The money-time factor

The money-time factor

The Sterling Report


Sunday, September 27, 2020

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For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by stories of extreme weight loss.

I would go through the before and after pictures, diligently comparing the two to ensure it was really the same person and then I would read in depth the measures that the person took to achieve losses of 200 lbs in some cases and more. However, apart from the obvious discipline that the person had to employ over their eating and their physical activity, the other feature which I felt was many times overlooked and understated was the time factor.

In a world where everyone wants a quick solution to their problems, I took note that in most instances these people took a year or more of very hard work to achieve their goal weight.

Your next thought might be: What does that have to do with money? The simple answer is: Everything! Building wealth is a slow process, very similar to losing weight. There is a reason that so many wealthy people are older. They will tell you that it took time, it took sacrifice and a lot of hard work. They probably had several setbacks along the way, but they learned from them and rebuilt wiser.


All things being equal, the higher the interest rate on your investment is the faster the money will grow. This is just a simple mathematical fact. However, in seeking the best rate for your investments, it is important that you don't get sucked into the get-rich-quick mentality. This is a dangerous state which tempts you to make foolish decisions and is often the fastest way to lose your investment.

It's hard to discuss investing without accounting for the impact of compounding. There is a quote attributed to Einstein about compound interest: “He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it.” The quote is a gentle reference to how much compound interest hurts borrowers while benefiting investors and lenders. The power of reinvesting your investment income is worded a little bit differently in the book: The Richest Man in Babylon. The protagonist Arkad gives seven pieces of advice, the third of which is to invest and to compound the investment return from your savings: “The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes ... Learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave. Make its children and its children's children work for you.” However, compound interest gets its superpower from time! The longer the period of time, the more money will be earned.

Lastly, the biggest intangible factor in investing is patience. It is not easy to wait for your wealth to grow. The same gimmicky weight loss products that promise results without any sacrifice on your part, just instant results, are similar to investment schemes that seem too good to be true. Exercising patience, discretion and due diligence are the keys to building wealth in a sustainable way.

Yanique Leiba-Ebanks is the AVP, Trading & Business Development at Sterling Asset Management. Sterling provides financial advice and instruments in U.S. dollars and other hard currencies to the corporate, individual, and institutional investor. Visit our website at Feedback: If you wish to have Sterling address your investment questions in upcoming articles, e-mail us at:

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