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An investment calculator
Ultimate Investment Calculator

  • Flexible. Solve for many unknowns.
  • Optionally considers inflation, taxes and/or fees
  • Calculates what's required to reach a goal
  • Creates either investment(+) or income(-) schedules

How serious are you about investing?

If you are serious then, this investment calculator is for you. Sure, all investment tools published by other sites will tell you how much you'll have after "X" years assuming a "Y" rate of return. But when you use many of these other tools, they don't consider the impact of inflation, taxes or fees on your investment results.

What good is that?

For best results, turn your device   
Investment Plan - Type " U" for One "Unknown"
Optional Settings - Any or all can be "0"


  Original Size  

Getting Started

Click on "Help" for a concise explanation.

First, let's get you oriented to a few of the high-level features of this calculator. Don't be concerned with all the options. We'll discuss each one in the next few minutes.

The upper part of the calculator has two sections. We'll ignore the "Optional Settings" on the right for the time being. Leave those inputs set to zero. When the inputs are all zero, it makes no difference whether the other options are yes or no.

The section labeled "Investment Plan" is the core of the calculator with the first six inputs being the most important ones. If you understand these first six and how they relate, everything else will fall into place.

A Dual Investment Tool

Notice the choice "Cash Flow Type."

The periodic additions to or withdrawal from the investment collectively is the cash flow. The setting "Cash Flow Type" controls whether the cash flow is an addition to the "Starting Amount" (investment (+)) or a withdrawal from the "Staring Amount" (income (-)). If you select "Income" then set "Starting Amount (PV)" greater than "Goal Amount." Set "Starting Amount" less than "Goal Amount" when you've set "Cash Flow Type" to "Investment."

Frequently one invests so as to have enough saved at some future date to generate an income stream. How much saving will you need to produce the income you desire? This calculator will tell you.

Investing for Income

Investing for income is a two-step calculation that also happens to demonstrate the flexibility of this calculator.

Follow along, and I'll take you through the steps.

How much should I have in my investment account when I need to depend on it for income?

First, how much income do you want?

$3,000 a month.

How long should this income last?

25 years or 300 months.

Set "Cash Flow Type" to "Income."

Enter "Unknown" for "Starting Amount."

Enter 3,000 for "Periodic Withdrawal Amount" (or whatever future income you want).

Enter 300 for "Number of Cash Flows."

Enter an "Annual Rate of Return (ROR)" that is, the rate you think your investment will earn. For this example, we'll use 4.5%.

Set "Goal Amount (FV)" to 0.00. Why? Because we are withdrawing from the investment and we want the income to last for 300 months. When 300 months have passed, we'll have nothing left. Zip. Zero.

You can adjust the dates as needed, but for this example, I have both dates set to May 5th.

Leave the "Investment/Income Frequency" and "Compounding" set to "Monthly."

The calculator is now ready to answer the question, what starting amount do I need to have to receive the desired income for the planned number of months?

Click "Calc", and the answer is $542,000.00 (rounded up) This is the number we need for step two.

How much do I have to invest periodically to reach my goal?

Change the "Cash Flow Type" to "Investment."

Set the "Starting Amount" to whatever the current balance is in your investment account(s). For this example, I'll assume that is 0, so enter 0.00.

Set the "Periodic Investment Amount" to "Unknown."

How much time is remaining before you want to start receiving the income?

Assume 30 years.

How frequently do you want to make additional investments?

Four times a year, or quarterly.

Therefore, for "Number of Cash Flows", enter 120 (4 times a year for 30 years). And set the "Investment/Income Frequency" to "Quarterly."

Set the "Annual Rate of Return" to a value with which you are comfortable. But, you might want to be a bit more aggressive than we were with the "Rate of Return" used in the first calculation. I'm going to use 6% for this example.

Set the "Goal Amount" to $542,000. (This is the result of the first calculation).

Set the two dates as needed. If you are following along, I'm leaving "Today's Date" set to May 5th. You can set the "First Cash Flow Date" to when you expect to start making contributions to the investment. If you want to tie the contributions to your pay period, set it to a pay day. I'm going to set it to June 1st.

Click "Calc." The result is $1,636.

Invest $1,636 every quarter, and if you earn your anticipated rate of return, you'll end up with the required $542,00 after 30 years. Or enough money to give you the income you want.

You can verify the result by clicking on the "Schedule" button and checking the last balance amount.

Cool, right? And we didn't even have to change calculators.

There's more to this Investment Calculator


What about the "Optional Settings"? How do they work?

Glad you asked.

No doubt if you have done even the most basic reading on investing, you have come across phrases similar to "examples shown do not reflect actual investment results."

A big part of the reason for this is because the investment tools used to create compound growth and investment income illustrations frequently do not consider the impact of taxes, inflation, and potential investment fees.

This calculator will take these important factors into account.

Here's how they work.

Impact of Inflation on Investing

In the "Optional Settings" section, enter an average "Annual Inflation Rate." If you want to use a rate based on history, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes historical US Consumer Price Index data going back to 1914. If you average the CPI for those years, you'll find that in the US, Inflation has averaged 3.2% per year. (Checkout this Inflation Calculator. It will average the CPI for you for any range of years.)

a tvm financial calculator
Historical Investment Results Calculator

Compare investment results for different asset types.

  • Includes history for 14 indices
  • Invest single amount or series
  • Adjust for inflation
  • Compare: stocks, bonds, commodities, housing
  • A great research and
    learning tool

If you enter an assumed inflation rate and set "Adjust Cash Flow for Inflation" to "Yes", then the income or investment cash flows will be adjusted on the first cash flow date after January 1.

The $1,636 quarterly investment from the above example, will have to be increased to a bit over $4,000 a quarter for your investment results to keep pace with inflation.

Even if you don't want to adjust the cash flow for inflation, you may still want to enter an assumed inflation rate. Notice the "Results" pane. If you set "Cash Flow Type" to "Investment", the calculator calculates two inflation-adjusted "Goal Amounts."

"Today's Value After Inflation" is what the goal value will be, expressed in today's dollars when adjusted for inflation. Having $542,000 in 30 years with a 3.2% inflation rate will be as if you had $211,000 today. The other inflation-adjusted result, "Inflation Adjust Goal Amount" is the amount you'll have to have in the future to buy what $542,000 buys today, or per our example, $1,390,000.00.

Notice, if you change the "Cash Flow Type" to "Income", the calculator calculates the inflation-adjusted value for the first "Periodic Withdrawal Amount." If you don't compensate for inflation, and assuming it averages 3% over 25 years, a $3,000 income will be equivalent to having a $1,300 income today, or you'll need to have $6,600 to have the same purchasing power that $3,000 has today.

Income Taxes and Investing

Obviously, taxes can have a significant impact on your investing results if you pay the taxes due from your investment account. If you are paying taxes using investment funds, then enter your marginal tax rates as needed.

Generally, if an investment is not tax-free, then you would owe taxes on the realized gains. The calculator treats the investment gain (ROI) as realized, and the taxes get deducted on the first cash flow date after the first of each year.

There is an exception. Some investments allow the investor to defer the tax liability. A traditional IRA account comes to mind as such an investment. With these investment accounts, income taxes are calculated on the withdrawal, not on the investment gain.

If you want taxes calculated on the income, set "Taxes Calculated on Withdrawal" to "Yes."


Some investments require the investor to pay a fee. Fees get calculated in many ways, and no general purpose investment calculator can accurately handle all scenarios.

This calculator uses the percentage you enter and calculates the amount due using the year's average balance. The fee is deducted at the end of the year.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

How does an investor compare investments and make a decision which investment is best? One consideration is the rate of return. The IRR is the gain an investment generates expressed as an annualized percentage.

You can use this calculation to compare investments. Notice there are two IRR calculations - one before the impact of taxes and fees, and the other after taxes and fees. (If your investment has an irregular cash flow, use this Internal Rate of Return Calculator to calculate the IRR.)

Solving for an Unknown

The user can quickly answer the following questions with this one calculator.

  • What will be the future value of my investments?
  • How long will my income last?
  • How long will it take to reach my goal?
  • What rate of return must I earn to reach my goal?
  • What rate of return will create the income I need?
  • What will be my income?
  • How much do I have to invest to meet my goal?

31 Comments on “Investment Calculator”

financial online calculator Join the conversation. Tell me what you think.
  • Great calc. I ran some numbers including a 1% annual management fee. Was looking at a 20 year period. Year 19 did not include the fee. Thoughts?

    • Thank you, but I’m sorry that you have experienced a problem. I tried duplicating this, and I wasn’t able to do so. I assume you tried an investment cash flow (not an income cash flow). If so, I used all the defaults that the calculator loads with except I changed the "Number of Cash Flows" to 240 and set the fee to 1%. In that case, there was a fee shown for every year?

      Can you take screen shots of your inputs and send them to me or post them here (you can select, copy and paste) and if I can duplicate the problem, I can fix it.

      • Anything not mentioned was inputted with a zero. Investment, $10,000. # of cf’s 20. ROR 6%. Dates, natural fill in – with that said, altering CFD changed fee results. Frequency/Compounding, Annually. Fee, 1%

        • Abeb, thank you for your nice simple example. I’m able to duplicate this bug now. The problem happens with all cash flow frequencies that are longer than a month. I usually update the code on the website over the weekend. I’ll try to have a fix in place for next weekend’s changes.

        • Abeb, I posted an update to the investment calculator this morning. The problem with missing the fee in the next to last year has been fixed.

          There are a couple of other changes too. When fixing the fee issue, I realized I was calculating income tax due on the gross return and not after the fee was deducted. This is also fixed. Additionally, I changed the way income taxes are due at the end. Previously, income taxes were also deducted in the last year of the schedule for returns in that year. Now, the schedule has one additional year added to the end (beyond the number of years asked for by the user) to show the taxes that are due for the last year of investment gain. Not a big change but it keeps tax handling consistent for all years.

          Also, the inflation adjustment now happens on the first cash flow date on or after any anniversary date of the first cash flow. Previously the adjustment had be done in January.

          Thanks again for taking your time to report the bug.

  • Where can one get a calculator that has the power of TValue. Unfortunately, this one is not close. BUT want to run on a Mac…. hate PCs.

    • Hi Larry, this investment calculator is not meant to have the flexibility that TValue™ has, as you have discovered. (But it also has features that TValue does not have.)

      However, this financial calculator can do what TValue can do. Scroll down the page for the 25 tutorials that will step you through many financial scenarios.

      The above is a free, online calculator.

  • S. Boyd Anderson says:

    Good day,
    I need a calculator for investments.
    I need to enter a beginning date and value (usually 1 January____) and an ending date and value (31 Dec 2017 for example).
    I need to enter regular monthly deposits and the occasional lump sum deposit over the above period.
    I need to enter regular monthly withdrawals as well as the occasional lump sum withdrawal over the above period.
    I need the rate of return (net) over the selected period.
    I can live with a restricted number of deposits and withdrawals (12) if I can select the dates.

    What have you got?

    • This financial calculator should meet all your needs.

      The calculator will support both regular (scheduled) investments and withdrawals with intermittent (unscheduled) investments or withdrawals. Additionally, the rate can be changed on any date.

      Once on the page, scroll down and check out the different tutorials. I suggest reading tutorial 1 to get you started. After working through that one, you can cherry pick as needed. Or post a question on that calculator’s page.

      To add a rate-of-return calculation, click on the "Setting" menu option and then select "Analytics"

      The calculator will support hundreds of cash flows, so a dozen or so will not be a problem.

      NOTE: A year is from Jan 1 to Jan 1, as the time component is from 12:00am. If you run a schedule through Dec. 31 and you are expecting a year, you’ll miss the last day.

  • I can see how Karl’s idea works if I have a zero balance but I do not.
    Here is what I mean.
    On 1 January 2017 I had $100,000 in my investment. On 1 January 2018 I have $138,000.
    Since 1 Jan 2017 I have added $1,000 on the 28th of every month to the plan.
    I also made two lump sum deposits, $10,000 on 15 January 2017 and $10,000 on 1 March 2017.
    But I also made a withdrawal of $2,000 on 1 Sept 2017.
    What is my simple ROI for that one year 2017? How does one enter the data?
    Thanks, Boyd

    • Hi Boyd,

      First, which calculator are you using? Are you using the previously recommended Ultimate Financial Calculator?

      Now that I understand the cash flow better, I’m going to change my recommendation. Please use the Internal Rate of Return calculator.

      The first mention calculator would certainly solve the problem, but the IRR calculator is easier to learn. Please give that a try and then if you have any questions, please ask them on the calculator page that you are using to avoid confusing me. 🙂

  • There is still no place to enter the date of the end period (1 January 2018) or the value ($138,000).
    I want to know the annual rate of return as of 1 January!

    • Is this about the IRR calculator?

      If so, the ending value is the last value in the cash flow section. If you entered the initial investment value as a negative, then enter the final value as a positive. Enter is as of Jan. 1, 2018, assuming you want to know the rate of return for all of 2017.

  • David Pearson says:


    Really delighted to have come across this tool… thanks

    I have a suggestion…

    I would love to see this as one tool answering how much do i need to save … through to what would I like to withdraw.

    Ie I want a retirement income (in todays money) of $100,000 – starting in 20 years time, lasting for 30 years.

    I have a starting savings pot of $1,000,000 today…. how much do I need to add to this to hit that amount.

    I know I can do this is 2 stages, but it would be awesome to see it run through as a single sheet.

    Just a thought, but thanks for making this excellent tool available anyway!!

    • And I’m delighted that you found the site.

      How about trying the retirement calculator? That should do what you need.

      Below are the inputs. You’ll set the "Percent of income invested" to 0.0% and it will be calculated. The chart will show the amount in currency.

      Pre Retirement Savings
      Your current age?: 35
      Your life expectancy?: 95
      Annual income?: $100,000.00
      Annual income increase?: 0.000%
      Percent of income invested?: 0.0%
      Current retirement… $1,000,000.00
      Return on investment?: 5.000%

      Post Retirement Income
      Your age at retirement?: 65
      ROI for retirement funds?: 2.500%
      Annual inflation rate?: 0.000%
      Desired retirement income?: $100,000.00
      Do you expect income from other sources?:
      Income from gov’t?: $0.00
      Other annual income?: $0.00

      If this doesn’t cut it for you, there is another calculator that will work. But it’s more involved, so I’ll leave it alone for now.

      • David Pearson says:

        Thanks Karl

        Really helpful… great set of tools…

        The retirement calculator is excellent, but I would love to be able to put in a period between stopping contributing and starting drawdown, and I would also love to be able to factor in taking a lump sum out on retirement… I know I can do this ‘manually’ so only a wishlist really!!

        You mention in your reply that “there is another calculator that will work. But it’s more involved, so I’ll leave it alone for now.” which has grabbed my interest… can you send me a link to the one you are thinking of…so I can explore.

        Thanks for the brilliant website

        • You’re welcome.

          The other calculator is the Ultimate Financial Calculator. 🙂 It supports both features on your wish list i.e. single withdrawal and a delay in the drawdown after the contribution period. If you try it out, scroll down the page. There are 25 tutorials to get you started. Make sure to check out #1 for an overview.

          Naturally, if you have any questions, just ask.

  • Dennis Schad says:

    Bought software from this company, a downloaded version and the computer crashed and I need it on my new computer. Can you tell me how to achieve this (fee) please call or email Dennis at ###-###-####

  • Hi Karl ,

    Thanks for making numbers easy !

    I found the calculators very interesting being a financial advisor myself and would need your help to add the currency options as INR also.

    • Cool!

      I would love to support India’s Rupee, but the input is not designed or tested to support a 3 character currency symbol (but yours is the 2nd request this month).

      Perhaps I will be able to update the site in 2019 to support INR. But if I added it now, the values a user would be able to enter would be quite small.

      Did you see that there is a no currency symbol option? Does that help you?

  • I need an investment calculator that can factor in inflationary effects ,taxes and allow for periodical savings and predict the monthly required contribution to reach a particular goal

    • In most cases, I can create custom versions of any calculator. You can click on the contact link at the bottom of any page and email me your requirements if you like.

      • thanks Karl for the prompt response .

        In addition to the features of the ultimate investment calculator I want the calculator to be API enabled . So that after a simulation as been done on the calculator the advised periodic contributions would be swept from provided dollar card or account and booked on our core banking application. ( By this i mean a client can initiate investment via this channel).

        Secondly, this calculator should be able to send push notification on due dates of contributions for clients that have invested.

        If all these is possible. You can send me a demo and cost for me to present to my CIO at Sterling Bank .

  • Is there a calculator I could track 3 separate investments at the same time:
    Company Pension
    I like to see what each would be worth in 5 or10 years. Each one would have different amount of contributions over the years.

    • If by that you mean 3 separate investments at the same time and keep them separate, the answer is no.

      But if they have the same rate-of-return, the problem you have is the different contributions, then you could use Ultimate Financial Calculator. It will allow you to have multiple cash flows with different amounts at different frequencies. Look at the "Investment" cash flow option. If you leave the interest rate set to 0%, it will calculate the ROR based on the contribution and withdrawals.

      • Hi Karl
        I was looking for something like this, where i could plug all the numbers in and it would show me what my 3 investment would each be worth. I assume I could do this in the Ultimate Calculator, but only one at a time to get the value. Just wanted to have all 3 show on the same calculator. So from there I could see which one I would start to drawn from first and which ones I would need to reinvest

        Investment 1 = RRSP
        Open Balance = 20,000
        monthly contributions = 1200
        average rate earn = 5%
        what would the value be in 5 years or 10 years

        Investment 2 = Company Penison
        Open Balance = 20,000
        monthly contributions = 500.00
        average rate earn = 6%
        what would the value be in 5 years or 10 years

        Investment 3 = TFSA
        Open balance = 62,500
        monthly contributions = 500.00
        average rate earn = 4 %
        what would the value you be in 5 years or 10 years

        • I see. No, I’m afraid the calculator allows for one investment at a time. Of course, you can print out the report and work from that for all 3 at the same time.

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