Most importantly it’s a question of starting and then being willing to continue gathering capital for the future. A great number of Poles, only 20 million from among 38 million (so 52.5%) have no savings at all, and although 70 % of them declare that they want to save money, only 15% save money long term.
What is the cause of such an approach?
This mainly stems from the way of thinking, awareness, education, and habits learned from generation to generation. What is generally promoted is regular consumption, buying things that are on sale for everyday use, and not long term saving money for retirement or acquiring a better quality of life without additional effort.
How do we start saving and building up our capital?
Part of the capital can be gained from our family or a partner, acquire it from one large transaction or several smaller ones, or by entrepreneurship, investment or setting up your own company and selling stock shares.
We work on a daily basis, so we can spend. What can we do to get our money to work for us? First, we must start to act. Nothing will collect itself on its own. Stop making excuses like “When I have money, I’ll start to manage it” – this may seem positive but is often quite the opposite.
“Start managing what you have and you will have money”
And additionally, it will start generating income for you, regardless of what you do (you can choose how you spend your time).
Depending on our goals or timetable and experience we are liable to sacrifice (for longer or shorter) regular consumption on future (involving some risk) benefits in the form of increasing the value of our assets (capital gain) or regular income for instance in the form of dividends, interest or rent from a property.
The type of investment depends first and foremost on the amount of capital we must start with, the time needed for the investment (how long will the assets be tied up in goals other than consumption), our own security (or love of risk) and experience.
Preparing to invest.
It’s worth thinking through any decision regarding investing before we go to a financial institution. Questions asked by financial advisors, brokers, or bankers, come from the MiFID directive (Market in Financial Instrument Directive) in order to determine what sort of financial services are recommended, when it comes to giving an answer.
Investments are not just financial services, but also stocks, projects, loans, commercial properties paying us rent and other assets (even wine, whiskey, atypical projects such as renting catamarans), which are bought with the end goal of increasing net worth.
How to start? Step by step.
Financial surpluses appear when you only think of them. The fundamental rule states:
“Spend less than you make”
“Spend less than you make”
“Look for additional income by doing what you love”
– this makes a person more liable to be open to new information available all around and sharpens their senses to finding new opportunities (i.e.: buying a property at below market value due to the owner changing where they work). In the case of saving small amounts of money, the rule of thumb is:
“Start paying yourself 0-15% of your monthly income”
It is a good start. We get our deposit, and 15% (by way of a recurring transfer!) ends up transferred to savings, TFI, etc. If 15% is too much for us, then start at 1%. Yes, that’s right, 1%. We will see within a month that with 99% of the money we are still living at the same level. In the next month, we may increase the 1% to 3 or 5%.
Totals after a year or 5 are not very impressive, but after 20-30 years it’s quite a sight. For example, PLN 200 transferred monthly for 30 years, we will have our investment doubled due to interest alone.
Important questions regarding an investment
Why are you investing? What is your endgame? How much do you need? How much are you willing to put into it?
What have you invested in so far? If in financial services, what specifically?
- Stocks (Large mutual funds, medium, small, venture), in Poland and abroad?,
- bonds (State Treasury, Municipal, bank, investments, corporate, speculative),
- memberships in TFI [investment funds] (what kind of funds; stocks, balanced, stable increase, debt securities, natural resources or non-public stocks and based on what markets)?,
- certifications of closed investment funds, in Poland and abroad (closed funds allow for more effective management of a portfolio due to the way they function and their smaller size),
- properties (housing, commercial, condo-hotels).
Regardless of your profession, becoming better at finances increases our chances of having a better situation as well as increasing our social standing. So, it’s important to pick a path early on, and this too should be taught from one generation to the next.
Choosing an investment method is only a matter of our own personal predispositions – for one investing in a hotel chain will be ideal, for another the stock exchange, analysing macroeconomics, calculation and reading reports.
What is key and healthy for our wallet, is development, financial education, theory, and practical action. Gaining knowledge is gaining opportunity, because true investments are not seen by the eyes but by the mind. We meet and talk with people, brokers, bankers, investors, and entrepreneurs, because they have already marked their path and can advise us and give us pointers regarding what works and what doesn’t. ■