The essential tips for investing: “Never take more risk than necessary to reach your goals”
Managing an investment portfolio demands deep expertise, good skill, and risk-taking, especially at the initial stage of investing. It is a familiar point for startup founders, entrepreneurs, IT directors, and those who investigate the initial investing options or consider increasing financial prosperity. However, to simplify and make it easier to start investing, it is pivotal to follow the advice of financial experts who have overcome a similar path and can share their experiences.
A brilliant opportunity to meet such experts was given due to organizing Investment For Techies in 2022: Innovecs Conference held on 30 June on the interactive platform Party.Space. Over 100 participants, 6 speakers, and almost 4 hours to gain useful information.
How to manage an investment portfolio, is it efficient to invest in art, what do angel investments literally mean, and which are the prospects of crypto investing and investing in global stock markets? These are just some of the issues that were discussed during the event. If you would like to receive a video recording of the conference, fill out a form: https://bit.ly/3nx9Vyo.
“For investments, you need to choose the right time, and the market will offer you a discount sooner or later. I recommend not listening to someone while building your portfolio, as this can be a fraught loss. Even if the assets are spoken about worldwide, it’s worse not to buy them then. The main thing is to wait for the right moment and open positions according to your strategic plan. Talking about bitcoin, it offers, and will continue to offer, opportunities for buying in the long term” — said Sergey Zhdanov, CEO of EXMO.
Over 100,000 unique users per year are trading on his global cryptocurrency exchange. In January 2021, trading volume exceeded $1.5 billion. Due to Sergiy`s experience in audit and consulting services, the global cryptocurrency exchange is thriving and successful. During the conference, he told about crypto investment prospects.
Sergiy recommended avoiding purely speculative assets. His main rule is to invest in valuable projects which are profitable in the long term. Usually, such kinds of projects have sufficient demand. Moreover, with good management, they provide significant gains to their investors. The speaker highlighted that choosing the right time for investment is pivotal. On average, global crises occur once every 8-10 years, and after this period, there is an excellent opportunity to buy at low prices.
From an expert`s point of view, crypto is a risky investment, though it is simpler than bank systems. For cryptocurrency trading, it is not necessary to understand the concept of crypto, rather, it is sufficient to be aware of how crypto works and what solutions it can bring.
Bitcoin is electronic cash that enables creating a wallet on the internet for sending and receiving different amounts of bitcoins from other wallets.
The speaker shared the key characteristics that help to distinguish Bitcoin:
- Bitcoin is decentralized. No one controls it, and no one can block the transfer, reject it or make a refund. Only shutting the internet down could interrupt your transaction. So, there are no transfer delays and no bank errors. Everything is automated.
- Its supply is limited. There are only 21 million Bitcoins, and it is technically impossible to print more. All types of Bitcoin are becoming increasingly valuable. If the owner loses their wallet, it is impossible to recover it.
- Transaction history for Bitcoin is public. Everyone on the internet can see all the transactions with Bitcoin since its inception.
- Wallet owners are anonymous. It works similarly to cash in your wallet. If you find a wallet with money on the street that doesn’t have an ID, you can’t verify to whom it belongs. Bitcoin wallets are the same.
Bitcoin appeared in answer to the financial crisis and is much simpler than the banking system, Sergiy stated:
“One of the barriers to investing in crypto is the perception that it is challenging, when in fact it is much easier to transact with bitcoin than with traditional currency counterparts. Paying with bitcoins allows you to save time and prevent you from making mistakes that you may encounter in every circle of counterparties, and is cheaper due to the absence of commission.”
Investing in art is the best method for diversifying your financial portfolio
Diana Kocheva, Business Development Manager at the London startup Thirdblock, presented the topic “Investing in NFTs vs. Classical Art”.
Phygital art is physical works of art that are registered on the blockchain as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The most popular NFT types include artworks, collectibles, sports memorabilia, video game assets, virtual land, memes, domain names, music, ticketing, real-world assets, NFT fashion, identity, and miscellaneous online items.
Diana shared her vision of investing in phygital art:
“Investing in art during a recession is an effective way to preserve your assets because it is an asset that retains its value and increases in the long term. Art is also a fantastic way to diversify your portfolio because it provides you with an investment that may not be correlated to the stock market or other traditional investments”.
From her perspective, the best way to invest in art is by buying works from artists who are still alive, as they can continue creating new works and building value over time. “If you are looking for a more hands-on approach, consider becoming an artist yourself!”, — Diana advised.
Investing in art gives you something to look at every day and enjoy. It also gives you an opportunity to learn more about your culture and yourself by studying the paintings and sculptures created over time.
“There are many types of art available for purchase, including paintings, sculptures, and even jewelry made from precious metals or stones. You can choose from many distinctive styles when investing in art. Some people prefer works of realism, NFT Art, while others enjoy abstract pieces that include minimalistic lines or shapes with bright colors. It all depends on style you like best”, outlined Diana.
To summarise, she gave four reasons why you should choose NFT:
- ou can always have it with you.
- Anyone can invest.
- Secured by a blockchain.
- Easy to support artists.
Learn to recognize which project has potential
Egita Polanska, Managing Director at Startup Wise Guys, shared her experience of how together with a team of Startup Wise Guys they make investments at the acceleration stage and search for new companies. Egita advised on being acquainted with how to invest in startups, particularly sharing tips for those who consider angel investing. Egita highlighted that:
“If you’re looking for startups, from an investor’s point of view, it’s essential to be the first, but it’s not always the company that wins. So, you must look for a company that can launch and does it several times”. She quoted the statement of Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn: “First mover advantage doesn’t go to the first company that launches; it goes to the first company that scales”.
The essential point for every investor is to be capable of recognizing the project’s potential. It is much easier to invest money at the growing stage than in the initial stage. Over the years, through trial and error, they have developed their winning formula of success.
Value driven, plus unique dealflow, plus invest early, plus acceleration equals high returns
The essential feature that is necessary to develop for investors is patience, because, as a rule, results don’t materialize in a week, or even a month as it can take several years untill you gain returns.
Selecting a startup for investing, Startup Wise Guys is used to analyzing
3 essential factors:
- Team (ambition & discipline)
- Product (mentor references, traction metrics, UX)
- Market (market assessment, business model, exit viability)
As usual, they select startups running by technically skilled founders and including working products (or development in the late stage), and the initial revenue, as well as those that will possibly dominate the local market and break out globally.
The success of a startup depends largely on the relationship between investors and founders. Therefore, they advise startups: “Never be happy just sharing your story, you need to learn about your potential funders and if you want to work with them”.
Startup Wise Guys has several funds for investing and invites everyone to join. The smallest individual investment amount you can start with depends on the fund, but is usually $25,000 or more, however, people usually spend less. If it is difficult for a person to invest such an amount on his own as there are various business groups of angel investors with whom you can enter into a syndicate and divide this amount into parts.
“Make sure you have a financial reserve for more than half of a year before you start investing”
Terezia Jacova, Co-founder of Lumus Investment Collective shared the following statistic;
“The lack of knowledge about angel investing is what keeps people from this kind of investing. So, 45% of women say that they don`t feel educated and confident enough to start investing. 82%of women think that they need to have a proper education, professional background, and knowledge before investing”.
This organization helps angel investors and startups to find each other and holds training sessions for investors. Terezia is the investment manager in VC Neulogy Ventures. She told about the basic principles of startup investing — how to set personal and financial goals and how to find investing opportunities.
Lumus Investment Collective currently consists of 350 women, who are angel investors. The minimum amount of money to start investing is €3000.00.
The speaker stated, ”Make sure that you have a financial reserve for more than a half year before starting investing. It is recommended to invest gradually and consistently in small portions as well as diversify your financial portfolio”.
Terezia stressed the point of why it is pivotal for women to start investing.
“Over ⅔ of women don`t believe that they will have a sufficient state retirement benefit after they have retired. Only 8% of women are aware of how much money they need to save and invest today in order to have a reasonable pension”. The expert suggested that such a situation is caused by several factors: gender pay gap (lower salaries for women compared to men), unpaid labor, lower state retirement than men, career gap, and longer life than men.
“Saving money is a useful habit, but it is recommended to keep in mind that inflation may make your financial reserve disappear. You never gain returns without investing. Moreover, saving money doesn’t bring sufficient benefits for long-term prospects”, Terezia commented. She gave advice on considering different ways of investing, including angel investing, which are considered to be an alternative and must be given in the early stage of the project. They are paid with money from personal savings, credits, grants, angel capital, family savings, and venture capital.
Angel investing has several stages: pre-seed stage funding for idea validation, seed stage funding for product development and pivoting, and early-stage funding for product release. At the growth stage, you can run private equity, at the maturity stage, banks and IPO.
The speaker highlighted the point that angel investing is risky, but profitable at the same time. You shouldn`t bet on just a business idea, but also on the team in the early stage of the project. That`s why networking is a key point. Mostly, angel investing is run on the base of tech projects, though non-tech projects fit also.
Let’s get acquainted with the rules to follow as an individual while choosing angel investments:
- Have a personal connection. For example, be genuinely interested in a particular field.
- Be quick because angel investment is at the early stages.
- Rely on others’ legal documentation.
- Seek an external opinion/sanity board.
- Be ready to invest your own money (5к-200к)
- Diversify your funding
“Never take more risk than necessary to reach your goals”
Ivan Kompan, Founder of First Kyiv Investment Club, has been engaged in finance for 25 years. He previously conducted research in the field of econometrics at Sorbonne University and other academic institutions in Vienna and Prague. He used to hold leadership positions in global financial companies.
According to Capgemini statistics, the largest amount of investing goes into stocks and market funds: 29% — stocks, 15% — real estate, 28% — cash and money market funds, 16% — bonds, 12% — alternative investments (vine collection, artworks).
These financial numbers are even higher in USA and Canada. Stock markets are the most popular way of investing in the USA. Ukrainians are used to saving money on deposit accounts, “under the mattress”, buying gold bars, and investing in real estate.
Some people select crypto as a way of investing, though this is an aggressive option. Compared to other ways of investing, stock markets are the most profitable, the expert noted: “If you invest in real estate, your loss will be approximately 2.3% of your assets. Saving money in a safe place, or under your mattress, won’t earn money at all. If you open a deposit, you will not receive income thanks to rising inflation. By buying gold bars, you may gain 8.3% income from this. The stock markets are the most profitable and bring 9.2% of income, although half a year ago the number reached 15%. Because of the difficult start in the year, there was a decline”.
Ivan Kompan identified three reasons why it is worth investing in the stock markets — security, returns, and liquidity. He shared several tips for investors:
- Think long-term — it isn’t worth searching for fast earnings, be prepared that it will take some time.
- Set your goals (plan a process of investing, hire an adviser if needed)
- Define whom you would like to be — trader or investor
- Choose a way of investing. Kompan stated; “Never take more risk than necessary to reach your goals”.
- As a rule, risky investing provides a high profit, but keep in mind that with the rising risk you may also end up losing your assets. Over the last 130 years, there is no better way of investing than in stock markets in the USA, for these have brought in an average of 10.5% per year.
Kompan gave advice to those who are interested in the capital market:
- Invest in “quality” companies.
- Ignore the market buzz.
- Base your decisions on facts.
- Read and analyze annual reports.
- Don’t sell good companies for a quick profit.
- Don’t be scared of stock market volatility.
- While considering investing in the capital market, consider a minimum of 5 years.
“Buying artworks: never be motivated just by investing”
The art market is $65Bn of the global market size. 45% of assets are in the USA, 20% in China, and 20% in Great Britain. Investing in art is popular and driven by Millenials that are concerned with NFT. Emilia De Stasio, COO, and co-founder of Artscapy spoke about investing in art making the following points.
Buying art can be rewarding, both emotionally and intellectually, as well as financially. When markets are shaky, more stable assets like art can offer a good alternative. However, buying art comes with many caveats:
- Art is illiquid.
- Market driving forces are highly “irrational.”
- All art isn’t created equal.
- Art isn’t an asset class to be bought for returns.
Emila stated that: “Fundamentally, the motive to purchase art shouldn’t be for investment. Buying art can be not only financially rewarding but is first and foremost a stimulating passion. And buying the right art (high quality, museum grade) does tend to rise in value over time”,
Here are several options for how to buy high-quality artworks:
- Art fairs (held on weekends)
- Local galleries (the available art depends on the current show)
- Online (no site focusing on the buyer, not curated, overflooded marketplaces, limited/no interaction with the seller (gallery/advisor/artist/studio)
The last option is the basement of Artscapy concept, the platform for buying art, making it safer and more accessible to buy quality art online. The speaker described the platform features as:
- Secure asset management system to store images, documents and data, and track the value over time
- The marketplace is carefully curated, showing only artworks that have completed our due diligence process from handpicked galleries and vetted collectors
- Provenance and authenticity are certified on the blockchain.