Retirement investment advice is freely available. From your bank, your insurer, the man in the street, and from the popular press. But where do you go for independent investment advice?
I spoke recently to a friend who turned 80. I asked him the question. Where do you go for investment advice?
His answer was that his bank, a large Swiss bank, has provided him with investment advice for decades and he never had any reason to question that advice.
My personal experience is a bit different. My bank, another large Swiss bank, also provided me with investment advice but I noticed that they favored investment instruments of their own bank. After a while I decided that it is probably not in my best interest to rely on their investment advice.
I then studied and researched the financial press, newsletters, forecasts, opinions, analysis, and anything else that could remotely relate to retirement investment advice. I concluded that most of the stuff is speculative, contradictory, and confusing!
I ended up by appointing an independent Swiss retirement investment advisor. His proposals were well researched, well motivated, and the spread of investments did pretty well. However, neither I nor he saw the crash of 2008/2009 coming.
Retirement investment planning is about management of risk and uncertainty. Money market investments are mostly risk free, but the return on your investment is very low.
One strategy worked for me consistently. The bulk of my investment portfolio is denominated in Swiss Franc. It has been so for 20 years. The consistent strength of the Swiss currency is legendary and it work for me.
Let me show you a little historical currency chart offered by Oanda.com. When you click on the hyperlink it opens in a new window.
Select only GBP and USD as currencies in Step 1. Change the base currency to CHF, the Swiss currency symbol.
Click on 'Graph relative change' in Step 2. On the displayed graph select '10 Years' and 'Previous'. Go back and forth to see the relative change all the way back to 1990.
If you are based in the United States of America you are unfortunately severely restricted if you want to make the Swiss currency the base currency for your retirement investments. The one exception is a Swiss Pension and we dedicate an entire page to that subject.
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