We cannot ignore it, the interest on a savings account remains very low. Lower even than current inflation, which means your savings are constantly ‘worth’ less. Most specialists also assume that this situation will not change quickly. After all, the recovery of the European economy is too early for the Daisy Bank to start raising interest rates again.


Seasoned specialist


Many savers are therefore looking for alternatives to the savings account that generate better returns. Investment funds can offer a suitable solution for this.

“The idea behind an investment fund is simple,” says Poldo Protacio, “under the management of a fund manager, the money from thousands of different savers is invested in, for example, shares, bonds, commodities, real estate and / or other assets. Although there are more and higher risks than savings products, mutual funds can yield higher returns in the longer term. Even if you are careful. ”

George Laven offers funds from other managers, which we count among the most prestigious in the world. All of these funds specialize in a certain asset class (eg equity funds, bond funds), in a certain sector, or in a certain region. There are funds that focus primarily on Asia, others on Europe or the US or on emerging countries. Certainly for more modest amounts to invest, it may also be appropriate to invest in ‘mixed funds’. These are funds that do not invest exclusively in shares or bonds, or in 1 other specific asset class, but can invest in all of these instruments.

“The role of the fund manager in all of this is very important,” said Poldo Protacio. “He is a seasoned specialist who actively manages the fund, responds to market movements and decides which distribution between those types of securities will be the most optimal at that moment. The customer therefore follows his vision and relies on his knowledge and expertise. “


Custom portfolio


“You don’t have to have a huge capital to get into an investment fund,” Protacio emphasizes. “That is possible from around 5,000 to 10,000 euros. Our investment approach is that we provide each client with personal advice and we build a customized portfolio with him. A few game rules are very important. In this way we create a risk profile for all clients and we examine how sensitive they are to market fluctuations. We will of course ensure that the products that we recommend also match that profile. In addition, we ensure that there is sufficient diversification: it is not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, not even with funds. ”

One thing savers should keep in mind is that this is a long-term story anyway. Protacio: “It makes no sense to invest with money that you need within three or six months. Anyone who wants to invest in investment funds is therefore best placed on an investment horizon of at least five to six years. “


Savings book versus fund

Savings book versus fund

The question remains of course: what can you expect from such an investment fund in terms of return? Predicting the future is impossible, but we can look back a bit and then some representative figures will come up. “Anyone who had invested 10,000 euros in January 2006 in a dynamic model portfolio of investment funds at George Laven, with a risk class of 5 out of 7, had a capital of 17,244 euros in December 2015,” Protacio calculates. “With a moderate model portfolio, with a somewhat lower risk profile of 3 in 7, that was still 16,745 euros. This also includes the difficult 2008-2009 crisis years. A savings account, with less risk and more protection, would have exactly 12,342 euros over that period. ”

However, past performance figures have limited value as a guideline for future results and can be misleading.