How the Swiss invest their money

Most Swiss people have invested money in at least one way. This is shown by a representative survey conducted by moneyland.ch. The comparison service asked 1,500 people from German- and French-speaking Switzerland how much money they have invested in which forms of investment. The study shows: Almost nine out of ten respondents (89%) invest at least some of their money in private accounts. This makes private accounts the most widespread way of investing money. Even savings accounts are used for investing at 83%; this is despite the fact that savings accounts are usually explicitly targeted at people who want to hold their money for the long term. "Many bank customers don't know the difference between personal and savings accounts. Even in the current low-interest phase, some banks still offer a little more interest on savings accounts," says Benjamin Manz, CEO of moneyland.ch.

Few people put their money under the mattress

The third most popular form of investment is keeping cash at home. However, 42% of respondents have only a little cash at home. Only 8% say they keep a lot or even all of their money in cash. Even people who keep their cash in a safe deposit box often only do so with a small amount. By comparison, for almost all other forms of investment, most respondents invest a medium amount or nothing at all in each case. Real estate is an exception: 14% of the Swiss have invested a large amount or even their entire assets in real estate. Only 13% say it is a medium amount.

Pension funds are becoming increasingly popular

These traditional ways of holding money are followed by retirement provision: 65% of respondents say they have invested money with a pension fund. Likewise, more than 50% each have paid into 3a retirement funds or securities solutions and third-pillar savings accounts. Pension funds and securities solutions in particular have gained in popularity compared with the previous year. "This is likely due primarily to the low interest rate environment," Manz said. "In addition, pension apps are making third-pillar investing increasingly easy and often cheaper."

Retirement planning is a big topic, especially among people aged 26 to 49. Although third-pillar retirement solutions, for example, are among the most widespread forms of investment in Switzerland, only slightly more than one-third of 18- to 25-year-olds say they have paid money into 3a retirement funds or savings accounts in each case. "At a young age, financial provisioning is understandably not yet a big issue," says Manz.

Around a quarter invests in Swiss equities

Swiss equities continue to have a small lead among the local population: 27% of respondents say they invest in Swiss stocks. Foreign stocks are held in the portfolios of 22% of the Swiss.

Cryptocurrencies become even more popular

Bitcoin & Co. have become much more popular again in 2022 with a total of 18%. In particular, cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin are used much more frequently for investing compared to the previous year. "Cryptocurrencies have arrived with the broad investor base. Nevertheless, this speculative form of investment remains highly risky," warns Manz.

Inflation fuels gold investments

Meanwhile, more than a quarter of the population (26%) also holds gold as an investment. "This is likely a reaction to global inflation," comments Manz. "Gold is still seen by many investors as a protection against inflation." Currently, therefore, almost as many Swiss own gold as Swiss equities (27%). However, similar to cash, most people who have money invested in gold say it is only a small amount. The same is true for other precious metals.

Men invest more often than women

Men state that they have invested money in all forms of investment more often than women. In particular, funds as well as shares are more popular than average among men. For example, 31% of men say they invest in ETFs. Among women, the figure is just 18%. "However, it is conceivable that women will catch up in the coming years," says analyst Raphael Knecht of moneyland.ch. "Currently, there are various movements that specifically motivate women to invest their money."

Old people invest less often than younger people

People over 49 tend to invest less: in almost all categories, respondents in the 50 to 74 age group say they have invested money less often than average. It is particularly striking in the case of cryptocurrencies, for example: Only 6% of those over 49 have invested in Bitcoin. The Swiss average across all age groups is 18%.

Only in the case of real estate do slightly more older people than younger people say they have invested, at 40%. By comparison, the overall average is 35%. "Real estate is an investment asset that also has a use as a residential property without having to sell it," comments Manz. So, he says, it's conceivable that many older Swiss will live in their own property. "Many younger people also can't afford to invest in real estate because of the large capital requirements."

The Rösti Rift also shows up in investments

In German-speaking Switzerland, almost all forms of investment are more widespread than in French-speaking Switzerland. For example, 28% of the German-speaking Swiss own gold. Ennet des Röstigrabens, the figure is only 21%. Pension solutions are also less frequently used as a form of investment in French-speaking Switzerland. Only life insurance and real estate are somewhat more popular among the French than in German-speaking Switzerland: 40% of respondents in French-speaking Switzerland have life insurance. In German-speaking Switzerland, by contrast, the figure is only 36%.