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When Italy won the UEFA European Championship last Sunday night, the pundits put it down to great skill, experience, and above all, meticulous planning.
Investors have much to learn from Italy’s celebrated manager, Roberto Mancini. If they, too, have a clear plan for investing over time, then success could come far more easily.
It all begins with putting aside money from your regular income. Nibud (the Dutch National Institute for Family Finance Information) says that putting aside 10% of your net salary every month is an appropriate amount. From this, it’s often said and we believe that one needs three to five months’ expenses in a savings account to build a buffer against unexpected financial difficulties. The rest can be used for investing.
Then you can begin to plan for investing, putting money aside for five to 10 years – preferably even longer – that it may take for an investment to bear fruit. Set your targets at the beginning. Decide how much money you need to accumulate and over what period. By making assumptions about the likely annual return of your chosen investment, you can calculate how much you need to invest to reach that target.
When it comes to risk and the way you deal with it as a person, many funds and ETFs have risk scores on a scale of one to seven that provide a starting point. However, these rough and ready guides are based on the volatility of an investment’s price – how much it moves up and down. That matters in the short term, but over the long term, volatile investments could offer the best returns. The beauty of a long-term investment horizon is that it may reduce volatility. So, there is a relationship between risk (defined as volatility) and time – the more time you have, the more risk you can handle. (To return to football, the best players are often temperamental!). And investing is really for the long term – the five to 10 years referred to above (see graph for potential returns).
Source: VanEck. Data for the period 14/12/2009 – 30/6/2021. Past performance is not a reliable indicator for future performance.
Perhaps, most importantly, test your psychology – just as Mancini’s men must have done for the Euros. Do a worst-case scenario analysis: how would you respond if the stock market crashed? In football terms: How do you react if you are 2-0 behind? How do you deal with the pressure of penalties? Do you have enough discipline to stick to the plan? When markets fall, you need to recall that previous setbacks have always been followed by recovery. Realize that a loss is only crystallised if you sell; then the chance of recovery is gone. If you feel uncomfortable with too much risk, you can opt for a conservative ETF with a high proportion of low-risk bonds.
But also, what happens if things go very well in the stock market? Don't get overconfident (as did the Dutch team in the 1974 World Finals against Germany – which they lost) or too excited; don't deviate from the plan by investing more or cashing in profits.
There are other types of risk that are best avoided over all time frames. These are leverage – i.e., investing with borrowed money – and investment products that include some form of counterparty risk.
So, save for short-term setbacks first. Then invest for the long term, using investment products such as ETFs, where time actually reduces the risk. Learn from Mancini and plan for a potential victory.
VanEck Asset Management B.V., the management company of VanEck Vectors™ Multi-Asset Growth Allocation UCITS ETF (the "ETF"), a sub-fund of VanEck Vectors™ ETFs N.V., is a UCITS management company incorporated under Dutch law and registered with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). The ETF is registered with the AFM and tracks a combination of bond and equity indices. The value of the ETF’s assets may fluctuate heavily as a result of the investment strategy. If the underlying index falls in value, the ETF will also lose value.
Investors must read the sales prospectus and key investor information before investing in a fund. These are available in English and the KIIDs in certain other languages as applicable and can be obtained free of charge at www.vaneck.com, from the Management Company or from the local information agents.
Performance quoted represents past performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than average annual returns shown. Discrete performance shows 12 month performance to the most recent Quarter end for each of the last 5yrs where available. E.g. '1st year' shows the most recent of these 12-month periods and '2nd year' shows the previous 12 month period and so on.
The Dutch domiciled ETFs use a gross reinvestment index as opposed to many other ETFs and investment funds that use a net reinvestment index. Comparing with a gross reinvestment index is the purest form since it considers that Dutch investors can reclaim the dividend tax withheld. Please note that the performance includes income distributions gross of Dutch withholding tax because Dutch investors receive a refund of the 15% Dutch withholding tax levied. Different investor types and investors from other jurisdictions may not be able to achieve the same level of performance due to their tax status and local tax rules.
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This information originates from VanEck (Europe) GmbH which has been appointed as distributor of VanEck products in Europe by the Management Company VanEck Asset Management B.V., incorporated under Dutch law and registered with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). VanEck (Europe) GmbH with registered address at Kreuznacher Str. 30, 60486 Frankfurt, Germany, is a financial services provider regulated by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany (BaFin). The information is intended only to provide general and preliminary information to investors and shall not be construed as investment, legal or tax advice. VanEck (Europe) GmbH and its associated and affiliated companies (together “VanEck”) assume no liability with regards to any investment, divestment or retention decision taken by the investor on the basis of this information. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) but not necessarily those of VanEck. Opinions are current as of the publication date and are subject to change with market conditions. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward looking statements, which do not reflect actual results. Information provided by third party sources are believed to be reliable and have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. All indices mentioned are measures of common market sectors and performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
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