How much money will you need to invest in order to reach your financial goals? How much do you have as a lump sum to start? How much do you need to invest on a regular basis to get where you want to be? These are all very important questions that will determine if and when you will be able to reach any financial goal that you may set. We have included this future value calculator to help give you some guidance as to how different scenarios will get you to different results. Try experimenting with different amounts of money invested as either lump sums, systematic investments or some combination of both. Choose various rates of return that you are either currently getting on your investments or think might be possible. This will give you a rough idea of how much you need to invest in order to get to your goals.

Simply select all options that you want to simulate and the tool will solve for the missing piece of information. For example you can select $500 per month as an investment, pick a number of years and then a final amount that you would like to have in the future. Then you can solve for what rate of return you would need to reach that goal. Of course this tool is not meant to simulate any particular investment strategy. It is only meant to give you an idea of what is possible with various investment amounts at varying rates of return. For a complete list of financial planning options more geared to investment results and the risk associated with each strategy you must schedule an interview. We will be happy to work with you to develop a personalized plan using our proprietary Winning Edge 6-step financial planning process. This process takes into account your tax bracket, financial information, tolerance for risk, and a variety of other factors to develop a personalized plan to help guide you on your journey "Toward A Bright Financial Future.”

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The number of years you wish to analyze. This can be any number from one to one hundred.

Rate of return
This is the annually compounded rate of return you expect from your investments before taxes. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2008, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 9.7% (source: During this period, the highest 12-month return was 61%, from June 1982 through June 1983. The lowest 12-month return was -39%, which happened twice, once from September 1973 to September 1974 and again from November 2007 to November 2008. Savings accounts at a bank may pay as little as 1% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances. It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Compound Interest
Interest on an investment's interest, plus previous interest. The more frequently this occurs, the sooner your accumulated interest will generate additional interest. You should check with your financial institution to find out how often interest is being compounded on your particular investment.

Initial investment
Total you currently have invested that should be included in this analysis.

Inflation rate
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2008. The CPI for 2008 was 4.0%, as reported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.

Annual investments
The amount you will contribute each year to your investments. If you check the box to adjust this amount for inflation, your annual investment will increase each year by the inflation rate.

Tax rate
The percentage of your investment return you will pay in taxes. Your taxes are assumed to be payable annually, at the end of the year.

Compounded interest return
Total after-tax return if your investment profit is compounded annually.

Simple interest return
Total after-tax return if your investment profit is simple interest with no compounding.

Total invested capital
Total you have invested. This includes your initial investment and all periodic investments.

Investment final total
Your investments total ending value. If you have checked the box to show values after inflation, this amount is the total value of your investment in today's dollars. If this box is unchecked, it will show the actual value of the investment.