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Five things you should know before you start investing or saving
Many consumers need help setting up low-cost savings products. At the same time, there are a variety of companies and savings options, and it can be difficult to choose the best one. Not all providers have a good reputation. To help you avoid the pitfalls, we've put together five tips to keep in mind.
What matters most when saving or investing? What is the best way to invest your savings? Many people ask themselves these questions. Many turn to financial advisors and investment companies for help.
Financial advice is definitely needed. But only if it is reputable and benefits consumers, and is not just a place where financial companies make money. Unfortunately, in life we sometimes experience the opposite: advice that leads consumers to buy expensive and high-risk financial products, with the result that many of them lose all their money.
1) Save a reserve for unexpected expenses first.
The most important thing is to have a reserve for sudden or unexpected expenses. The amount depends on how you live and how much you can set aside. However, it is always a good idea to set aside some money on a regular basis, in a separate bank account from which you can withdraw the money immediately without penalty. This way you have immediate access to your money. You should only invest in long-term savings if you can afford to put more aside.
2) Easy and cheap is usually the worst for long-term savings.
In the long run, it often pays to take risks. Financial risk means you can lose money, but it also means you can earn more. By saving with multiple companies, you spread the risk of your savings. It's easiest to save in one or more funds because funds invest in many different companies, spreading the risk.... Funds cost different amounts. If you're not sure whether it's worth paying more for a particular fund, choose a fund with low fees, such as an index fund.
3) Avoid complex products
There are many types of complex financial products that target you as a consumer. These include derivatives and structured products. These are often difficult to understand, even for professionals. They are often expensive, the risk is high, and you could lose all your money. Until you decide that these are the products you want, it would be a good idea to avoid complicated products altogether.
4) Read, but don't believe everything you read on social media.
There is a lot written and promoted on social media about saving and investing. Not everything is true and not everything is done by reputable people and companies. Often, they are outright lies and scams. Never trust what an unknown person or company says on social media about investing or saving. Try to read information from companies you know or from known and relevant sources.
5) Never do business with companies or people you do not know.
Not everyone offering investment opportunities is reputable. Check with a trusted friend or other independent person to see if the person you are considering investing your money with has a good reputation. If no one knows the company, it is better not to trust them with your money. You can also always check if the company is registered in the Commercial Register or supervised by the Czech National Bank. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.
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