Home » Maths Tricks » Rule of 72 – Estimation of Compound Interest and Time

Effect of Compounding

The Rule of 72 is a good quick math shortcut to find out the following –

  • Time required for an amount to double itself, at a given rate of interest
  • Rate at which an amount should grow to double itself in given time

This formula can be applied for “Doubling Problems” related to money, population, etc. which grows at an annual compounded rate.


  1. To calculate the time; T = 72/R
  2. To calculate the rate of interest; R= 72/T

T = Time required to double a sum of money at the rate of R% per annum.

R = Rate of interest at which a sum of money gets doubled in T years.

Explanation of the formula  

To find out the number of years required to double an investment in a fixed deposit which gives you 9% rate of interest compounding annually, divide 72 by 9.

For example, if you invest Rs. 10000 with compounding interest at a rate of 9% per annum, the rule of 72 gives 72/9 = 8 years required for the investment to become Rs. 20000; an exact calculation gives 8.0432 years. So there is small margin of approximation.

The above formula is more accurate at lower interest rates (say up till 10%). The approximation error starts increasing after that.

In case of continuous compounding, 69 instead of 72, gives more accurate results. However, in our day to day life the concept of continuous compounding is rarely used.

Guide to Online Schools has information on math classes.


Hi, I'm Vineet Patawari. I fall in love with numbers after being scared from them for quite some time. Now, I'm here to make you feel safe with numbers and help you come out of Maths Phobia!


  1. […] This post is to explain the mathematics behind EMI and how to calculate it in excel using inbuilt excel function. If you wish to learn shortcut to find the time required to double a sum of money invested at certain rate of interest, you can apply Rule of 72. […]

  2. Shraman N L says:

    ?? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ??????? ?????? (??+1)^ ??? *??????? ?????? ???? ?? ” ????? ??? ?????” ?????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???

  3. Shraman N L says:

    ???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? 72 ?? ????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??? ? ??????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???

  4. nithya says:

    is there any shortcut to solve men and work problems

  5. vinay says:

    Average Problem : A man bowling average is12.4 take wickets for 26 runs and thereby decreases his average by 0.4.The no of wickets taken by him before his last match was ?

    • Bhanu says:

      data insufficient .. i tried googling the question u gave ..
      it shud hav been 26 runs for 5 wickets ..
      then ans is 85 !

    • Deepesh says:

      bowling avg=(total runs)/total wickets

      let wickets before last match is x

      (12.4*x + 26)/x+5=(12.4- 0.4)

      (12.4*x + 26)/x+5=12


  6. vinay says:

    Please solve this Problem on Average : There was one Mess for 30 boarders in a certain hostel .on the no of boarders being increased bu10, the expenses of the mess were increased by Rs 40per month while the average expenditure diminished by 2.Find the orignal monthly Expenditure ?

  7. Niesh says:

    is there any sort trick to count a sum of compound interest ??

    i know this A=P(1+R/100)N/T

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I am Vineet Patawari - PGDM (IIM Indore), ACA, B.Com(H). My passion for Mathematics, specially Vedic Maths encouraged me to start QuickerMaths

I believe that if trained properly using powerful tools like Vedic Maths, the immense intellect of human mind can be ignited instantly - find out more

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