Building up capital

5 November 2021

Investing on your own: where to start?

Like the idea of investing? Feel ready to take on the stock market? But don’t quite know exactly how or where to start? You've come to the right place!

ING Self Invest is ING's newest solution that allows you to invest online wherever and whenever you want. As soon as you're ready to get started, we'll take you through the steps one by one. So you know exactly what to expect once you start investing directly on the stock market.

5 steps to direct investing

#1 Start by defining your investment goals

Before you take the plunge, assess your personal situation and goals.

How much can you invest? What is the maximum loss you can tolerate? What performance targets do you want to achieve? And for how long can you keep your money tied up?

Your answers to these questions will go a long way to identifying the financial products that are best suited to your investment goals. They'll also help you stick to a clear and precise path, even in the event of market turbulence.

#2 Take the time to learn

Before buying or selling financial products, make sure you fully understand how they work, what the potential returns are, and what the level of risk is.

You might be tempted by all kinds of complex investment products. But ideally, you should start by learning about simple financial products such as shares or mutual funds.

How do shares work? And bonds? What do you need to know about these products before investing?

#3 Choose an intuitive and competitive investment platform

As an investor, your investment platform will be your primary working tool. So you need to make sure you’re properly equipped!

Again, keep it simple. Make sure you select an investment platform designed for private individuals. Ideally one that offers attractive rates.

#4 Make your first investments

OK, so your goals are clearly defined. You’ve taken the time to learn more about different types of investments. And you’ve selected an intuitive investment platform. Congratulations, now all you have to do is buy your first financial product online!

It’s as simple as that! 

Select the financial product to buy. Enter how much you want to invest. Confirm your request. And there you have it! You are now part of the independent investor community.

Your investment platform will provide you with different types of stock market orders for buying and selling, such as market orders, limit orders and stop orders. 

And while these different options may seem a bit complex at first, don't worry! They simply allow you to define the terms of your buying and selling requests.

Take a market order, for example. With a market order, you agree to buy or sell an investment at the current market price. In so doing, you accept the risk of not knowing the exact price you’ll pay when buying or receive when selling). With a limit order, you specify a maximum or minimum price at which you are willing to buy or sell. And with a stop-loss order, you effectively issue an order to buy or sell a certain number of shares when the share price reaches a certain threshold.

#5 Follow the progress of your portfolio online

Last but not least, once you've made your first investments, it's up to you to track their progress carefully. How? We recommend checking your investments on a regular basis and making sure that:

  • Performance is in line with your expectations. When you buy your products, think about at what price you'd want to sell them if they decrease in value and at what price you'd want to sell them when they increase in value.
  • Your portfolio is not heading towards your pre-defined maximum loss.
  • No single investment occupies too great a portion of your portfolio. If necessary, rebalance your portfolio and diversify your investments.
  • You follow economists’ forecasts and frequently check real-time prices to decide whether to buy, sell, or hold certain financial products.

You can do all of this easily by accessing your portfolio from Home’Bank or via the ING Investing app.

Invest by yourself with ING Self Invest

The new ING Self Invest platform guides you to the stock markets and on how to invest online, from A to Z.

This powerful app lets you trade a wide range of financial products worldwide (stocks, mutual funds, bonds, trackers, etc.) and in real time. And for total peace of mind, you can count on competitive investment fees (starting at just 1 euro) and access to a range of economic forecasts by our experts.