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Compound Interest

April 6, 2021

One of the toughest but most rewarding things to do when you’re young is to set aside money and invest it.

It’s especially tough for two reasons. First, most young people feel like they barely have enough money to live, much less to set aside for retirement—an event that seems like an eternity away! Second, they feel like this is the time in life when they should live it up and enjoy what they have.

But investing when you’re young is beneficial because of the potential for compound interest. Even investing a small amount, when it has a time to grow and compound, can positively impact your wealth long-term. Check out this chart to see how investing early makes a difference. 

OK, enough of the financial lesson. 

This month marks ten years since ADDO’s inception, so over the next four weeks, I’m going to dedicate these blogs to lessons I’ve learned over the last decade. Today’s lesson isn’t really about money, but how I’ve seen this concept of compound interest play out throughout my time at ADDO. Compound interest works when you invest money, but it’s also a benefit of intentionally investing time and energy into young people.

Compound interest is a benefit of intentionally investing time and energy into young people.

Over the last ten years, ADDO has had the opportunity to invest in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students. And as we’ve grown and matured as a company, we’ve earned opportunities to invest in adults—helping businesses build more effective teams, partnering with companies to recruit better talent, and designing effective professional development programs for schools and educators.

If I’m honest, I’ve pushed for us to grow our work with adults and senior-level leaders. Working with executives and helping companies achieve better results has some real benefits— the results are more immediate, the contracts are more appealing, and the clients carry more prestige. 

With that being said, I don’t want us to ever lose focus on the investments we can make in young people. In this tenth year of ADDO, I refuse to abandon creating programs that inspire and impact youth. Why? Two words: compound interest. When you invest your time and energy into young people, the opportunity for compound interest is huge. 

Think about it: When you invest in a 16-year-old, you are making an investment that will reap benefits for the next 50+ years!

Don’t get me wrong. Our team at ADDO is still dedicated to impacting people and building up leaders at every age and stage. But I want to remain just as excited about the impact I can make on a senior in high school as I am about the opportunity to add value to a senior executive. 

So here’s my challenge to you: Find areas to make intentional investments that can generate compound interest for years to come. 

It could be spending extra time with the newest member of your team who is a recent college graduate and needs some guidance entering the working world.

It might be volunteering for a local youth mentoring program. 

It could be taking the extra time around the dinner table to talk to your child about why you believe what you believe.

It could be volunteering to teach the fifth-grade Sunday School class at your church.

It might not be glamorous. You might not see the reward immediately. But an investment early will pay great dividends down the road.


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