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The internet is brimming with resources about money. It is still hard to find out how to start investing, especially past a certain age. Why does investing seem so difficult and why are people hesitant to get started? Learn about some of the reasons that may be holding you back. Finance is changing - and your outlook could be changing, too.

For many decades after World War 2, Europe was a continent of savings accounts. Europeans tucked their hard-earned cash into their savings books at the bank and generated earnings from their holdings through interest and compound interest.

Deeply scarred by their experience of the destruction and losses in WWII, the majority of people were looking to keep their funds as safe and secure as possible. Keeping the money you and your family had saved was priority number one and much more important than generating earnings with that money.

Struggling to make ends meet, European post-war generations believed strongly in “saving money” for hard times ahead. “Investing” was akin to building a single-family home of your own as a stable “asset” to be passed onto future generations. Stock markets were for the “rich” and that ominous acquaintance everyone had.

A tradition of risk aversion

In the meantime, the landscape in the USA evolved very differently. In a survey taken as recently as 2018, only 16% of Germans said they owned stocks, while this was 54% in the United States. Up to 66 percent of those not invested said the reason was that they believed they didn’t have enough money to invest.

In another investigation by Deutsche Börse in 2019 with about 2,800 participants from Germany on the other hand, the conclusion was that it was mainly a lack of knowledge and the fear of high losses that prevented people from investing in stocks.

Stressed out by lack of knowledge and fear

Furthermore, from those already investing, 54% of male investors and 70% of female investors indicated that they would perceive even minor losses as stressful. The most remarkable finding: the thought of missing out on profits was regarded as less of a problem than the mere idea of possibly having to accept losses. Losses cut deep, as they say.

In addition, the fear of an economic crash like the financial crisis of 2008 (ten years before the survey) was still fresh on people’s minds: just the possibility of losing money in the markets was also named as the number one reason by non-investors why they didn’t invest.

How you can change your outlook

If you have been saving for a long time, you will surely have noticed that steadily dropping interest rates hovering around actual inflation rates affect your earnings from savings. These days, the money you keep in savings accounts is likely to earn you next to no interest. In a nutshell: this means that the money in your account is being devalued at the same rate it is making returns. Even worse: some banks are starting to asking you to pay them for “storing” your savings. What can you do?

1. Investing is changing - rapidly

Enter a new generation of investors with a different mindset and approach that is taking on and owning the markets. Access to financial technologies is becoming increasingly decentralised, with lower thresholds and is available for us to use 24/7. New finance has arrived and it is here to stay. It is changing cultural sentiment in Europe towards investing and, what is equally important, is even motivating those afraid of risk to explore the new landscape and to join in. It doesn’t matter what age you are*, you can still start investing.

2. It is time to take a closer look at the real risks

Yes, share prices may fluctuate and we saw this causes stress. However, many would-be investors actually overestimate the risks. What can you do if you feel you lack knowledge and fear risk? Investigate their likelihood for yourself and read on to find out more.

3. Stop feeling like an outsider

True enough, your online research could still find you in a bind: most of the information you find about money seems to be written for people who are a) already rich, b) already investing or c) those with a background in banking and commerce. However, this is about to change and you no longer have to feel like an outsider to money matters, investing your money and getting earnings.

4. Personal finance is no longer exclusive or elitist

We want to ensure that you no longer feel excluded from the world of finance. Take our Personal Finance lessons in the Bitpanda Academy where we explain investing to you and everyone who is interested, no matter how small the amount you have available for investing. We are using plain language because it is transparent, fair and inclusive. Take a look at our Academy lessons - they are free and regularly updated - and start learning today. Your financial, cultural background or age doesn’t matter*.

5. No longer miss out on your earnings

Your money should work for you and generate earnings for you. And the fact of the matter is: by not investing, you are likely to be giving away money in the medium and long term.

In 2019, economists and financial historians analysed how much money investments make. They compared the returns on investing across all types of investments over more than 120 years in 23 countries. Wars, stock market crashes and inflation were taken into consideration. It turns out that stocks investing with an annual average total return of about 10% brings investors the highest earnings.

Therefore, it is possible that in the future investing in stocks will remain the most profitable way to generate earnings while savings accounts are among the assets generating low to no returns.

6. Look at your savings in a new way

Should you give up savings entirely? Not entirely. Actually, it makes perfect sense to start a savings plan with small amounts, especially for rainy days. For example, you can set up a savings plan for any of the assets at Bitpanda with a minimum monthly amount to take advantage of the cost average effect to smooth out the effects of fluctuating market prices.

7. You can get started within minutes

Bitpanda offers you everything you need to start investing.

Are you interested in crypto but too scared to start? You don’t have to be - simply start with our Bitpanda Crypto Indices (BCI) as a first step. Set up your plan on Bitpanda Savings - you can also do this with our Bitpanda Stocks* and precious metals and buy the asset of your choice automatically, as often as you would like. You can even earn while investing with our own Bitpanda Ecosystem Token BEST.

It is never too late to start.

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*This article does not constitute investment advice, nor is it an offer or invitation to purchase any digital assets. Please note that you have to be at least 18 years or older to invest.This article is for general purposes of information only and no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of this article or opinions contained herein.

“Bitpanda Stocks” is a new product from Bitpanda and allows you to invest in fractional shares/ETFs. “Bitpanda Stocks” are not shares, but a contract that allows you to participate in the price movements of certain shares, including any dividend distributions. It is neither tradable on stock exchanges nor on other trading venues, but can be resold to Bitpanda at any time under the conditions set out in the general terms and conditions and the contract. Further details on this product, the issuer and the relevant risks are available in the prospectus at bitpanda.com.