Been reading this forum on and off for the past couple of years and I have to say there is loads of very interesting content here.
I’m 35, moved to Switzerland 2 years ago and currently living in Geneva. I’m married but don’t (yet) have kids. Mrs S has been struggling a bit to find a job since we moved here so we are both living off my salary (we are both non-EU). We live quite a simple life and are not big spenders, and I would say on average I am able to easily save 3/4k a month after tax, before bonuses.
I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to investing and had never really taken the time to look into it, either because I was at the beginning of my career and wasn’t earning enough, or through living in low-cost countries where I would be comfortable locally, but my savings were getting eaten up by inflation and currency devaluation. Ever since moving to Switzerland (and also through promotions in my job) my net worth has significantly increased, to the extent that about 65% of my current savings I have accumulated since arriving here 2 years ago.
I currently have about 200k of savings of which:
- 20% is invested in stocks
- 30% in very low interest French savings accounts (Livret A, LDD, PEL, etc…)
- 50% is just sitting around in my current accounts getting eaten up by inflation (I know…)
When I first moved here I was thinking of putting some money towards buying a flat/property in France to rent (targeting net cash flow positive opportunities), but I didn’t really move forward with it due to a variety of factors, including:
- Never having bought a property before and having to buy one without visiting it physically (there are companies that do this for you)
- The only bank I spoke to didn’t want to lend me as much as I wanted
- I was under the impression that the tax impact on my Swiss tax rate and Swiss wealth tax was probably going to wipe out most of what I was earning through rent.
I then, having spent hours on here, opened an IB account and proceeded to buy, 12 months ago (great timing!), about 45k of ETFs including VT, Nasdaq, and a couple of other stocks. I’m now down about 25% after a year
The idea of course was to continue to buy ETFs every month, but after seeing my money disappear like this I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
More recently I have been looking into the possibility of purchasing property in Switzerland (I even upped my monthly 2nd pillar contributions from 8% to 12% of my salary with this in mind), but I am put off by several things:
- I’m likely going to need to save up probably 350/400k before having enough for a deposit here
- The prices are so high in Switzerland I’m not sure it’s a good investment - there is a great thread here somewhere on the 5% rule for renting vs investing that opened my eyes and really made me wonder if it’s worth it (I have a pretty cheap rent at the moment comparatively to the size/location)
- It’s probably not the best time to invest in Real-Estate anyway with a potential recession around the corner
So at the end of the day I find myself completely paralysed when it comes to investing my money: when I do I seem to lose it (although I probably choose one of the worst moments in history to start investing, and I know in the long run you can’t beat the market), and when I don’t I know the money is just sitting there getting eaten up by inflation.
I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations if you were me. My investment horizon is probably as long as it gets if I’m looking at retirement, although I would like one day to be able to live in my own home, but that’s probably not going to be for at least another 10 years.