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What’s the best way to make money on your investments in Switzerland?

What's the best way to make money on your investments in Switzerland?
Where should you put your Swiss franc in 2020? Michele Limina/AFP
You must have noticed by now that your bank savings accrue very little interest these days — well below 1 percent. And rates are not likely to go up in the foreseeable future.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is keeping its key interest rate at minus 0.75 percent, charging banks that park their money there negative interest. The pressure is now increasing on the banks to pass this penalty interest on to their customers.

You may therefore be tempted to invest your money elsewhere, but be cautious. The promise of a potentially higher yield may actually backfire, according to the financial expert from the VZ Vermögenszentrum in Zurich

Consider these options carefully:

Shares

Shares are an attractive investment, Rolf Biland, head of investment at VZ Vermögenszentrum told the Bluewin.ch web portal. “Depending on the stock index, dividend income of around 1.5 to 3.5 percent is distributed before taxes,” he said.

However, keep in mind that there are risks involved: larger fluctuations in value can occur in the equity area, which can significantly — though temporarily — reduce the invested assets. “Therefore, in addition to the necessary risk capacity and risk tolerance, equity investors also need a multi-year investment plan,” Biland noted.

Gold

In terms of risk, investing in gold is similar to investing in stocks but, unlike stocks, “no long-term asset accumulation is to be expected”, Biland noted. And gold does not generate any returns, while savings interest rates could rise again.

However, “gold can make sense in a diversified portfolio as an addition to other investments”, he added.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are hot-button topics, but they are “a highly speculative investment”, according to Biland. The price fluctuations are immense and there are no signs that this could change in the future. Bitcoins should therefore “not even be seen as an investment, let alone as an alternative to cash or bank balances”.

READ ALSO: Switzerland leads the way as Bitcoin makes a return 

Real estate

Real estate can generate a higher dividend yield than other investments. “However, there are also major risks on the real estate market, particularly in Switzerland, such as bubbles or liquidity risks”, Biland said. But, like gold, real estate could make sense as part of a diversified investment portfolio.

Art or vintage cars

If you are considering investing in art objects, watches, vintage cars, and such, think again, Biland said. The lack of a regulated market is particularly problematic and “a very high level of specialist knowledge is required to make a purchase decision. Such items should, in the best case, make up a small proportion of a large fortune”.

Conclusion:

You have to decide how much of a financial risk you are willing to take in order to grow your assets. If you are not totally risk-averse, then a diversified investment portfolio may be your cup of tea. Otherwise, stick to the traditional savings account, which will not yield you interest but at least your money will be safe — unless the bank goes bankrupt.


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