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Investing in the 21st Century – Interview with Lino from Finanzola

Lena Sonnen

Lino from Finanzola

Investment decisions in the 21st century are different than a decade ago. Market dynamics have changed drastically and the recent stock market crash due to the COVID pandemic has yet again shown the volatility of a stock market. But it has also demonstrated the importance of investing and the concept of making your savings work for you to not be beaten by inflation. We have talked to Lino from Finanzola, a channel about investment guidance for young people, about his thoughts on the current investing landscape, his channel and his advice for first-time investors. A huge thank you to Lino, we highly appreciate your point of view and are looking forward to making financial portfolio building more understandable and accessible to the broad population. Please check out Finanzola for more info.

1. What impact did the COVID pandemic have on young investors and are there differences in asset classes?

Last year was a very special and unique year in my opinion. Despite the pandemic and many layoffs in America and Europe, equities and other asset classes outperformed. I think the Corona pandemic had positive as well as negative effects on young investors. On the positive side, I see above all that the rising popularity of the stock market has meant that more people have become involved with individual financial investment and thus more young people have also become interested in the subject. Many investors who bought their first shares and cryptocurrencies in 2020 were able to achieve an above-average performance - which is definitely positive on the one hand. On the other hand, this is not the normal state of the stock market. The S&P 500 index, which tracks the 500 largest listed companies in America, put in a performance of 63% from the low in March to the end of the year, which is a remarkable event. In comparison, the S&P 500 performed around 50% from the beginning of 2016 to its all-time high just before the 2020 crash. Young investors should be aware that this has not been the norm to date and that stocks do not just move up.

2. The market has moved significantly due to the COVID pandemic, what would be a good way to protect against this as an investor?

Protecting yourself completely against a stock market crash is practically impossible, but the risk of losses can be minimised considerably by diversifying your investments sufficiently well. That is why I recommend investing in different asset classes, different sectors and different countries. In addition, I would weigh the individual positions according to the risks. There is no such thing as perfect diversification, and my portfolio definitely has room for improvement. However, it is important to look at the issue and take diversification seriously. For example, in recent months I have put more focus on my dividend and ETF portfolio in order to minimise the risk of my growth portfolio.

3. What do first-time investors need to pay the most attention to when investing their money?

Every investor should define their individual investment profile and investment horizon and set serious long-term investment goals. A 60-year-old woman who may retire soon needs to invest her money differently and with less risk than a teenager in her 20s who can definitely make more risky investment decisions.

I observe a lot that young investors who attend my Premium Mentoring are extremely euphoric and want to start investing straight away - I think every investor was like that at first (myself included). Setting long-term goals and taking investing seriously is critical to your success on the stock market. At the end of the day, you are buying real shares in companies, not ticker symbols that go up and down as luck dictates. Therefore, rational and not emotional decisions should be made on the stock market, even if this is easier said than done - after all, we are not robots, but humans.

4. What were your main motives for setting up your channel “Finanzola”?

My goal is to teach young people in German-speaking countries about investing, that personal finance is fun and enjoyable. Financial education is the key to a successful and fulfilled life. In my opinion, everyone should deal with their personal finances and try to learn how to invest. The Instagram account "Finanzola" has been around since 2016 and has become a huge part of my life and I am extremely grateful that my work is appreciated and that I can help young people get a grip on their finances and celebrate their first successes in investing - this is also what drives me to continue!

5. 2020 was a turbulent year in many respects. In terms of investments, what was your top and flop investment in 2020?

I have to be honest and say that I had to think very long and hard about which position I could call a flop for the past year. My top performers were Revolve Group Inc. ($RVLV) and Intellia Therapeutics ($NTLA). I was able to buy Revolve shortly after the crash for about $17 and sell half of my position after a huge price increase at $72 - so that means a return of about 310%. I was able to buy Intellia for just under 19$ and subsequently sell the entire position for 75$ - this corresponds to a return of approximately 307%. I would call JP Morgan Chase ($JPM) a flop, which I bought shortly before the all-time high for $138 and then sold for $95 after the crash - this corresponds to a percentage loss of about 30%.

6. Do you have personal experience with alternative asset classes (e.g. watches, art or wine) as an investment? If applicable, which asset classes and how was this experience for you?

Unfortunately, I have not yet had much experience with alternative asset classes. However, I am a passionate watch collector and with a little luck I will have the opportunity to buy the new Rolex Submariner Date, 41mm in black at the end of 2021. I'm combining passion with investment, as I definitely want to keep the watch as a tangible asset forever. But it won't go into the safe deposit box either.

7. At Konvi, we are constantly trying to educate young investors about economic issues and to show them the alternatives to the stock market. Your contributions also show your passion for this; what do you think could be a new trend for young investors in the future?

Of course, no one can see the future - me neither. But I believe that our world will change massively in the next 10 years due to new technologies, quantum computers and blockchain technology. Industries such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, biotechnology (CRISPR/Cas9) and nutrition (plant-based alternatives and healthier food) are, in my opinion, a big part of human developments in the coming years.

Read the original interview in German here.

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