Top things to ask your banker – before you start investing!

 

When considering investing – what should you ask your financial advisor or banker? It’s your advisor’s job to ask you about your background and goals, but what about you? Find here a practical guide on what questions to ask your bank advisor before you start investing your money. Check out a detailed checklist as a google sheet for free.

 
 

How to find your way

Getting started to invest your money can be confusing and frustrating. Difficult financial products, jargon and hidden costs aren’t really making your life much easier. To provide you a jump start, get prepared and take a look at the following questions. This list makes sure you get an investment that’s right for you.

1. How do investments fit you and your life?

Each of us is in a different spot. Perhaps you're looking to put money aside for a house or maybe just for a rainy day. Maybe you're single, a parent, a cat owner, divorced... Maybe you are a tenant or a real estate owner. An employee, expat, entrepreneur, or freelancer… make sure that your investments fit your financial situation.

You could ask your banker for example:

“How do they fit with my loan or other investments like my apartment?”

Things like that should be taken into account, and define how much risk you take and what investment products are good for you.

2. How good and how risky are your investments?

Get a sense how your investments have been doing in the past, how they have done in times of crises and make sure to get a real life example to understand much how money you put on risk.

Ask for example:

With these investments, how much would I have lost in a financial crisis similar to one in 2008?

3. How high are the fees and costs?

Costs are every investor's biggest enemy, as they can eat up quite a large part of your earnings. See an example here. Often they are weirdly priced, fragmented and hidden. This is why it is important to really understand the total costs of investing your money.

You could ask:

Will I be able to get an exact statement on how much fees I paid per year?

Make sure you understand costs before getting started but track them also on the go.

4. How are your investments adjusted?

Once you get started with investing your personal goals and even your life situation might change. Buying a house, getting children or retiring early, very much affect your financial life and should also have an impact on your investments.   

Make sure to ask:

If my personal situation changes (e.g. I earn more or I sell a house), would you make changes in my investments?  

5. How can you track your investments?

Even though you are handing over the responsibility to invest your money, it’s important to regularly have access and see how your investments are doing. Make sure you get all information you need. Preferably online!

You could ask:

How can I check how my investments are doing? And how is the reporting done?

6. Other useful things to keep mind

How is the taxation done, are there any kickbacks or does moving abroad will have an effect on your long-term investments? There are many more questions you should consider before you start investing. Check the full list here.

 

Do you have more questions? Or should we add something to our checklist? Just send us an email to hello@selma.io 

 

 

 

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