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Continuous Compounding Isn't Worth Much

Contributed by mm | September 13, 2004 10:01 PM PST

When you open a savings account, you will probably notice a line in the disclosure saying interest is compounding daily, weekly or monthly. Besides the interest rate, the frequency of compounding also drives the actual yield of the saving.

If a financial institution offers continuous compounding, is it a steal? Imagine your money is producing interest every second, and interest starts to generate its own interest every second ...

It hardly matters. As Dr. Don illustrates in this BankRate article, at 5.0% interest rate, continuous compounding will only generate 4 cents more a year over daily compounding out of a $10,000 investment.

Dr. Don said he was not aware of any institutions offering continuous compounding at the time of writing. There are some now; for example, Savings Bank of Danbury is offering money market account at 0.53%. But now you will not choose this bank only because it uses continuous compounding, right?

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