Almost everyone on the web is telling you should put part of your saving into stock market until you retire. Well that’s not necessarily a good suggestion!

Saving money in your youth come with a tradeoff. The more you save the less fun you have, you have to cut on entertainment, travels, etc…
The truth is that after your portfolio growth beyond a critical point, usually just above $100,000, adding another $10,000 of your saving into your portfolio will have a very small effect on your long-term return, while it will cause you a lot of trouble in the short-term, as you won’t be able to enjoy life at its fullness. Therefore you need to understand what is the most efficient strategy to make you millionaire with minimal effort.
Keep reading this article to learn how to grow a $1,000,000 portfolio with minimal effort.

In short, the most efficient way to invest your money is to spend a few years to build a portfolio of about 100k , and you can do it just by investing around $70,000 over 6 years. Ideally you can do it in you 20s or early 30s.

Here I show you the simulation I made on excel with different deposit strategies.

Simulate your portfolio net worth

I started writing down how much money you can add over 30 years. The first row is the case where you add $10,000 every year, for a total of $300,000, while the last row is the case where you don’t add money at all. There is one row for each year of deposit.

List of different deposit amounts for 30 years

Now, I simulate how much your portfolio will be valued at the end of every year of each of the deposit strategies I listed above.

I assume you start with a portfolio of $10,000 that could come from your investment so far, or some money that you have left in your bank account, and that you can make a 15% profit each year.

Portfolio size after X years, and Y deposits of $10,000

Find the best tradeoff between time and money invested

Our goal is to reach $1,000,000. So I highlighted in green the strategies that allow us to reach that portfolio size.

Portfolio size. Green cells are the target portfolio, blue cells highlight the best combination.

As you can see, there are multiple combinations to reach our target, but you can also see that you will reach the same goal in just 20 years if you deposit every year or if you deposit for 12 years. You can also wait 2 years longer, and you will be able to reach your target with just 6 years of deposits (blue combination in the figure)! Beyond that you will have to wait longer and longer. The best tradeoff is to invest $10,000 every year for 6 years and wait for another 16 years.

This is shown even better in this plot.

After 6 years of deposit your effort of saving and investing will have smaller and smaller effect on your return.


After you focused for 6 years on saving and investing your money, you don’t need to add money in the stock market anymore. However, stock market can be extremely volatile, especially if you have a high-growth portfolio. Therefore, it would be wise to keep a pool of money (around 20K) that you can invest in case of a big market crash.

Once your portfolio reach $1,000,000, you can convert that into a bond and high-dividend portfolio that will give you a stable $30,000 per year.

Now that you invested the amount of money that you need to retire in only 22 years, you are free to use the money to enjoy life, or to work on other projects. That would be a good moment to buy an house, or start your own business.

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