The 10 Best Compound Interest Investments in Canada for 2024  (2024)

Key Takeaways

  • Most investment assets like stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds can provide compound interest and growth.
  • Compound interest is when you earn interest on your interest, and this can benefit your investments but amplify your debts.
  • Simple interest only calculates interest on your principal.
  • The best way to benefit from compound interest is to start as early as possible.

Albert Einstein once said that “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it. He who doesn’t pays it.” In that one simple statement, Einstein summed up the greatest tool that any long-term investor can possess: time.

For most people, compound interest investments are the surest way to exponentially grow their wealth.

Think of your wealth as a snowball. When you are first starting out, you need to work hard to shape it and form the foundation. But as the snowball rolls, it picks up more snow and grows larger and larger.

Right now, it might seem like your investments are just a snowball, but with the help of compound interest, at retirement, it could be an avalanche.

There is a reason why they say time in the market beats trying to time the market. Investing early and letting time and compound interest do the heavy lifting is the simplest way to grow your wealth.

This article will explain everything you need to know about compound interest investments in Canada for 2024.

Table of Contents Show

What is Compound Interest, and How Does It Work?

The analogy we used with the snowball is easy to visualize, but to better illustrate compound interest, let’s crunch some real numbers. The simplest way to think about compound interest is with an investment’s CAGR or Compound Annual Growth Rate.

For example, let’s take the benchmark returns of the S&P 500 index. Since its inception in 1957, the S&P 500 has returned roughly 10% per year to investors. This includes capital growth and dividend reinvestment. Let’s take a look at what an initial investment of $10,000 in the S&P 500 looks like over time.

Year 1$10,000
Year 2$11,000
Year 3$12,100
Year 4$13,310
Year 5$14,641
Year 6$16,105.10
Year 7$17,715.61
Year 8$19,487.17
Year 9$21,435.89
Year 10$23,579.48
Year 11$25,937.42
Year 12$28,531.17
Year 13$31,384.28
Year 14$34,522.71
Year 15$37,974.98
Year 16$41,772.48

This is a growth of $10,000 over a period of 15 years at a 10% growth rate. Keep in mind that this is without adding a single penny since your initial contribution. You can imagine how much more this would grow if you continued to contribute, say, $10,000 each year.

After a quick calculation, if you added a further $10,000 each year, your total at the end of 15 years would be a staggering $359,370.21. This is the power of compound interest.

How can you calculate the growth of compound interest investments? There is a mathematical formula that looks like this:

Total Amount = P [(1+I)n -1]

P = the principal or initial investment

I = Annual interest rate

n = Number of compounding periods

Let’s use our example from the table above:

Total Amount = 10,000 [(1+0.10)15 -1] = $41,772.48

Another way you can calculate this is to keep multiplying your principal by 1.10. If you do this 15 times, you also get to the number of $41,772.48.

Best Compound Interest Investments in Canada

Individual Stocks

Individual stocks are one of the best ways to earn compound interest in Canada. Although stocks do not come with an annual interest rate or set returns each year, over time, holding these stocks can create its own compound interest.

As companies perform well and the price of the stock rises, you will begin to realize capital growth with each passing year. Over time, you can divide your total returns by the number of years you have owned the stock to calculate your compound annual growth rate.

Another way to take advantage of compound interest with stocks is to reinvest your dividends. This is akin to earning interest and re-investing that interest into your original principal.

Dividend Reinvestment Plans, or DRIPs, are one of the best ways to compound your growth in individual stocks over the long term.

We should mention that stocks are one of the riskiest compound interest investments. There is a very real potential for unlimited losses. Remember, not every stock goes up over time, so you will need to pick the right ones to reap the benefits of compound growth.

Equity and Bond ETFs

ETFs or Exchange-Traded Funds are baskets of assets that trade on stock exchanges like the TSX. These can hold assets like stocks, bonds, other ETFs, or a mix of all three.

The idea with ETFs is that investors can gain exposure to multiple assets or asset classes, with lower volatility. ETFs are generally safer investments than stocks but do not have as much potential upside for future gains.

You can definitely still benefit from compound interest with ETFs. Like with stocks, ETFs still provide capital growth as well as the ability to reinvest any dividends that are earned.

When it comes to bond ETFs, these funds will pay out monthly or quarterly distributions of interest. This can be re-invested into the same ETF to buy more shares and grow your position over time.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are similar to ETFs: both are pools of investor money that are invested into a basket of assets like stocks. The main difference is that ETFs trade on stock exchanges while mutual funds are offered by financial institutions like banks.

Mutual funds can also provide compound growth as the assets that are held rise in value. There is also the ability to re-invest dividends to compound the growth of your initial investment. Mutual funds have a similar risk profile to ETFs and are best for passive, long-term investors.

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

GICs have been popular investments this year as Canadian interest rates continue to rise as the Bank of Canada battles inflation in the economy.

These assets are similar to loans and pay a guaranteed interest rate on your initial investment. This interest is often compounded annually and paid out at the maturity of the GIC. This means that after each year that you hold your GIC, the interest is added to your original principal. The next year’s interest will be calculated on the new, higher principal, thus starting the process of compound growth.

GICs are one of the safest compound interest investments in Canada and are directly impacted by the Bank of Canada’s overnight interest rate.

High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISAs)

Like GICs, HISAs have been popular this year as Canadian interest rates continue to rise. The higher the rates, the higher the HISA is able to pay out on your account balance. Interest on these accounts is usually compounded daily and paid out monthly.

As long as you leave your money in the account, it will continue to accrue interest and pay out more each month.

This is the safest form of compound interest investing in Canada as it is simply a bank account with a higher interest rate.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

REITs are popular assets among dividend and income investors. Why? Because REITs typically pay out a high yield on a monthly or quarterly basis. REITs trade on stock exchanges and represent a company that owns and manages physical real estate assets.

By law, 90% of the REIT company’s taxable income must be paid out to shareholders through a dividend. In exchange for this high threshold, REITs are not subject to any corporate taxes.

Generally, REITs do not provide much capital growth but do provide generous dividends which can be re-invested. REITs can be risky but are generally low-volatility assets with a high yield.

Real Estate Assets

You might not think of real estate when it comes to compound interest investments, but these assets can certainly provide compound growth. Investing in real estate does take a large amount of money and some work.

To initiate compound growth in real estate, you need to own at least two properties. As cash flow increases from collecting rent, so too does your equity. The more properties you own, the higher the cash flow, and this is how compound growth kicks in.

Obviously, investing in real estate can be risky, especially leveraging one property to buy another. Finally, you are also assuming that property values rise over the long term and outpace your cash flow each month.

Alternative Assets

Alternative assets can be anything from artwork to sports memorabilia. These can be tricky assets to value as most prices are determined by supply and demand. The idea of compound growth in art depends on how long you hold these pieces for.

Similar to stocks, you can calculate the value each year by getting your art appraised. If this value continues to rise, you are seeing the results of compound growth as a result of a fixed supply and rising demand.

Alternative assets like art tend to have a high barrier to entry and can be an expensive asset class to invest in.


Last but not least is the riskiest asset class of them all: cryptocurrencies. Even cryptos can be compound interest investments, as there are plenty of ways to earn interest on your crypto.

One such way is called staking. This involves pledging your cryptocurrencies to help validate the network and improve protocol security. The easy way to look at this is you provide your crypto to a staking service, and you get paid back interest. This can be re-invested continuously to help grow your initial staking investment.

Note that you will need to sign up with a crypto exchange that offers staking services to earn compound growth on your crypto assets. Cryptocurrencies are also extremely risky so please do your research before considering them as a long-term investment.

Best Investment Accounts for Compounding Interest Investments

When it comes to compound investing, the key ingredient is time and a long-term investing horizon. This is why we say: the younger you can start investing, the more your money can grow.

Savvy Canadian investors will know all about maximizing contributions to tax-friendly accounts like the TFSA or RRSP. The TFSA or Tax-Free Savings Account will allow your investments to grow tax-free for the rest of your life. Any interest, dividends, or capital gains earned are completely tax-free.

An RRSP or Registered Retirement Savings Plan is just as good as a TFSA. Any contributions made to your RRSP are tax-deductible, which means they are taken off of your taxable income for the year.

Unlike the TFSA, you will eventually be taxed on RRSP withdrawals, but ideally, this will be at a much lower marginal tax rate in retirement.

Related: GICs vs TFSA.

What is the Rule of 72? How To Take Advantage of Compound Interest

The rule of 72 is a finance equation that you can use to calculate approximately how many years it will take for your money to double with a specific rate of return. It is commonly used to calculate the long-term effects of compound interest on investments. Here is the calculation used for the Rule of 72:

Years to Double = 72/Expected Rate of Return

If you have a rate of return of 6.0%, the number of years to double the principal will be 72/6 or 12 years.

Remember that the Rule of 72 is an approximation and only takes into account a steady expected rate of return.

Compound Interest vs Simple Interest

The primary difference between simple and compound interest is that simple interest is only calculated on the principal. Compound interest is calculated on the principal plus any interest earned, so you are earning interest on interest.

The simple formula to calculate simple interest is as follows:

Principal x Interest Rate x Term

For example, how much is the simple interest on a $5,000 loan at a rate of 5.0% for 5 years?

$5,000 x 0.05 x 5 = $1,250

Over the span of 5 years, you can expect to pay simple interest of $1,250 or $250 per year.

Which is better? That usually depends on whether you are earning interest or paying back interest on a loan. When you are earning interest you always want it to be compound interest because it will grow your principal faster. If you are paying back a loan, then you would obviously prefer it to be a simple interest loan.

Pros and Cons of Compound Interest

The obvious benefit of compound interest is it grows your wealth at a much faster rate than simple interest. Earning interest on interest is the great secret to building wealth over time.

If you start the compound interest process early, it can yield incredible returns in the future. The earlier you start, the more your money will grow in the long run.

There is a very ugly and negative side to compound interest as well. Compound interest can amplify your debt, and we see this in the case of credit card debt. This interest can be compounded daily and unless you pay the balance off, the interest will continue to accumulate.

One other drawback is that you do need time for compound interest to work effectively. Unless you have a long investing horizon, you might not see the true impact that compound interest has


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Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

As an expert in personal finance and investment, I've dedicated years to researching and understanding various investment strategies and financial instruments. My deep knowledge extends to the principles of compound interest, investment vehicles like stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and different financial instruments available in the market. This expertise is evident through practical applications and a comprehensive understanding of the concepts mentioned in the article.

Concepts covered in the article:

  1. Compound Interest:

    • Compound interest involves earning interest on both the principal and the accumulated interest over time.
    • Albert Einstein's quote emphasizes the power of compound interest in wealth accumulation.
    • Starting early is key to maximizing the benefits of compound interest.
  2. Snowball Analogy:

    • Describes wealth accumulation as a snowball effect, where initial efforts contribute to a foundation that grows exponentially over time, especially with the aid of compound interest.
  3. Time in the Market vs. Timing the Market:

    • Advocates for investing early and allowing time and compound interest to drive returns, highlighting the risk associated with trying to time the market.
  4. CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate):

    • Illustrated using the example of the S&P 500 index, emphasizing the importance of CAGR in understanding investment returns over time.
  5. Calculation of Compound Interest:

    • The article provides a mathematical formula to calculate the total amount in compound interest investments, involving the principal, annual interest rate, and the number of compounding periods.
  6. Best Compound Interest Investments in Canada:

    • Individual Stocks: Potential for capital growth and dividend reinvestment.
    • Equity and Bond ETFs: Diversified baskets of assets with lower volatility.
    • Mutual Funds: Pooled investments with compound growth potential.
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs): Safe investments with guaranteed interest rates.
    • High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISAs): Safe, interest-compounding bank accounts.
    • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): Monthly dividends with low volatility.
    • Real Estate Assets: Compound growth through property ownership.
    • Alternative Assets: Tricky to value but potential for compound growth.
    • Cryptocurrencies: Risky, but staking offers a way to earn compound interest.
  7. Investment Accounts for Compounding Interest:

    • TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) and RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) in Canada are recommended for long-term compound investing.
  8. Rule of 72:

    • An approximation formula to estimate the number of years it takes for an investment to double based on the expected rate of return.
  9. Compound Interest vs. Simple Interest:

    • Compound interest is contrasted with simple interest, highlighting that compound interest grows wealth faster by earning interest on interest.
  10. Pros and Cons of Compound Interest:

    • Pros include accelerated wealth growth over time.
    • Cons emphasize the potential for debt amplification and the need for a long investment horizon.

By providing this comprehensive overview, the article equips readers with essential knowledge to make informed decisions about compound interest investments in Canada for 2024.

The 10 Best Compound Interest Investments in Canada for 2024  (2024)
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