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Created on 20.11.2018 | Updated on 29.01.2021

Investment for beginners: five tips for your first financial investment

Lots of people who are new to financial investment find it unnerving. They are frightened of making mistakes, misunderstanding things, not selecting the right products or suffering losses. Our five tips will help you to overcome these hurdles and get more out of your money with confidence. Investment is often not as complex as you might think.

The stock exchange , shares , return , funds  and securities  – lots of people will have heard of these terms but may not understand exactly what they mean. This makes many potential investors feel uncertain, leading them to believe the risk of making a simple financial investment is much higher than it actually is. As a result,  they lack the confidence to invest and leave their money in savings accounts for fear of making a mistake. This means they miss out on the opportunity to generate higher returns. Shares, ETFs, funds etc. are not just for experienced investors, but may also be a suitable option for you.

Tip 1: Doing some research helps and is easy

You don’t have to be a professional to invest wisely or spend hours, or even days, to find out more. Simply dedicating some time to exploring the field of financial investment will soon make you feel more confident about it. Getting to grips with the basic principles is enough, for example, by familiarizing yourself with and understanding the various investment instruments and the opportunities and risks they present and gaining an insight into why prices fluctuate or why diversification  is so important, no matter how big or small the investment. Get started with the basics! If you have a strong interest in a particular topic, you can explore it in greater depth.

The following articles will help you to get started. They do not require any basic knowledge and avoid complicated explanations:

Tip 2: Set goals

Why do I want to invest in the first place? Ask yourself this question and be honest with yourself. Set yourself a specific, realistic target that you want to achieve with your financial investment and a suitable time horizon. Will you start out by buying shares? Or will you invest in ETFs or funds? By when do you want to achieve results? How much risk are you willing to bear in order to maximize your potential for returns?

If you always keep your investment target in mind, you are less likely to feel uncertain.

Tip 3: The long term is what counts: temporary fluctuations are quite normal

Investors don’t need to check share prices on a daily basis. Long-term investors should focus on the big picture and not get flustered when prices fall on the stock exchanges in the short term. Many investors panic and sell their securities for fear of falling prices. However, the past performance of the markets indicates that prices will recover again in the long term. The initial price recovery after a downturn is often strong and unexpected. When investing, it’s important not to be led by your emotions and not to act hastily. Otherwise you run the risk of investing or selling at the wrong time. Short-term price trends are variable and therefore cannot be predicted. Showing restraint and sticking to your own investment strategy pays off. You can find more on this in the article «How long should I keep my investments?».

Tip 4: You don’t have to be rich – you can also start on a small scale

People who’re anxious about losing a lot of money shouldn’t invest large sums. Start off with a funds savings plan or small investments until you feel comfortable about investing larger amounts. The article “What is a funds saving plan actually?” explains how small amounts of money can be invested. Even with CHF 20 a month, you can build up assets over the long term.  

Tip 5: Advisors are there to help you

Take the opportunity to arrange a consultation and get some expert advice. You can register for a personal consultation with PostFinance by clicking on “Arrange an appointment”. Our advisors would be pleased to answer your questions about investment.

All kinds of questions can be asked, regardless of whether you want to know which funds are best suited to you, how long your investment horizon should be or whether you would essentially like to find out more about investment opportunities. Advisors will also help you to draw up an investment strategy and to set out your goals. You don’t have to purchase funds immediately or sign up for a funds saving plan – take the time to arrange a consultation with your advisor to work out which investment strategy is the best for you.

Anxiety about investing is not a bad thing and many beginners experience exactly the same thing. Set some time aside to do some research, ask your advisor if there is anything you don’t understand and set yourself goals – this will allow you to make the most of your assets, even with small amounts, and to slowly get to grips with investment. You’ll soon realize that financial investment is not that complicated at all. 

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