Let’s look at the case of Cindy and Charlie, who each invest $100,000.
Charlie immediately begins depositing $10,000 a year in an account that earns a 6% rate of return. Then, after 10 years, he stops making deposits.
Cindy waits 10 years before getting started. She then starts to invest $10,000 a year for 10 years into an account that also earns a 6% rate of return.
Cindy and Charlie have both invested the same $100,000. However, Charlie’s balance is higher at the end of 20 years because his account has more time for the investment returns to compound.