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Created on 13.05.2019 | Updated on 09.07.2020

Invest independently online with these five steps

Investors who want to invest their own money themselves can do so relatively easily these days. There are now many online platforms where you can invest your money in securities and funds. We’ll show you how to trade independently online in five steps.

Many investors let experts make investment decisions for them. Would you prefer to take control of your assets yourself? Have you pretty much worked out your investment strategy and do you feel ready to put it into practice yourself? Then simply follow these five steps to invest independently.

Step 1: Decide on the form of your investment

  • Besides the traditional savings book, there is also the option of investing in tangible assets as well as in securities or funds. Investing in a single share entails greater risk as there is no diversification. Diversification is a key part of a successful investment strategy – find out more in our article “Diversification – explained by way of examples”.
  • Gains may be higher on shares if their price rises sharply – but, equally, the same also applies to losses. In contrast, funds automatically invest in various assets which reduces cluster risks and results in far lower fluctuations.

Step 2: Find the most suitable platform for you

Would you like to invest in shares yourself? Online trading, for example, can be used to invest and trade in securities independently. There are now many online trading platforms available. They can differ in terms of user interface, functions and fee structures as well as the stock exchanges they offer. With a bit of research, you can find out which platform best suits your needs. E-trading gives PostFinance customers access to a modern, intuitive online trading platform. Once you have successfully registered in e-trading, you can automatically access a securities custody account and the standard accounts (CHF, EUR and USD). You can also add other foreign currency accounts yourself at any time. Now you’re able to trade securities yourself.

Various options are available today for anyone wishing to invest in funds independently. One of these is fund self-service from PostFinance. The fund self-service gives you access to a range of funds specially selected by PostFinance experts. It consists of PostFinance Fonds as well as carefully selected third-party funds, which are regularly monitored and switched as soon as they no longer meet PostFinance’s quality standards. And with a funds saving plan, you can invest small amounts of money on a regular basis.

Step 3: Find out about investment costs and fees

As an investor you also need to take account of the differing prices and conditions of financial investments. Compare the fees (issue commissions/brokerage fees) that you’ll have to pay for custody account management or individual transactions (trades). Find information online on your bank’s homepage or, if in doubt, ask your customer advisor. High costs can significantly reduce the yield on your investment. But other criteria need to be checked besides costs, such as the range of services, the provider’s domicile and the regulations the platform is subject to. As an investor you should always weigh up alternatives and find the best solution for your requirements and investor profile.

Step 4: Take well-informed decisions

If you’re planning to invest independently, you’ll need to be well informed. You should note the following points:

  • Define your investment strategy: if you’re investing your money yourself online, you should also define an investment strategy and stick to it.
  • Spread your risk: are you adopting a high-risk approach in the hope of higher returns? Or is the prospect of high returns less important to you because you prefer to err on the side of caution? Regardless of whether the strategy you are implementing is more conservative or higher risk: diversify your portfolio to spread your risk. Find out more about diversification in the article “Diversification – explained by way of examples”.
  • Keep a close eye on the markets: those who want to want to trade individual securities themselves need to regularly and continually track the financial markets and individual companies. This can have an impact not just on your positions but also the currencies they are held in.
  • Order types: if you’re investing in shares, you need to become familiar with the various order types. How do they differ from one another? Which ones are available to you? Find out more in the article “Market orders, limit orders, stop orders etc.”

Step 5: Stick to your strategy

Especially if you are focusing on shares, you should try to define a long-term strategy and stick to it, even when times get tough. A long-term approach will generally pay off here. You’ll find comprehensive information in our article “How long should I keep my investments?”

You can find out how to avoid psychological pitfalls when making investments in the article “Psychological pitfalls to avoid when investing”. This doesn’t have to mean that it’s not worthwhile managing your own investments – as long as you stick to your strategy. Find out why shares are a suitable long-term investment in the article “Why shares are worthwhile”.

Manage your own portfolio or purchase your favourite shares

Trading independently and managing your own portfolio isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Structuring your investment wisely is vitally important to achieve personal goals. You should always try to strike the right balance between low-risk investments, such as savings accounts, and high-yield ones, such as shares and funds.

Online platforms can help you achieve your personal investment goals in the simplest, most intuitive way. They offer an attractive alternative to the traditional advisory services from professionals who assess your financial situation or handle investment decisions for you in a bank branch. For example, online trading platforms can be used if you want to purchase a specific security that you are interested in or which is from a specific sector – that is, if you don’t harbour any ambitions to carry out regular trades yourself.

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