Albert Einstein once noted that the most powerful force in the universe was the principle of compounding. Compounding interest is when you are paid interest, on the previous interest you earned, hence compounding. To show an example of the power, if you take 10k and put it in an account earning 4%, and never touch the account again (no contributions or withdrawals), in 10 years, that will be ~14k, in 40 years that will be ~48k. Two things to note, 1) 4% is a fairly low return for a young person to achieve given the growth of our stock market, and 2) you will likely be contributing every paycheck or month or quarter or year, so the growth can be substantial over your working life. Time is the key element here, so start as early as you can, because you can’t make up for lost time in investing.