Survey by ABN AMRO MeesPierson shows: majority of active investors see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity

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For many people in the Netherlands, investing is a daunting concept, not least because of the prejudices and misconceptions surrounding it. On Tuesday, 1 September, broadcaster RTLZ will show a documentary recorded by ABN AMRO, bearing the title ‘The secret to investing successfully’ (Het geheim van succesvol beleggen). In that documentary, experts debunk some persistent misconceptions, and explain how investing sensibly can help you to increase your wealth. One of the sources that the documentary draws on is a survey commissioned by ABN AMRO MeesPierson.

The survey, conducted among 1,025 people in the Netherlands, reveals significant differences between investors and non-investors, for example in terms of risk assessment. To illustrate: many people do not know that investing does not need to involve as much risk as they imagine, and ultimately can yield more than putting the same funds in a savings account. Among non-investors in the Netherlands, 6 out of 10 respondents even considered investments to be dangerous, compared with savings, and more than half of them put investing on a par with gambling.

“In the Netherlands, many people have been raised with the belief that money is safer in savings than in investments. That comparison no longer holds true,” explains Mary Pieterse-Bloem, Professor of Financial Markets at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Head of Bond Investments at ABN AMRO. “Particularly now that savings don’t yield enough interest to offset inflation, and it doesn’t look like interest rates will be going up any time soon. The documentary shows that investing isn’t necessarily a risky business, but can actually be the sensible solution. In the long term, investing yields much higher returns, as long as you know what you’re doing, stay calm and can absorb the risks.”

Investing during the coronavirus pandemic

Particularly now, the idea of investing is intimidating to many people. The more they know, and the more experience they have, however, the less intimidating it seems. For example, the survey shows that 60 percent of active investors see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity, not a threat. Among non-investors, that is only 17 percent. Pieterse-Bloem continues, “When the coronavirus crisis first broke, markets around the world took a nosedive. This is a daunting scenario to many people, but it’s precisely in these situations that you need to keep your head cool. History shows that markets will recover within an average of 14 months, even after they’ve taken a serious hit. If you want to start investing, don’t let yourself be blinded by the short-term outlook. Instead, keep your eye on the long term. The longer your investment horizon is, the higher the returns will be that your investments can generate.”

Watch the documentary again

The documentary ‘The secret to investing successfully’¬†was broadcast on RTLZ on 1 September and can be watched again here. Besides Mary Pieterse-Bloem, it also features communication researcher Alyt Damstra, people’s philosopher Bas Haring and football manager Peter Bosz.

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