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How the rule of 72 is used by the banks to rob you

Mar 21, 2008
An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) started to work abroad. Having worked for several yeaers there at the age of 29 had a total savings of P 100,000.00 (Philippine peso)

Since the only investment vehicle he knew about was putting his money at the bank he went to the bank and deposited his P 100,000.00. The bank manager gladly accepted the money and even recommended that he put it at a time deposit account so that it would yield a higher interest rate at 4 % per annum.

So he placed his money in the time deposit account and waited until he reached the age of 65. At the age of 65 he went back to the bank and asked to withdraw the P 100,000.00 in his time deposit account. Lo and behold his P100,000.00 already became P 400,000.00 because of the interest. So he withdrew his money from the bank and lived happily ever after.

Is this a "live happily ever after" story or not? Do you consider this OFW as somebody who has "wisely" handled his money? Is he really earning the maximum potential for his money or is he making somebody else rich.

To fully undestand this, take note of the Rule of 72. In order to know how many years it takes for your money to double you only need to follow this rule which is simply stated as follows: 72 / interest = No. of years it takes for your money to double

For this certain OFW, his money will double every 18 years. This is simply solved by applying the rule of 72 which is computed as follows: 72 divided 4 % per annum = 18 years. This means that if you add 18 years from the time he deposited his money, the P 100,000.00 will double to P 200,000.00 when he reaches the age of 47. After 18 more years when he reaches the age of 65, his money will already become P 400,000.00.

Now that the P 100,000.00 is in the bank's hand, what do they do with it ? Well they basically invest it in other vehicles of investments which gives them a higher interest rate such as mutual funds, the stock market, the money market, government bonds, corporate bonds etc. They even use it to loan it back to the depositors at a much more higher interest rate. But let's just say that all of the bank's investing activities gave a return of 12 % per annum. Using the rule of 72, it can be determined that the same amount of money will double every 6 years. (computed as follows: 72 divided by 12 % interest = 6 years)

After 36 years of waiting, the OFW claimed his P 100,000.00. You wouldn't be surprised why the bank manager willingly and gladly gave him back the P 100,000.00 plus the interest of P 300,000 amounting to a total of P 400,000.00. No sweat, they already made more or less a total of P 6,400,000.00 from the OFW's P 100,000.00 deposit. Now you tell me if that isn't hi-way robbery !

You want to be wealthy and a better steward of your money? Think like the bank!!! Use the Rule of 72 wisely ! Make it work for you !
About the Author
Wish you could know more about the Rule of 72 ? Visit the blog of Zigfred Diaz where he writes about investments, money management, How to invest in the Philippine stock market and various topics such as law, business, theology and making money online.
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