After completing my studies, I migrated to Switzerland. Today, at 30yo, I am a proud holder of a C Permit. I can confidently say that Switzerland has been an incredible home to me so far. Alongside my passion for traveling, I have developed a vibrant lifestyle here, centered around my friends, sports, and hobbies like photography and motorcycling. I have been dedicated to increasing my income while trying to keep my expenses as low as possible. Last year, my income exceeded CHF 200k, and I plan to make more this year with my new job that I am starting soon.
On the expense side, I find myself falling prey to lifestyle inflation, indulging in little pleasures, gifts for myself and loved ones, travel, and dining out. I understand that this spending habit hampers my financial objectives, but I’m not sure how to break free from it.
Regarding investments, my track record has not been impressive. Although I am an investment advisor by profession, I have struggled to manage my personal finances effectively. My biggest failure was an ultra-leveraged real estate project that left me with a debt of more than CHF 1.2M, putting everything at risk. I am off the hook now on this project. My emotional tendencies also caused me to lose consistently over the past three years in the stock market. As you can realize, risk was my motto in terms of investments. Now it is the opposite… At present, I own a small, paid-off apartment that I rent on Airbnb in France, and I am entirely uninvested (with about 400K in savings). This also sets me back in my financial goals.
I am open to feedback on how to address my spending habits and investment approach.
my targets are soft: 1M in the mid term, and ideally 4-5M net before turning 40. I will need to do things differently to reach this.
I’ve tried stuffing everything into an S&P 500 ETF last year, but I have sold the rally last month. Short term, it looks like it was a good decision, but I know I should not have done it. I have to stop trading.
Thanks for mentioning Ben Felix. Will watch his videos tomorrow.
My way would be temperance and practicing waiting for things. We tend to have a sense of immediacy in our current western world, that everything should be happening as we start thinking about it. This relates to purchases (buy now pay later), relationships (instant messaging and expecting quick replies happens more often than I’d like) and other aspects of our life.
I find that my wants acclimate to me letting them space to expand, then deflate. That thing I wanted so badly a few days ago doesn’t seem so important anymore now, that task that was being urgent finally didn’t have that much importance in the bigger picture and things like that. There is also some pleasure in the anticipation of a given discretionary expense (that thing you have waited to buy, that trip you are planning for over a year, …). It builds into a system that draws us toward more resiliency/anti-fragility, which in turn builds satisfaction toward the life we live. It’s not as shiny as the run fast/burn hot success track, and doesn’t buy us points on social networks, but it is a very fulfilling one.
"Have to"s don’t work with me, I have to search to reach positively toward something that will fill the space the habit I want to walk away from was filling. Then the habit goes away naturally since it no more has a place in my life. That may require working on several different aspects of our life, like understanding why we “should not” do something, working toward following a less active investment plan and filling the space we spent following the markets and markets news with other activities that fulfill us. I don’t have a silver bullet since I’m just at the start of that journey.
Thanks for sharing your life experience with us. I had about the same issues. Lost quite some money in trading even though I have been through courses, reading books, news, etc…Was supposed to be an opportunity but finally a lot of investors lost high amounts and those guys were pros…I do find out that every time I invest through trading, stock market, Banks, etc… I’m loosing money due to bad timing, COVID, Inflation, war, etc… I decided to stop doing it myself. The only thing I’m good at is Real Estate. This is the only way I make money. I own few apartments in Switzerland knowing that when I arrived here I was 32 and had 2000 CHF in my bank account (so quite poor). The more you read about people advices the more you will find out that each person is different so I don’t listen to people anymore as we don’t have the same vision, risk tolerance, salary, opportunities, etc… For example it seems that a lot of people are making money with trading or stock exchange, but it’s funny that you don’t hear much people loosing money!!! It always look so easy… Personally I have a hard time when I have too much money on my bank account because I feel I want to buy stupid things like cars, etc…What I do now to protect myself on spending too much is I put ALL my money in 2 things. Real Estate and my LPP. I know people will say it’s not liquid and it’s not the best investments but I don’t care. At least I can’t touch it easily! I do major buy back every year so I get to a personal saving rate of 97% now due to the fact that I’m saving a huge amount on taxes. Again people will say that it’s not worth it to do it like this, that you should do small amount every year for a long time period, but I never know when I will loose this high paying job so I don’t care. My goal is to continue like this and I do not amortize my home. One day I will clear my home if needed by using my LPP and I’m planning to get my money out of my LPP not a rent when I retire. Now I worth few millions even though I don’t make high interest on my investments. I have a cushion of 3 years in case shit happens…again people will say it’s loosing it’s value due to inflation, but guess what I don’t care…because I’m not stressed out if I loose my job. What I find out is that not loosing money is harder then making some money. This is why I don’t take risk anymore and step by step I’m trying to build good wealth. I for sure could make more money, but for sure I could loose as well. I hope this can help.