I am 23 years old and I'm just diving in to the world of investing in stocks and funds. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to invest in French stocks.

My father has invested for about 15 years and indicated that he achieved a ROI of about 40%. He didn't say how much he invested but I've seen some of the records and I believe it has been around 500,000.00€. With that said, I think that earning 40% of half a million in 15 years isn't as much as I would expect.

There are only a few companies trading on the Portuguese market and I think that I could probably earn more on another one such as the French stock market.

It costs more to hold international stock titles, so I would need to have a bigger profit to compensate.

Given that I have no experience at all and that I only have around 2k€ for investing and I look for the long term of 10-20 years, what would be best?

  • Stay in the Portguese market?
  • Invest in the French market?
  • Train in Portugal and once I profit enough move to French market?

Sometimes I wonder if the reason that my father didn't earn more was because he played it safe and stayed in Portuguese market where he advises me to stay as well.

Thank you for helping!

TL;DR: As a Portuguese investor, when should I invest in French stock market?


Congratulations on thinking about your future.

I am not familiar with each market, however there are some generalizations that I can share with you that should help to get you started.

First off a 40% return over 15 years is a small ROI to be honest. 40/15= 2.67% per year. You could easily make that from buying corporate bonds, let alone stocks.

Before you start investing in stocks at all I suggest you learn more about them. A simple way would be to try a funny money program. These allow you to pretend invest money, without investing real money. It's just a simulation to help you learn. There is one on Investopedia that is pretty good.

As to your question about when you should buy French stocks vs Portuguese stocks. That just confirms to me that you should not be in the stock market at all right now. Knowing when to buy a stock is a tricky thing.

I recommend picking up a book on fundamental analysis, reading it a few times, and practicing on the simulator above. First you need to understand how businesses operate, what makes a good one, what makes a bad one. Then you need to understand what makes a company undervalued, or overvalued. Then you need to be able to pick out a decent explanation as to why the stock is under or over valued, and if you should put your money into it at all.

There are good stocks to buy in Portugal, and there are good stocks in France. There are also stocks you shouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole in both countries.

But I would recommend staying in the Portuguese market for now, learning, and then moving on to bigger markets when you at least understand the basics. International investing comes with a lot more rules, laws, troubles than simple domestic investing.

Also never underestimate playing it safe. It is better to earn 2.67% in a year than to lose 15% in the same year.

  • Thanks!! I apreciate very much your answer! Gonna start look into investopedia! Much apreciated! Cheers – José Pintor Aug 30 '18 at 8:05
  • Oh and by the way, I've been reading rich dad poor dad and looking to move foward to The Intelengt Investor. Is there any book recomendation you could give? – José Pintor Aug 30 '18 at 8:10
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad is a good book only in the sense that it makes you think about your finances other than that I would not use it as a bible for investing. Investopedia is a great start. A simple book for beginners, that you can find online would be "Fundamental Analysis for Dummies." Once you move on from that "Security Analysis" by Graham and Dodd is a good book. Security Analysis is a bit complicated for a beginner though so I wouldn't jump right into it. – user75979 Aug 30 '18 at 19:35

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