How to invest my current economies?


#1

Hi fellow mustachians!

I have recently moved to Switzerland and I am looking for ways to invest long term. I consider my self more than beginner when it comes so investments and savings, but i have only done it with low amounts so far - a few thousands invested, learned a few hard lessons but reached a few healthy conclusions :slight_smile:

Strategy for the future is, i guess, very common : max out my 3a pillar yearly and invest regularly in index trackers.

The question i have for you is how do you consider I should invest my current economies ? So far i’ve been keeping my economies in cash, in deposits but this is clearly not ideal so I am planning to move some parts of it into my investment portfolio, asap. I am talking about investing a few tens of thousands EUR and here are a few important notes/plans :

  • currently the currency for cash is in is not EUR or CHF unfortunately, so i need to go via an initial exchange - for this I am usually using Revolut.
  • right now the cash is not in a Swiss bank, but with Revolut i can easily move it
  • as online broker i am using is Degiro. Had some hard lessons with SaxoBank so I preferred the cheapest one.
  • i want to move my economies into my investment portfolio asap but of course, only in a safe manner! But 1K a month is too slow, 10K a month is too risky.

How do you guys think I should proceed ? Also, are there any tax implications about moving my economies in Switzerland ? I am thinking about wealth tax here.

Thanks !


#2

Currency exchange is peanuts with Interactive Brokers and they are the cheapest broker with the cheapest ETFs on chespest stock exchanges with lowest taxes and fees. My personal portfolio consists of CHF in cash and VT ETF (in USD).


#3

Thanks ! I will look into Interactive Brokers.

But I am more interested in a strategy of how to invest a big sum of money (part of my economies) such that I minimize risk.

I should not just buy the whole portfolio in one single day, i guess, right ?


#4

Statistically speaking - yes, you should. You’ll have most likely better returns this way. However, if it’s too hard psychologically for you, just split it into parts and invest a part every month. I did that when I started last year because I was too afraid of investing all my savings at once. Now I’d be more comfortable and I’d most likely put everything in - even though they might a crisis behind the corner.


#5

Really ? I did Not expect that…

But yes, psychologically speaking, I would not be able to do this so I will try to invest a lump of money each month and get it done within one year.


#6

Also, you say that IB the cheapest - and quite correct, but only if you have big transactions each month, so you are charged some trading fees, so the $10 per month inactivity fee is smaller (or zero).

But is IB still the cheapest for, lets say, an average of 1K per month invested ?


#7

Yes, investing all at once normally will give you better returns, unless you hit a crash just after (which is not the case most of the time). Anyway, it’s a common problem, check this out:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Dollar_cost_averaging


#8

Or if you have more than $100k invested, then they won’t charge you maintenance fee.

If you have less, then it depends, I think it’s cheaper if you take into account currency conversion fees and lower TER of American ETFs, but I’m not 100% sure.


#9

I find this interesting as I am asking myself the same questions - lump sum investment or DCA. I’m a newbie and I am only starting to invest in my first ETFs - I have been burned before by wrong timing in other investments I have done in the past, and it cost me quite a bit, so now I am extra vigilant. Considering the economic cycle is on average 5.5 years, and its been 9 years since the last slump, a market correction is certainly due (also the markets were pretty bad over the last 12 months) - given these factors I have decided not to do a lump sum investment - I will wait until the beginning of next year, to see if the market conditions improve - if the improve then I will invest with DCA strategy, if they dont improve and I feel that we are heading for a crash I will hold on to my money, wait for the crash and then do a lump sum investment when the markets are down.

I am also trying to decide on an online broker - reading the posts I see that MP has recommended coner trader if you are investing less than 100k, and IB if you are investing more than 100k (since in IB there is no fee if you have 100k invested). Do you agree with this?
What about if you are investing DCA strategy, whereby you will invest say 5k/month, in which case you will need to wait 20 months before reaching the threshold of 100k - in this case is it better to start with IB and pay the fees until you reach 100k, or is it better to start with cornertrader and then switch to IB once you reach 100k?


#10

I am not sure because I dont have an IB account yet, but does cash sitting idly in your account also count towards your assets? If that were the case you dont have to invest all of it at once you can DCA if you like.


#11

I would love to see an excel sheet on this :slight_smile:

And regarding the main subject, I have decided to go conservative, and DCA strategy.


#12

Lots of “feel” in your post. If you go by feeling stuff, you’ll never start.
Two years ago I felt that something was wrong and I waited. I lost the big gains (30%?). This year I decided to start slowly and ofc I am losing (a bit). Now that I’m in, I’ll continue investing . I suppose you could just jump in and decidee each month if you want to invest 5k or 10k, depending on “feelings”. It’s still better than waiting for the right feelings to start at all.


#13

This is easy to calculate. If you invest through CT, who charge 0.2% commision but no less than 20 CHF for instruments bought on SIX, the “sweet spot” lies exactly at 10’000 CHF for each purchase. This is still significantly more than at IB, but I’d say acceptable.


#14

Well if by “feel” you mean to be checking the current market conditions to see if things are moving the direction ‘up’ or ‘down’ to help make a rational, sensible, informed, decision as to weather it is a wise time to invest or not, and not to make an emotionally charged decision to invest for the sake of investing, then ‘yes’ there is a lot of ‘feel’.

…that’s exactly what I will do provided the markets don’t start taking a huge drop over the next few weeks - If the markets do start to take a huge drop then I will wait until they bottom out and then invest a lump sum.


#15

Don’t try to time the market. In any case, the effect on the long run of lump sum or regular investing is small


#16

You will know where the bottom was only after the recovery. It took the markets 18 months to bottom out during the last financial crisis between Oct 2007 and March 2009 with many drops and just as many rallies.

Switch the view to All and logarithmic on this chart

Does that look scary?


#17

Thank you all for your feedback. I have certainly taken on board all your comments (as a beginner I am here to learn !)

I understand that it is the general consensus that one should not try to time the market because it is impossible to do - but investing when the markets are down (in particular when there has been a crash) surely increases the chances of achieving a larger profit (in both long term and short term investments). We can’t time the market, but when a crash occurs we don’t need to time the market do we; if there is ever a “right time” to invest then it is after there has been a crash.
(a) If we invest after the crash but before the market bottoms out then we still have saved the part of the principle you would have lost if you invested before the crash.
(b) Optimally one will invest when the markets have bottomed out. I agree that one doesn’t know when the markets have bottomed out until after the recovery - but even if one waits some time after the recovery has began to invest (say wait until the market has returned to half what it was prior to the crash), then there is still a lower chance of me losing my principle as the markets are likely to return to their previous level at least (of course, there could be another crash after the markets begin to recover - but statistically I think the chances of that happening are low - and even if there is another crash then the advantages mentioned in (a) apply for the second crash i.e. you would not have lost the principle which you would have lost if you invested prior to the first crash)

Maybe, as a beginner investor I my opinion is naïve; but as a beginner investor I need to minimize my chances of losing part of my invested principle; statistically a drop in the market is due, hence my reluctance to dive in head first. But for sure I will not wait too long - and I guess I just need to wait for the right “feelings” as @ma0 correctly said “It’s still better than waiting for the right feelings to start at all”


#18

The problem is, the prices may fall today, tomorrow, in 5 years, or never fall down to the same level again. You don’t know. I understand your strategy of waiting for a crash, but it may be a very long wait.


#19

I fully agree this is the main problem.


#20

Exactly, that’s why there’s no point in market timing in long term investments.