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I am an 18 years old student living in Switzerland, doing my apprenticeship as a software developer. In the last few years I saved around 10'000 francs and instead of buying a car I thought to invest my money. I am looking for a way to make a fast profit. I know there are no free lunches and I know that I will have to invest some time.

These are the ideas that I got from my research:

  • Give the money to a Swiss bank and let them do the job with one of their "high risk, high profit" plans, not having the investment fully in my own hands.

  • Borrow money from the bank and buy an apartment in a rising neighbourhood, hoping that the price of the apartment rises (house flipping).

  • Look for startups and invest small amounts such as 200 Francs in their shares, with the hope one of them grows and makes profit.

I really don't know how good my ideas are or how well they will work with the current financial conditions in Switzerland.

A lot of the stuff I read was outdated and doesn't work in Switzerland.

For a student with about 10'000 francs saved and the financial conditions in Switzerland right now, is there any particular place or way I should invest or can you give my some tips for what to look out?

  • How many more years of schooling do you have? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jan 13 at 19:19
  • my apprenticeship will take 2 more years, in total 4 years. After that i will have get a normal software developer salaray. – Nightscape Jan 13 at 19:22
  • Hm, you need to learn first. B is not house flipping if you wait for raising value - flipping is buying, renovating and selling and generally seen as a business (i.e. you need to actively manage the renovation part). Your option sounds like normal real estate investment. C is not an option because 200 francs are a joke on the stock market for any REAL investment (i.e. outside of games or penny stocks). 2 out of your 3 options are not even options, you know. – TomTom Jan 13 at 20:28
  • @TomTom thats exactly why I am asking, I was pretty sure that my investment tactics won‘t work like written down. I need your help for that – Nightscape Jan 13 at 20:47
  • The need to close as opinion based is evidenced by the type of answers being provided, which are just proponents of different asset classes. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Jan 16 at 14:01
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The first two investment options are okay but the third option can be improved:

Find small-cap companies on the stock market, anywhere from $50 million market capitalization to $5 billion market capitalization, that have cash funding and very little debt. Size up their business prospects and invest 10% of the portfolio in each of 10 stocks. I would expect that each stock, of the ten total stocks, would be found every three to six months or so as the news is followed or as information comes-around.

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My answer:

1 Have an emergency fund

3-6 Months of spending should be enough.

2 Invest in further education

Further education has two advantages the first you increase your future potential to earn money. So your future job income increases you get better jobs with better pay and you get to know more succeful people. Second is that further education cost can be deduced from taxes. So you have a return of your tax rate after a year. Let's say you pay 10% taxes so you have a 10% intrest rate on your invested further education. Additional to that read about investing and money. "The intelligent investor" is a must read book, then there are a lot of good books about money and success but you usually don't need to read all of them. They are mostly the same. I would avoid the rich dad, poor dad series though. Something like the "black swan", "7 Habits of highly successful people" and "How to win friends and influence people" would be more appropriate. Psychology or new technologies would also be a good time investment. There is no "free lunch" as you say. You need to invest time and hard work to be successful.

3 Save for retirement

An option is to start investing in a "Säule 3a" which is a retirement fund. Disadvantage here is that your money will stay there a long time. But you could end up as millionair when you retire. Plus the investment is tax deducable until 6820 CHF, which works as above. There are a few tricks here as well, but for the sake of shortness of the post I will not go into details.

4 Buy Crypto (opinion)

The current Bitcoin price is 85-90% from previouse all time high. I personally invest small sums 300-500 CHF a month into crpyto especially the save choices like BTC and ETH. Consider the money lost, you can loose everything but the return rates in the past have been monumental, 1000% return on your investment was nothing special.

5 Invest in an index fund with regular payments

This is a so called "Fondsparplan" where you buy a mutual index fund on a regular basis. With this strategy you'll profit from the general economic upturn and have the dollar cost averaging effect.

I am swiss, 27 and an engineer. The strategies above is what I am persueing too. I studied until 25 so you have kind of a head start over me. But there are some core principles you should incoorporate: spend less than you earn, pay yourself first and focus on income. Think before you buy and think before you invest.

  • first of all thanks, you got some good points. I only disagree with point four, In my opinion the Crypto market hasn't reached lowest low and it will fall further. But like you said this is speculation or just a opinion. Point five is somehow for my not enough risky. Right now i am saving my money on a saving account without any profit at the end of the year. "Fondsparplan" would just be a more profitable saving account as how I understand it. – Nightscape Jan 14 at 10:32
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    @Nightscape To be clear here, crypto is speculative. That's true, actually nobody can tell you the future and you therefore have to bet on it. Imagine you buy one BTC and it goes to 0. You'll lose 3 kCHF. But if it goes to 30 k you win 27 kCHF. It is definately high risk high reward. I would not recommend to give the money to a bank for active manageing they take 2-4% of your funds as fees. The "Fondsparplan" is a save play yes. It is basically a index fund that you purchase regularly gives you 4-8% profit a year depending on the economy. – Lucas Raphael Pianegonda Jan 14 at 11:39
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    Why settle for 1000% with BitCoin when a lottery might pay 10.000% ? "crypto is speculative" is an understatement. Unlike all the other options, BitCoins and lottery tickets have zero underlying value. – MSalters Jan 15 at 11:54
  • @MSalters Well the second objection is reasonable. Why does a cryptocurrency have value if it has value at all. It is true that the common fundamental analysis like for bonds or stocks cannot be done. But then why does gold have value? Why does money? It's basically the exchangability, the ownership, the scarcity and the storage of value that make them valuable. So the value of crypto lies in the accepance of crypto as a payment and value storage system. Another advantage is low fee cost and transaction speed. So the value may not be measurable that doesn't mean there is none. – Lucas Raphael Pianegonda Jan 15 at 13:01
  • Well, I'd advice against investing in gold as well, but at least that has a much better price stability. And keeping your money as money isn't investing either. Investing is putting your money to active use; active use implies underlying value. – MSalters Jan 15 at 13:09
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Give the money to a Swiss bank and let them do the job with one of their "high risk, high profit" plans, not having the investment fully in my own hands.

Not a bad idea, in Switzerland it is not that risky as the bank system here is one of the best. So might be an option.

Borrow money from the bank and buy an apartment in a rising neighbourhood, hoping that the price of the apartment rises (house flipping).

Why don't you buy and rent it out? There are huge amount of apartments for sale in Switzerland and you can rent it out for short term as it brings more income. Especially if the property is in a touristic area and you promote it through booking websites or similar.

Look for startups and invest small amounts such as 200 Francs in their shares, with the hope one of them grows and makes profit.

I like this one the least of all as it is risky and you can loose all the money.

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    #1 activately managed funds have at 2-3% fees. So you need a yield of at least 2% higher than passive funds. #2 renting is a nice idea and all but with 10k in switzerland.. good luck with that. You'll get 40 k from a bank at best and with that you can buy a parking spot and not a flat or even a house. #I agree on that, but also the idea that small start-ups sell 200 CHF of their shares to some stranger is ridiculous. If they need funding they look for VCs. Every start-up that will accept 200 CHF as an investment is DEFINETLY a scam. – Lucas Raphael Pianegonda Jan 16 at 14:01
  • Of all answer is still didn't got the one fitting my requirements. Like you say my ideas aren't really that well if you think deeper about them. I don't want a long time investment which will take my 30 years. I want the fast profit and I am willing to put some work in but slowly i think there isn't a answer to my question. I think I will have to get creative and find a answer by myself. If there would a step by step guide, every young person would do it and earn a lot of money. – Nightscape Jan 16 at 14:36
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    @Nightscape There is no such thing as getting rich quickly. You either are lucky or you work hard. Best if you are both of those things. If there was a thing with high return and low risk everybody would do it, and therefore get rid of the massive returns. If there is one thing people won't do that has massive returns than it is hard work. Because work is hard. So work hard, invest in education and read investment literature/ do your homework before investing. – Lucas Raphael Pianegonda Jan 28 at 14:48
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You’re where I was 25 years ago. My suggestion is to invest $5000 only in what you know... maybe $2500 in 2 stocks that are directly related to your college degree. The other $5000 you MUST SPEND on things that will impress the ladies... it makes no sense to save too much money right now.

However, if you don’t thoroughly enjoy reading conference call transcripts on Seeking Alpha, do not ever buy individual stocks, just spend it on things to impress the ladies.

  • avoid buying something that you’re not willing to sell.
  • don’t sell your winners, sell your losers
  • at first, do not buy companies with market cap < $200M. I tend to focus on companies with Market caps between $500M and $20B, who are highly likely to get bought out ( for example Mazor MZOR ).

The first big lesson is to sell your losers once something bad happens. Example: I should have sold JD.com stock the second I read that CEO wanted to expand to market in France. It was so obvious that this was a terrible idea, yet I held on to it for months after that.

Finally, the next month might be a terrible time to buy stocks. However, if something bad happens and market drops > 10%, then buy. I’m also a software dev. I had a lot of success in the 90s investing in software companies. However, this month I am shorting overvalued software companies.

The best strategy for this week is to find one company to buy, and another company to short. It’s easier today to short stocks then ever before. My current overpriced list includes ADBE FTCH GRUB CEIX SNAP. I have no idea what is available on Swiss exchanges. Avoid Deutsche bank, but I actually like Credit Suisse. Citigroup reports on Monday. Read or listen to their earnings call transcript. You may not understand it but it’s a good place to start studying the market. Make friends with an accountant (preferably one that is not TOO dismal), and learn as many terms as you can.

Other advice: - never, ever buy options or use leverage. - there is only one month in the past 25 years i should have used a little bit of margin... December 2008.

Let me know the top 3 startup stocks you think will do great. I’ll be happy to analyze them :). I’m always looking for ideas, even in a terrible market like today. My latest strategy is to buy stocks I think will outperform their index, and then short the index ETF.

  • the downvote is not necessary, i find your answer helpful and it got some good points thanks! – Nightscape Jan 13 at 23:07

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