comparing different investment scenarios.

These calculators typically require you to input the principal amount, interest rate, compounding frequency, and investment duration. They then instantly provide you with the future value of your investment.

Using these tools helps in:

  • Simplifying complex calculations.

  • Making quick comparisons between different investment options.

  • Planning and forecasting for future financial goals.

The Different Types of Compound Interest Investment Accounts

In the UK, compound interest can significantly enhance your investment strategy. Here’s a look at some common investment accounts where compound interest plays a vital role:

  1. Savings Accounts: These are the most straightforward vehicles for earning compound interest, with interest being added to your principal balance.

  2. Fixed-Rate Bonds: Offering higher interest rates than ordinary savings accounts, these are time-bound investments with a fixed interest rate.

  3. ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts): Including Cash ISAs and Stocks & Shares ISAs, these accounts benefit from compound interest and offer tax-free savings.

  4. Pension Funds: Long-term retirement savings plans like SIPPs (Self-Invested Personal Pensions) utilize compound interest over decades.

  5. Investment Funds: While they don’t offer direct compound interest, reinvesting dividends from funds can mimic compounding effects.

The Pros and Cons of Compound Interest Investment Accounts


  1. Exponential Growth: The power of compound interest lies in its potential to exponentially grow your investments over time.

  2. Encourages Saving: The prospect of increased returns over time can motivate more consistent saving and investment.

  3. Tax Efficiency: Especially in ISAs and pensions, where interest grows tax-free or with tax benefits.

  4. Flexibility and Diversity: Available in various forms, from safe savings accounts to more adventurous stocks and shares ISAs, suiting different risk appetites.


  1. Inflation Risk: In low-interest environments, the return on savings accounts might not keep up with inflation.

  2. Access Restrictions: Some accounts, like fixed-rate bonds or pensions, limit access to funds for a set period, reducing liquidity.

  3. Market Risk: For investments in stocks and shares ISAs, the return is subject to market volatility.

  4. Interest Rate Fluctuations: The return on variable rate accounts can decrease if interest rates fall.

Understanding these pros and cons is crucial for making informed decisions about where and how to invest your money for maximum benefit.

Best Compound Interest Investments – Our Top List

When it comes to maximizing your earnings through compound interest in the UK, there are several investment options to consider. Here are the top 7 investments known for their effective use of compound interest:

  1. Fixed Rate Bonds (Similar to Certificates of Deposit (CDs)): These are time-specific investments offering a guaranteed return rate. Ideal for those seeking stable, predictable growth without the risk of stock market fluctuations.

  2. Money Market Account: A type of savings account that typically offers higher interest rates in exchange for higher balance requirements. It’s a good option for those who can maintain a higher balance and want better returns than a standard savings account.

  3. High Yield Savings Accounts: Unlike regular savings accounts, these offer higher interest rates, making your money grow faster. They are a great choice for risk-averse investors who want easy access to their funds.

  4. Mutual Funds: By pooling your money with other investors, mutual funds allow you to invest in a diversified portfolio. They offer the potential for higher returns than savings accounts or bonds, though with higher risks.

  5. Bonds or Bond Funds: Government or corporate bonds are a more secure investment. Bond funds, managed by professionals, diversify across various bonds, reducing risk while allowing for compound interest growth.

  6. ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds): These funds track an index, commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund but trade like a stock on an exchange. ETFs offer more flexibility and lower fees than mutual funds.

  7. REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts): REITs allow you to invest in real estate without having to own physical property. They offer a unique blend of real estate exposure and the liquidity of stock investments, with dividends often reinvested to harness compound interest.

Each of these investment types comes with its own set of risks and rewards. They cater to different financial goals and risk tolerances, making it important to choose the appropriate investment mix, one that aligns best with your individual investment strategy.

What Else To Consider for Earning Interest

When it comes to earning interest through compound investments, there are several factors that you should consider to maximize your returns and minimize risks. Understanding these aspects can help you make more informed investment decisions.

1. Risk Tolerance

Before investing, it’s crucial to assess your risk tolerance. Compound interest investments range from low-risk options like high-yield savings accounts to higher-risk choices such as stocks or REITs. Recognizing your comfort level with potential losses is key to selecting the right investment.

2. Investment Horizon

Your investment horizon – the length of time you plan to keep your investment before needing the money – greatly influences your choice. Longer horizons typically allow for investing in higher-risk, higher-return options like stocks, as there’s more time to recover from market dips.

3. Inflation Impact

Inflation can erode the purchasing power of your savings, especially in low-interest environments. It’s important to choose investments that aim to outpace inflation. Historically, equities have offered returns that beat inflation over the long term, whereas savings accounts may not.

4. Compound Frequency

The frequency of compounding can have a significant impact on your returns. Investments that compound interest daily or monthly will generally accrue more interest over time compared to those that earn compound interest annually.

5. Tax Implications

Understanding the tax implications of your investments is essential. In the UK, ISAs offer tax-free interest, whereas interest earned from other investments might be subject to taxation. Proper tax planning can help in maximizing your net returns.

6. Fees and Penalties

Be aware of any fees associated with your investment, such as management fees for mutual funds or ETFs, and penalties for early withdrawal from CDs or fixed-rate bonds. These can eat into your compound interest earnings.

Compound Interest Calculator

5 years

Can Compound Interest Make you Rich?

The allure of compound interest is powerful, and while it’s a fundamental principle of wealth building, it’s essential to have realistic expectations.

The Power of Compounding Over Time

Compound interest is most effective over long periods. Investments made in your 20s or 30s can grow significantly by the time you retire, thanks to the compounding effect. However, this is a gradual process, and expecting quick riches is unrealistic.

Starting Early and Investing Regularly

The earlier you start investing, the more you can benefit from compound interest. Regular, consistent investments over time can lead to substantial growth in other assets in your portfolio, even if the individual contributions are modest.

Understanding Market Variability

Investments linked to the stock market, like mutual funds or ETFs, can offer high returns but also come with volatility. While the long-term trend of the market is upward, short-term fluctuations can affect your investment value.

The Role of Diversification

Diversification across different asset classes can help mitigate risk. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, you can buffer against market downturns while still taking advantage of the growth potential of riskier assets.

The Myth of Getting Rich Quick

While compound interest is a powerful tool for wealth accumulation, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires patience, regular contributions, fixed income, and time to see significant growth.

Realistic Expectations

Setting realistic goals and expectations is key. Compound interest can help you grow your wealth steadily and provide a comfortable retirement or meet other long-term financial goals, but it’s not likely to make you a millionaire overnight.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The investment landscape is always changing. Staying informed about market trends and adjusting your investment strategy accordingly is important for optimizing your compound interest gains.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our discussion on compound interest investments, it’s essential to emphasize the power of this financial concept. Whether you’re investing in high yield savings accounts, government bonds, or exploring alternative investments, the magic of compound interest can significantly enhance your financial growth over time. Remember, the right investment or bank account alone, whether it’s a traditional savings account, a money market account, or a more complex vehicle like a real estate investment trust, can make a considerable difference in your financial future. It’s about finding the balance that aligns with your risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment horizon. In essence, compound interest isn’t just a financial term; it’s a fundamental strategy for long-term investors looking to build wealth steadily and securely.


A: Compound interest is calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest from previous periods. In contrast, simple interest is calculated only on the first interest paid on principal amount.

A: While investments like savings accounts and CDs with fixed interest rates are generally safe, investments in the stock market or real estate through REITs can have a risk of losing money due to market fluctuations.

A: For beginners, high yield savings accounts or money market accounts are often recommended. They offer a higher interest rate compared to a regular savings account and are generally low risk.

A: Yes, some financial institutions offer compound interest accounts without a minimum deposit requirement, though these might offer lower interest rates.

A: The annual interest rate is crucial as it determines how much your investment will grow each year. A higher interest rate typically means higher returns, but it’s also essential to consider the account’s risk level.

A: The interest earned from compound interest accounts may be subject to income tax. However, in the UK, ISAs offer tax-free interest, which can be a significant advantage.

A: Regularly reviewing your brokerage account can help you stay informed about its performance. However, the frequency depends on the type of investment. For long-term investments like mutual funds or REITs, a quarterly or semi-annual review may suffice.

A: Absolutely. Retirement accounts like pensions or SIPPs often benefit from compound interest, especially if you start investing early and have a long-term horizon.

A: Both banks and credit unions offer compound interest accounts. Credit unions are often member-owned and might offer traditional savings accounts with higher interest rates, but banks generally offer more diverse financial services.

A: The more frequently interest is compounded, the more interest you will earn on your investment. Accounts with daily or monthly compounding can offer better returns compared to those with annual compounding.

A: While generally safer than stock investments, bond funds still carry risks like interest rate fluctuations and credit risks of the mutual fund issuing entities.

A: When you reinvest dividends from stocks, it can have a compounding effect and earn interest on your investment, as you’re effectively earning returns on your reinvested earnings.

A: APY represents the actual rate of return that will be earned in one year if the interest is compounded. It gives a more accurate picture of your potential earnings compared to the nominal interest rate.

A: Yes, due to its exponential growth potential, compound interest can significantly accelerate the process of reaching your financial goals, especially if you start investing early and regularly.

A: While ETFs themselves don’t offer compound interest, reinvesting dividends from ETFs can harness the power of compounding interest. ETFs also offer diversification, which is a key element in any investment strategy.

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