This week you get some interesting charts to look at, and I’ll tell you why they make me think. Even though you should be careful basing your opinions on charts too much (formatting can be deceptive), it is a much more reliable way to reach conclusions than many others.
The Compound Effect
The true power of the compound effect is undervalued. I am working on an essay specifically about this. But this graph can teach us a lot about what compound interest can mean in work and in investing. The chart shows the growth of $5,000 invested in the S&P 500 over 21 years every year since 1926.
I read the idea on Twitter somewhere how to make people understand compounding interest. Give every person $2,000 at birth that they can't withdraw for decades and watch the value compound over time for use later in life.
The United States of America
Many people talk about the decline of the united states’ power and how China is taking over. While this is true in some regard as the US has its fair share of problems – they show valid dominance in other respects. For a century, the world has looked to America to spot new trends, from scannable barcodes to keeping up with the Kardashians. I doubt the world will be looking to the East very soon as the US is still the world’s economic and cultural focal point.
Who will fight for their country in Europe?
I thought this chart was fascinating. It didn’t surprise me that Germans were not inclined to fight for their country. But that the Fins were even more ready than the Russians was surprising to me. The chart makes me think of one of the most interesting Wikipedia articles I know - about the Winter war.
The Winter War was a war between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after World War II started. Even though the Soviets were very much superior in numbers, the fins put up an incredible effort and counted just a fifth of the Soviet casualties.
Until next week,