5 things Swiss people want to know about their finances


Wealth – an icy word for a basic thing. Selma asked 90 Swiss residents to share what wealth means for them, and what they would like to figure out about their money.

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1. Are my finances ok, right now?

The more the financial advice relates to a person's life – right here, right now – the more relevant it feels. A majority (66%) of respondents wanted to know if they were missing anything about their big financial picture and if yes, should they be doing something about it. 

A bit less than half (45%) were looking for an even more direct answer: "Is my current financial situation good"?

2. Planning for pension but no pension plans

The ideal retiree life, painted with a few survey responses:

  • “living in a warm and cheap country” 

  • “decimating wine cellar”

  • “doing whatever I want” 

Despite these scenic mental pictures, many were yet to set any pension plans in stone. Although 55 out of 88 respondents said a pension was "part of their financial plans", 50% had no clue what they would like to do once they retire.

One thing appears to be in common. People aspire to stay financially free. 

The majority (77%), wanted to know how to have 1M in savings by retirement. And two thirds of the respondents were eager to learn how much they would have in reserve each month.

3. Apartment – a distant dream? 

A flat, a house or a summer cottage is a dream of many: 42 respondents planned to get their place one day. Surprisingly, only five people had figured out how much loan they could get. 

Others might need a little nudge. The majority (64%) said that it would be helpful to learn what kind of house they could afford.

4. Can I afford it?

What kind of house can I afford? Could I buy furniture outside the Ikea catalogue? Will I have money for a worry-free life? Based on the open-ended comments, many wanted to know how to afford certain living standards.

5. Hot topic: How to save in the right way? 

Talking about the future. Almost everyone (90%) was interested in how to split their salary in a smart way. The majority (75%) was curious about investing. This is excellent! 🥳

There might be a bit of a bias. Most of the survey replies came from Selma clients and followers who already either have their (monthly) investments rolling, or are at least considering it.


I’m Swiss. I don’t talk about money.
— A Reply to "What's the last thing you asked Google, your mom or your friend

Talking about wealth can be tough. 

Where diets, exercise and good health are basic coffee break topics, “wealth-care” is not. With its fancy lingo and lavish appearance, especially investing can feel too complicated and irrelevant.

Then again, some tips and advice are too simple. For example, saving and investing are the two most obvious solutions to “Can I afford it?” question. So why isn’t everyone doing that? 🤔

It’s sort of a circle that misses one critical thing. Everyone’s financial situation is a bit different. And life moves on. Plans, dreams and aspirations change. Combine this with how dusty and elite finance seems ...no wonder talking about money isn’t easy.

Given how many wonderful replies the Selma survey got, people seem to have a cautious but sincere curiosity about their finances. 

So let’s fuel this up! Let’s keep on openly talk about risks, investing, money, and wealth-care – in a way that feels right and makes sense, for each one of us. 💪

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Background The survey was shared in June 2019 on Selma’s social channels – email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Most of the answers came from Selma contributors, clients and followers.

Almost half and half of the replies were in English and German. And it’s pretty safe to call this a “coincidentally Swiss millennial” -study, with most of the answers coming from 24–40 year old Swiss. 🇨🇭

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