What does ‘MyMoneyWorks’ do?

MyMoneyWorks is an educational web site that provides a bouquet of services to its members, such as portfolio management tools, on-line training and portfolio alerts. Our objective is to help our members become better investors and improve their financial wellness over the long term.

We are neither a financial advisor, nor selling any financial products.

The ‘Discovery’ services are free of charge, the other service packages (‘Premium’ and ‘Platinum’) are available at a low cost on a subscription basis. The MyMoneyWorks web site is advertising-free.


How can I become a better investor?

We encourage ownership of shares (equity) via low-cost products such as ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and a long-term investment horizon (10-15 years). If your investment horizon is shorter than 7-10 years, then MyMoneyWorks is not for you.


Which share (stock, equity) do you recommend?

We believe in diversification, across countries, regions and industries, via ETFs (e.g. DAX ETF). In fact, we believe that most people should not buy individual stocks because the volatility of owning individual stocks (= companies) can be high. Also, we believe that portfolio returns are not primarily driven by stock-picking, but by asset class allocation (stock versus bond versus cash).

Buying the market via low-cost ETFs and being ‘average’ is great. Trying to beat the market can be entertaining, but also scary and expensive. And it almost never works. History has shown that very very few portfolio managers could beat the market over the long term, because the market is ‘almost perfectly efficient’.

On the other hand, we recognise that buying (and owning) individual stocks can be fun. There is nothing wrong with having a personal affinity to particular businesses and industries, and personally finding the price of certain shares ‘cheap’, and personally believing that the price of those shares will increase faster than the market in the short to medium term. Therefore, we publish a portfolio of 5-10 individual stocks and 5-10 ETFs that we personally like – you can find them in the MyMoneyWorks individual stocks portfolio. But this should not be understood as a recommendation to buy these particular stocks.

For those of you who like the ‘fun’ part, or find ETF-only portfolio too boring, we believe that 90% invested in ETFs and 10% in individual stocks can be a good to structure a portfolio.


I don’t like shares. Can you suggest an alternative approach for my savings?

Well, let us first exclude the things that you won’t help you much (as of writing in 2017):

  • cash on a savings account: cash doesn’t work, and you already know this because the current interest rate that you earn is extremely low (or nil).
  • gold: gold, as a commodity, doesn’t work; it is speculative and can’t help you much. It is proven that over the long term, after adjusting for inflation, the returns of gold have been miserable.
  • government bonds: their returns are currently very low, so that doesn’t help either (unless you buy bonds from the Greek or Argentine governments, but who wants to do that?).
  • corporate bonds: their return are also low – after inflation and tax, there is nothing left. And corporate debt is also not risk-free – companies can and do occasionally default on their debt. So if you are ready to take some risks, we believe that equity is a better choice.
  • Riester or Rürup: the products are all expensive (read the footprint: the costs are well hidden!) and their returns are dismal.

The only thing left is real estate. If you are not a property owner already, then you should think about buying a flat or house for you and your family. The quality of your life might change, and the monthly repayment of your mortgage to the bank creates discipline and forces you to save money. By the time your retire (or before), you should be debt free, and your property will often have increased in value as well.

Over the long term, investing in real estate usually generates lower returns than investing in shares – and that’s why we prefer shares – but real estate is still a good ‘second best’.


Can anybody become a member?

Yes, anybody can register on the MyMoneyWorks web site and become a member.

However, MyMoneyWorks is primarily targeted at German citizens, who are confronted with a number of specific issues that might not be as acute in other countries, such as:

  • a stagnating (or decreasing) population in Germany, and a population that is getting older. Today the median age in Germany is 47 years, i.e. 50% of the population is 47 years old and older. Who will pay your pension in the future?
  • a high portion of women who are not working, or only working part-time, and who therefore won’t get much of a pension, unfortunately.
  • diminishing levels paid by the public pension system, especially for those who will retire in 2030 and later. Can you live with €500-1000 per month?
  • private pension schemes such as ‘Riester’ and ‘Rürup’, but also ‘Lebensversicherung’ managed by insurance companies, that are most unlikely to be able to plug the gap, because they are high-cost and primarily invest in bonds, with current returns closed to nil – only the salesmen will get rich.
  • a rather risk-averse mentality and low level of share ownership in the population.


Why should I become a member?

You don’t have to be a super star to become a better and more successful investor. It is 20% knowledge, and 40% discipline and self-control and 40% patience.

MyMoneyWorks can help you improve your financial literacy in the area of stock investing and develop the right state of mind for investing – and avoid the common mistakes made by… your brain!

In addition, you can enjoy the fun of interacting with other members, comparing your portfolio (anonymously) with others, and learning things that might surprise you and make you change your beliefs, for the better.


How does the service work?

There are three membership levels:

  • ‘Discovery’, with access to Excel tools and checklists for download, our ‘Blackbelt’ masterclass learning program, our members’ forum, the MyMoneyWorks reference portfolios to help you get started, and maybe act as your benchmark
  • ‘Premium’: in addition to ‘Discovery’, this level gives access to your personal portfolio dashboard, help you optimise your portfolio, benchmark your portfolio with your peers, as well as backward-looking simulation tools
  • ‘Platinum’: in addition to the included ‘Discovery’ and ‘Premium’ services, this level provides members with forward-looking simulation tools, personalised alerts, as well as direct interaction with ‘Blackbelt’ members who own and manage a large personal portfolio and have owned shares for more than 20 years, and experienced multiple market crashes.

Members can also change their service package as they wish, whenever they want.


Are the services free?

The ‘Discovery’ services are entirely free, and will remain free of charge forever.

From H2 2017, there will be a low ‘annual service fee’ for the Premium and Platinum memberships, but they will be good value for money – and these membership levels are optional anyway.


Where is MyMoneyWorks located?

The web site is published by Investaura Ltd, a UK-based Telecoms, IT and Finance Consulting firm providing advisory services to corporate clients in more than 40 countries worldwide. Check our Imprint for more detail. If you have further question, feel free to contact us.

The MyMoneyWorks platform is hosted in Germany by 1&1 (United Internet).