Here is the full transcript of Thomas Kehl’s talk titled “How To Start Investing—Responsibly” at TEDxHSGSalon conference.
In this talk, Thomas Kehl, co-founder of FINANZFLUSS, emphasizes the importance of self-education in personal finance and investing. He shares his father’s early mistakes in investing due to a lack of information, highlighting the accessibility of the stock market for ordinary people, not just the wealthy. Kehl discusses the transformative effect of financial crises, such as the 2008 recession and the COVID pandemic, on investment strategies and attitudes.
He notes the shift from traditional advice to do-it-yourself investing, aided by the abundance of online resources and communities. Kehl advises on learning investment basics, understanding the risks, and the importance of diversification and low costs. He warns against falling for seemingly advantageous financial products and emphasizes skepticism in finance.
Finally, Kehl encourages starting with small investments to learn and grow, underscoring the value of personal experience in managing finances responsibly.
Listen to the audio version here:
Early Career and Personal Finance
My father started his career as an engineer in a time when the internet did not exist. Neither did the easy access to information on personal finance. He was earning good money and when accidentally an insurance sales representative came across, he signed a life insurance contract in order to put some money aside for later. His first encounter with personal finance and investing was at the age of 50.
He discovered that the stock market is accessible for ordinary people’s wealth creation and not only for the multi-millionaires. He learned that at a very expensive money guru seminar where he was told that even as a simple employee, he could become rich by investing in mutual funds. Certain products that were, and indeed are today, very expensive and often lack the promise of delivering superior returns, but they are one of the few opportunities to invest in the stock market in a diversified way. So he took a bold decision.
He borrowed money against his parents’ house in order to invest it in mutual funds. Shortly after, the dot-com market bubble burst. His funds lost in value and he decided to sell his parts. We as a family, we needed money and he was lacking education and experience on investing.