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Table 2.3.1 shows the effect of changing the frequency of compounding for a return rate r of 8%. The second and third columns are calculated from Eq. (14) for quarterly and daily compounding, respectively, and the fourth column is calculated from Eq. (13) for continuous compounding. The results show that the frequency of compounding is not particularly important in most cases. For example, during a 10-year period the difference between quarterly and continuous compounding is $17.50 per $1000 invested, or less than $2/year. The difference would be somewhat greater for higher rates of return and less for lower rates. From the first row in the table, we see that for the return rate r = 8%, the annual yield for quarterly compounding is 8.24% and for daily or continuous compounding it is 8.33%.
2.3 Modeling with First Order Equations
TABLE 2.3.1 Growth of Capital at a Return Rate r = 8% for Several Modes of Compounding
Years S(t)/S(t0) from Eq. (14) S(t )/S(t0)
m = 4 m = 365 from Eq. (13)
1 1.0824 1.0833 1.0833
2 1.1717 1.1735 1.1735
5 1.4859 1.4918 1.4918
10 2.2080 2.2253 2.2255
20 4.8754 4.9522 4.9530
30 10.7652 11.0203 11.0232
40 23.7699 24.5239 24.5325
Returning now to the case of continuous compounding, let us suppose that there may be deposits or withdrawals in addition to the accrual of interest, dividends, or capital gains. If we assume that the deposits or withdrawals take place at a constant rate k, then Eq. (11) is replaced by
dS/dt = rS + k,
or, in standard form,
dS/dt — rS = k, (15)
where k is positive for deposits and negative for withdrawals.
Equation (15) is linear with the integrating factor e~rt, so its general solution is
S(t) = cert — (k /r),
where c is an arbitrary constant. To satisfy the initial condition (12) we must choose c = S0 + (k/r). Thus the solution of the initial value problem (15), (12) is
S(t) = S0ert + (k/r)(ert — 1). (16)
The first term in expression (16) is the part of S( t) that is due to the return accumulated on the initial amount S0, while the second term is the part that is due to the deposit or withdrawal rate k.
The advantage of stating the problem in this general way without specific values for S0, r, or k lies in the generality of the resulting formula (16) for S( t). With this formula we can readily compare the results of different investment programs or different rates of return.
For instance, suppose that one opens an individual retirement account (IRA) at age 25 and makes annual investments of $2000 thereafter in a continuous manner. Assuming a rate of return of 8%, what will be the balance in the IRA at age 65? We have S0 = 0, r = 0.08, and k = $2000, and we wish to determine S(40). From Eq. (16) we have
S(40) = (25,000)(e32 — 1) = $588,313. (17)
It is interesting to note that the total amount invested is $80,000, so the remaining amount of $508,313 results from the accumulated return on the investment. The balance after 40 years is also fairly sensitive to the assumed rate. For instance, S(40) = $508,948 if r = 0.075 and S(40) = $681,508 if r = 0.085.
Chapter 2. First Order Differential Equations
Chemicals in a Pond
Let us now examine the assumptions that have gone into the model. First, we have assumed that the return is compounded continuously and that additional capital is invested continuously. Neither of these is true in an actual financial situation. We have also assumed that the return rate r is constant for the entire period involved, whereas in fact it is likely to fluctuate considerably. Although we cannot reliably predict future rates, we can use expression (16) to determine the approximate effect of different rate projections. It is also possible to consider r and k in Eq. (15) to be functions of t rather than constants; in that case, of course, the solution may be much more complicated than Eq. (16).
The initial value problem (15), (12) and the solution (16) can also be used to analyze a number of other financial situations, including annuities, mortgages, and automobile loans among others.
Consider a pond that initially contains 10 million gal of fresh water. Water containing an undesirable chemical flows into the pond at the rate of 5 million gal/year and the mixture in the pond flows out at the same rate. The concentration y(t) of chemical in the incoming water varies periodically with time according to the expression y(t) = 2 + sin2t g/gal. Construct a mathematical model of this flow process and determine the amount of chemical in the pond at any time. Plot the solution and describe in words the effect of the variation in the incoming concentration.