Key points in brief

  • If you would like to become an investor, we advise that you get the ball rolling early and gather some initial experience with small-scale investments.
  • Liquid investments are especially recommendable, as they allow you to minimize your level of risk by investing your assets broadly and according to a plan.
  • Illiquid investments, such as real estate and private equity, are likewise worthwhile.
  • We recommend that you work together with a reliable partner such as UBS who can advise you on both your investment strategy and operational matters.

Entrepreneurs are used to taking all important business and investment decisions themselves, as this allows them to keep a close eye on their direct competitive environment.

It may be the case, however, that your investments are no longer limited to your own business and you are also looking to build up your private assets. While you continue to assume the capital risk, the entrepreneurial decisions now mostly lie in someone else’s hands. The following five tips will help you to become a successful investor and ensure you are prepared for this role in good time.

Becoming an investor: five tips to help you prepare

  1. Start early if you want to become a successful investor
  2. Don’t lose sight of your investment goals
  3. Carefully plan how you diversify your investments
  4. Utilize illiquid investments as an investor in Switzerland
  5. Find the right mix for your needs as an investor

1. Start early if you want to become a successful investor

Those who invest early are at an advantage. Ideally, you should already get the ball rolling while you are still in your own company. Gather initial experience with investments that won’t hit you too hard in the pocket in the event of a loss. The more experienced you are, the more assured you will be in making larger-scale investments in various asset classes further down the line. These may include capital market investments as well as investments in start-ups, the private equityand real estate segments.

2. Don’t lose sight of your investment goals

As an investor in Switzerland, you should consider both your needs and values. For example, you should ask yourself what you need in order to maintain your personal standard of living. If you have sold your business after many decades, your priority may perhaps lie in shaping the third stage of your life. During this next chapter, you will have different needs than entrepreneurs who are already turning their attention to their next business venture.

These different situations in turn necessitate different measures in terms of your investment structure. If you would like to become an investor, it is therefore worthwhile to determine your individual needs and values in more depth. This will not only help you in taking decisions, but also in adhering to a long-term investment strategy.

You can find out more about the topic of needs and values in this article.

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3. Carefully plan how you diversify your investments

We recommend both liquid and illiquid investments. In order to become a successful investor, you should also invest your assets according to a plan. With this in mind, we therefore recommend that you diversify your assets so as to minimize the level of risk you are exposed to.

Rather than limiting your investments to a single asset class, it is important to invest across several asset categories. This will allow you to achieve better risk diversification and create stability, especially against the backdrop of volatile capital markets. In the event of fluctuations on the equity market, for example, the more broadly your investments are diversified, the better you will be able to offset any short-term losses.

We also recommend that investors in Switzerland draw up an investment plan with staggered investment tranches. This will help you to reduce timing risk, for example. Irrespective of whether you are an experienced investor or dipping your toes into the investment world for the first time: broad diversification is the key to a successful portfolio. You can find out more about how to structure your assets in this article.

4. Utilize illiquid investments as an investor in Switzerland

Real estate and private equity are two types of illiquid investments that can serve as a useful addition to your portfolio. Although they offer less immediate liquidity, they reduce the level of risk in your portfolio and offset any volatility. In addition to tax advantages, continuous returns and numerous options for diversifying your investments within the respective asset classes, both real estate and private equity facilitate constant and long-term value preservation.

While private equity investments may entail a longer commitment period, they have the potential to generate higher returns over the long run. Within a diversified portfolio, it is beneficial that private equity investments are generally tied up for several years, as they cushion the volatility of the public markets.

5. Find the right mix for your needs as an investor

Determining the right mix of influence, return potential and risk depends on your personal goals, preferences and level of risk tolerance. Your investment strategy should take account of these factors and be geared towards securing your long-term stability and prosperity. The aim of your strategy is to reflect your personal preferences and risk tolerance as an investor, while also allowing you to generate healthy returns over the long term and safeguard your assets in an optimal manner. Our mission is to support you in shaping your financial future in Switzerland. We want to ensure that your investments are consistent with your personal goals.

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Your big advantage as an entrepreneur: you know both sides of the coin

Irrespective of whether you become an investor after many years of working in your own company or still find yourself in the start-up phase: a reliable and smart partner is worth its weight in gold. UBS has already assisted numerous entrepreneurs in navigating their journey as active or future investors.

Our experience has shown that having the right partner at your side can not only be beneficial in terms of the operational investment business, but also when it comes to designing and developing a successful investment strategy. As a former or active entrepreneur, you have a key advantage: you know what things look like as an investor in your own company and are also familiar with what it is like to stand in a private investor’s shoes. Use this knowledge as an opportunity to benefit you in your future role as an investor in Switzerland.

Portrait Nadja Heini

Nadja Heini

Client Advisor Executives Basel

Nadja Heini works as a client advisor for executives and possesses more than ten years’ experience in the investment sector and as an analyst. She supports executives in maintaining an overview of their often complex asset situation and diversifying their focused assets over the long term.

Portrait Philipp Ruegsegger

Philipp Rüegsegger

Head Entrepreneurs Basel

Philipp Rüegsegger works as team leader for entrepreneurs and has long-standing experience in the investment sector and as a financial planner. He specializes in topics relating to corporate succession planning and supports entrepreneurs in maintaining an overview of their often complex asset situation, optimizing it from a tax perspective and giving it a long-term focus.

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