What would you do with a million pounds? It’s a great conversation starter and daily reverie for many British citizens. But the reality of ever having a £1m to spend seems so far-fetched for most of us, that makes it a bittersweet pastime.
What many people don’t realise though, is that it’s not actually as unattainable as we’re led to believe. If you start young enough, a regular and disciplined approach to investing can reap incredible financial rewards. Attaining millionaire status may be possible after all.
If you put £250 a month into an index tracker fund with an average 8% annual return, you could achieve £1m in just under 42 years. By increasing that monthly sum to £350, you would hit the £1m mark in 38 years.
For those with a larger disposable income, it’s easier. £750 a month would take just 29 years and higher amounts than that would short the time still more.
If you can start with a lump sum, this also brings the end goal nearer. A £20k starting pot, topped up with £500 per month would take 31 years.
These estimates are all based on an average annual interest rate of 8%. Tracker funds vary in their percentage return, as do stocks and shares.
The FTSE 100 has returned an average of 7% over the past decade and the FTSE 250 has returned 11%. These reasonable yields show that despite good and bad years, a decent return is possible.
If you are confident and have the time to manage individual stocks in an ISA or SIPP, then you could achieve higher returns more quickly, once you factor-in compound dividend returns.
Despite negative news headlines and economic uncertainty around the world, I think the stock market will survive. The FTSE 100 has actually risen over 35% since 2010 and over 632% since it began.
Can you become a millionaire?
As you can see, if you want to retire with £1m, then the amount you need to save each month varies. Factors to consider are the interest rate return on your investments, how long a timeframe you’ve set yourself and what you can afford.
Perhaps you could become a millionaire and retire early with a Stocks and Shares ISA. Don’t rule it out, because even £100 a month at that average FTSE 250 annual return of 11% could achieve a million-pound pot in 42 years.
Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors has achieved millionaire status many, many times over. He advocates a buy-and-hold investment strategy, which takes full advantage of the rising indices and pays little heed to the intermittent fluctuations caused by global economic trials.
You’d do well to follow his lead, but you need to engage discipline and not let fear or greed get the better of you. I realise that’s easier said than done for many of us, but that’s why index funds can be a great way to get in on the action. It may sound boring but can prove very lucrative.
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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.