5

I hope this question is OK for the site

I have the following problem:

I have about 40K €, which I don't need and its sitting in my bank account. I have no idea on how to invest, so I am looking for a quick way to essentially store it somewhere, however since the bank gives me exactly 0% interest I need something better.

I need to be able to quickly access 70% of the money if I need it, and by quickly I mean within 3 months. The rest could be invested in risky obscure real estate for instance or something else, where I couldn't quickly sell to get my money back.

I am OK with some risk, but since I don't know what I am doing, I am trying to find the safest alternative to a bank account for now and focus on learning later, when I have more serious money, where it would make sense to spend time learning about investing instead of earning money directly.

Should I just split it between several stock indexes and call it a day or are there better alternatives?

I am living in Europe.

I have no debt.

  • Don't know about Europe, but in the US I would look for "Growth and Income" mutual funds, which invest in a mix of stocks, bonds, money market &c with the goal of generating income with lower risk than a pure stock fund. – jamesqf Jan 1 '17 at 18:49
  • If you need 70% liquid, then you can only invest 30%. Put that 30% in something aggressive. – bishop Jan 2 '17 at 18:54
  • OK but where to put the 70%? Or do I leave it in the bank? And what would you consider aggressive, eg. individual company stock? – user1721135 Jan 3 '17 at 10:32
  • An individual stock would be too aggressive. Pick an index fund for the investment portion. Put the "need cash soon" amount in a short-term bond fund or a money market. But that portion won't earn much. – Rocky Jan 3 '17 at 18:05
4

You have several options depending on your tolerance for risk. Certainly open an investment account with your bank or through any of the popular discount brokerage services. Then take however much money you're willing to invest and start earning some returns! You can split up the money into various investments, too.

A typical default strategy is to take any money you won't need for the long term and put it in an Index Fund like the S&P 500 (or a European equivalent). Yes, it could go down, especially in the short term, but you can sell shares at any time so you're only 2-3 days away at any time from liquidity. Historically this money will generate a positive return in the long run.

For smaller time frames, a short-term bond fund often gives a slightly better return than a money market account and some people (like me!) use short-term bond funds as if it were a money market account. There is a very low but real risk of having the fund lose value. So you could take a certain percentage of your money and keep it "close" in a bond fund. Likewise, you can sell shares at any time, win or lose and have the cash available within a couple days.

  • 1
    "Historically this money will generate a positive return in the long run." => maybe worth saying that long run may mean 20+ years, depending on your starting point, when the OP seems to have a much shorter time horizon... – assylias Jan 1 '17 at 23:57
  • 1
    What is the possibility of mainstream index being "down" for more than 10 years? Quite low id imagine? – user1721135 Jan 3 '17 at 10:37
3

The volatility of an index fund should usually be a lot lower than that of an individual stock. However even with a broad index fund you should consider the fact that being down by 10% in the time frame you refer to is quite possible! So is being up by 10% of course.

A corporate bond might be a better choice if you can find one you trust.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.