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When you’re making plans to take a vacation, you first choose a destination and then work backward to figure out how you’ll get there. 

It’s best to approach investing in the exact same manner. Once you’ve got an idea of your long-term target, you can decide on the best route: doing it yourself, working with guidance from an advisor, or concierge done-for-you services from an expert. 

Before we dive into each of the possible routes, there’s one important detail to mention: As you grow older, your goals and preferences are going to change. At the same time, the economy around you will change, too. What this means for most investors is that over time, it often makes sense to switch between or use a combination of the various investment services available. 

Deciding the route for you 

Just like each of the different routes to your holiday destination have their own trade-offs – the train is cheaper than the plane, but it’s slower – the different routes to your investment goals do, too. 

So, why not take two minutes to ask yourself: Do I want to commit the time and energy to truly understanding investment for myself? 

“Do it yourself” investing

Do it yourself investing is as simple as opening a trading account and beginning to buy assets you believe in. It’s the road for adventurers, giving you full freedom to make your own decisions. 

At the same time, it’s certainly not for everyone. 

In Switzerland alone, you have access to between 40,000 and 3,000,000 securities. Selecting the right ones for you is first a matter of building a foundational understanding of investment, then carefully picking your investments.  

At the same time, it’s up to you to control your emotions and make rational choices… in a world where you will be bombarded with information from many brokers who earn their money by incentivizing people like you to make more trades. 

So, why not take two minutes to ask yourself: Do I want to commit the time and energy to truly understanding investment for myself? 

If the answer is a yes, welcome to the club of millions of buyers and sellers who trade financial securities every day. 

Investing with guidance from an advisor

Investing with guidance from an advisor comes with its own benefits and trade-offs. You’ll have an expert opinion to rely on, but you will be relying on an element of trust.

When choosing this route, it’s still best to develop your own understanding of the fundamentals. This knowledge will help you evaluate advisors from a place of confidence,  and prevent you from being taken advantage of. 

Delegating your investments

Delegating your investments makes sense when you understand the benefits that investing will offer your life, but your plate is full. When your job and family life demand every last minute of your time, a concierge service, or a “discretionary mandate” as they’re called in the banking world, will allow you to build a legacy without taking your eyes off what matters. 

If you’re prepared to trust a professional with your best interests, then going down this route will free you from the time and energy needed to understand the mechanics of investing. You may enjoy lower fees thanks to the fact that many experts manage money for tens or hundreds of clients, and therefore pool that money together to achieve economies of scale.

At the same time, this requires accepting that your investment decisions will be made by the professional and likely lumped into a set of standardised options they have arranged. Will you be okay with the fact that you won’t always be in a position to question their judgment? 

About the author

Mattia is an experienced relationship manager who has more than a decade of industry experience. He spent 10 years at Credit Suisse working his way up from apprentice to Assistant Vice President at the company’s base in Geneva. He graduated in 2019 from the Kalaidos Banking + Finance School in Lausanne.

He is a football fan, but also likes listening to music and travelling to discover new countries and cultures.

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