Q:

What does it mean when interest is compounded semiannually?

A:

Quick Answer

When interest is compounded semiannually, it means that the interest on an account is computed and added to the account's balance every six months, according to the Department of Mathematics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This new balance is then used to compute the next interest amount.

Know More

Full Answer

The Department of Mathematics lists the formula for computing the compound interest rate as the nominal rate of interest (the annual percentage rate) times the compounding period for that year, as shown in fraction form. For a semiannual rate, that fraction is 1/2. This rate is then multiplied by the balance at the beginning of the compounding period to determine the interest amount. The interest amount is added to the balance, along with any other deposits made to the account during the compounding period, to create the balance number for the next period.

In this way, the account grows faster and presents a greater return on investment than an account that uses simple interest that is sent directly to the investor rather than applied directly to the account, notes the Department of Mathematics. For example, a \$10,000 investment compounded semiannually at a nominal rate of 10 percent is \$11,025 at the end of a year, while the simple interest account only ends with \$11,000, the balance of \$10,000 plus two interest payments of \$500 each.

Learn more about Investing

Related Questions

• A:

The formula for interest compounded annually is FV = P(1+r)n, where P is the principal, or the amount deposited, r is the annual interest rate, and n is the number of years the money is in the bank. FV is the amount of money the depositor would have after n years, or the future value of that investment.

Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A:

Some ways that people earn money without working are through collecting interest or dividends from investments or by being the beneficiary of an inheritance. People may also earn money without working by receiving royalties, residuals or other passive income from work that was done in the past.

Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A:

Freehold reversion refers to a property owner's interest in real estate that he has leased to another person. Property that is given or leased to another for a stated length of time "reverts" to the original owner once the lease term has expired.

Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A:

As inflation occurs, the central bank is able to adjust interest rates, thus encouraging economic growth. Without adjusted interest rates, there would be little growth during times of inflation as people's purchasing power becomes less. When interest rates are lowered, people are able to continue to purchase regardless of the fact that the purchasing power has lessened.

Full Answer >
Filed Under: