Building up capital

5 myths about investing

Investing is only for the rich, is too risky, requires too much time… There are quite a few misconceptions about investing. We have listed the five most persistent ones for you.

Myth 1: "You have to be an expert."

Looking for potential returns, but don't know the ins and outs of the stock market? If so, investing regularly in a fund1 could be the answer for you. Which shares should you buy and sell? When? How much? You don't have to do any of that homework.

Here is how it works: when you invest in a fund you are investing in dozens or even hundreds of different shares and/or bonds in one go. Some of these funds are managed by a team of investment experts. They select the shares and/or bonds and change the fund's composition when they think it's necessary. Other funds are more passive - they follow the evolution of an index, such as the BEL20, as closely as possible.

With a standing order, you can automatically invest an amount every month in this kind of fund. So clearly, you really do not need to be an expert to invest.

1By fund we mean "collective investment undertaking" (known as UCI). UCI is a general term for institutions that raise funds from the public and manage a portfolio of financial instruments. So, the term "fund" refers to both investment companies (known as "beveks" or "sicavs") and mutual funds, and their su-funds.

Myth 2: "Investing is only for the rich."

Today, investing is more democratic than ever. You can start investing in a fund with as little as 10 euro per month. Even if you are investing with an amount that you consider too insignificant to be worthwhile: when it comes to investing, little things add up to make a big difference, and the earlier you start, the higher the return could be later on.

If you’re thinking that 10 euro a month is not enough to buy a share of, for example, Adidas or Amazon — you’re right, it isn’t. Fortunately, investment funds offer a solution to this problem, too. By regularly investing in a fund, you can invest with smaller amounts.

Myth 3: “Investing involves far too many risks."

Completely risk-free investing does not exist. Every investment involves a certain amount of risk. And the more risk you take, the larger the return could be. Here are a few tips:

Funds offer an excellent solution for spreading risk because they invest in dozens or even hundreds of shares and/or bonds.

Investing over a longer term will give your investments time to recover if the stock market dips for a while.

You can do this by investing a bit of your money each month.

Read more: How to reduce the risks of investing

Myth 4: “Investing takes too much time."

You can also invest even if you have little interest or time to devote to it. When you invest in a fund, you do not have to monitor the share prices of the individual stocks or make buying and selling decisions.

Your investments are also easy to arrange online, wherever and whenever you choose. You can open, pause or close your ING Easy Invest account free of charge.

Myth 5: “There is no need to invest. My money retains its value in a savings account."

Since 2016 the interest rate on most Belgian savings accounts has fallen to 0.11%². Better than nothing ? Actually, it isn't.

While interest rates have been falling, inflation has been on the rise. That means that products and services have become more expensive (for example, your energy bill or the price of milk at the supermaket). It also means that the value of your savings has been falling. The higher the inflation, the larger the loss in value.

Over the past five years, savings have lost 8% of their purchasing power. If you had put 1,000 euros into a savings account on 1 January 2017, it would have grown to 1,005.512 euro as of 1 January 2022. However, in that time, the value of that 1,005.50 euro would have decreased to as little as 886,20 euro³. So even though you earned 5.50 euro on your savings after five years, you are able to buy far less with your 1,005.50 euro than you could five years ago, because everything has become much more expensive in the meantime.

Read more : Why savings lose their value


³Source: Economic Research, ING, May 2022.

Ready to start investing?

You can do it from as litle as 10 euro a month! With ING Easy Invest, you can invest any amount you choose (between 10 and 2,000 euro) and do it at your own pace. Opening, suspending or closing your ING Easy Invest account is free of charge.