Save your money or invest it? Our tips for the right way
Should I save my money or invest it? That's a question many people ask themselves these days. Both when you save and when you invest, you are putting your money aside for the future. But how exactly do you go about it? And when is the right time to invest your money?
What is saving?
Quite simply put, we reserve our money for future expenses or for a specific goal. If a bill suddenly arrives in your email inbox or you have reached the necessary sum for a long-awaited wish, you want to be able to use the money immediately. That's why many savers deposit their money in a savings account or a call money account. A small plus point here is that you receive a small amount of interest on it. But why? Basically, you lend your money to your bank. It uses it to lend it to someone else and charges higher interest. So in return for the bank being able to use your money, you get interest from the bank.
Which is better: call money account or savings book?
The savings book is still a very popular way to put money aside. However, the call money account has more advantages. That's why you should rather save your money in a call account:
- A savings book cannot be used for payment purposes. You cannot withdraw money directly from a call money account, but you can transfer it to a reference account and work with it there.
- You can withdraw a maximum of 2,000 euros per month from a savings book. If you want to have more money at your disposal, you must either cancel your savings account or inform your bank three months in advance about the withdrawal. With a call money account, on the other hand, you always have unrestricted access to your savings.
- As you already know, you will receive interest from the bank if you deposit your money in a savings book or a call account. On average, however, you will receive more interest on a call account than on a savings account.
What is investing?
When you invest, you also put your money aside for the future. However, you do not deposit your money in the bank, but invest it in capital markets. This means that you can put your money into shares, funds or ETFs, for example. When you buy a share, you buy a piece of a company with your money. If this company makes profits, you can also profit from these profits. However, when you invest, you also take a certain risk. If the company makes losses, you will probably also make losses. So you can't know exactly how your investment will develop. But Margarethe Honisch, founder of the financial platform Fortunalista, book author and financial columnist, disagrees. She claims that if you invest in the DAX - the 40 largest German companies - you can expect a return of 8.5%. If that's true, it's a very good return!
What can you invest in?
Are you interested in investing your money? Then you have these options, among others:
- Shares: When you buy a share, you can call a small part of the company in question your property. As the company grows and becomes more valuable, your money increases in this way.
- Funds and ETFs: You can think of a fund as a pot into which many investors pay money. The money paid in is invested by experienced fund managers in securities or real estate, for example. The letters ETF stand for Exchange Traded Fund. An ETF is a replica of a stock market index. When you buy an ETF, ideally a fund company takes your money and invests it in all the securities that are included in the index. Let's take the already mentioned DAX as an example: If you buy an ETF that tracks the DAX, you invest in the 40 largest German companies. When you buy an ETF, ideally a fund company takes your money and invests it in all the securities that are included in the index. Let's take the already mentioned DAX as an example: If you buy an ETF that tracks the DAX, you invest in the 40 largest German companies. So when you buy funds and ETFs, you are investing directly in hundreds or even thousands of companies, shares or securities. Pretty cool, isn't it?
- Bonds: Bonds are securities. When you invest in a bond, you lend money to the government or a company. They then pay you back your money plus a fixed amount of interest. This means that with a bond you get a fixed amount of money. This is the big difference between bonds and shares, ETFs and funds.
So: save money or invest?
Are you currently faced with the question: save or invest? Then we have a few tips for you here:
1. Your financial situation
What is your current financial situation? Get an overview of your income and expenses. Have you already saved your nest egg and have a little money left over each month? Then you can invest it without hesitation. It doesn't have to be a large amount. 10-15 euros is quite enough to start with.
2. Set yourself goals
Set a savings goal that you want to achieve and set aside money for it every month. Once you have reached your goal, you can start investing your money. Set a goal for investing as well. Determine how much money you want to invest. Important: If you want to invest, be sure that you really don't need the money you want to invest.
Both when saving and investing, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve with your savings account or investment?
- What do you want to save or invest for? For emergencies, a driving licence or a home of your own?
- How long do you want to save or invest your money?
3. Inform yourself thoroughly
If you want to invest, you should acquire a basic knowledge of investing. How much money should you invest to start with? Do you want to put your money in shares, bonds, ETFs or funds? Find out about the different options and their advantages and disadvantages. Financial books on investing can be helpful. A popular book on investing is "Investing Intelligently". You might be able to pick up a tip or two from it. Of course, you can also get personal help. Brokers, asset managers, investment advisors or fund managers can help you invest or take over the buying and selling completely for you.
4. Become aware of your risk tolerance
The biggest difference between saving and investing is the level of risk. Since you don't have a fixed interest rate when you invest, your amount can fluctuate. Therefore, you must be prepared to accept a certain risk of loss. But it is only human to be afraid of losses. Psychologists call it loss aversion, which prevents us humans from taking risks and changing our rhythmic everyday life. But it is also good to step out of our comfort zone and discover new things for ourselves.
A healthy middle course is the right one. Whether you should save or invest your money depends on your financial situation. Save your money for a financial cushion to be prepared for emergencies. Because when you save money, you have direct access to it in case you need it.
Have you already set aside your nest egg and have a little money left over each month? Then you can invest it to achieve long-term goals. Of course, you can also save your money first and invest it later. The important thing is that you are happy with your financial situation and don't overextend yourself.