How investors orient themselves in the new world of money

Negative interest rates and crypto currencies make one believe in a wrong money world. This confuses savers and puts them under pressure to invest. But there are ways out.

Escape into digital money: Bitcoin machine (left) next to conventional ATMs in Istanbul

Frank Walter has a firm habit: once a year he sits down and takes an inventory of all his personal assets. “Anyone can do that, a sheet of paper is enough,” says the asset manager from Munich. “I even account for my classic car.” In the same way, he creates the inventory for the assets of his consulting mandates. According to Walter, it is important for a qualified recording and assessment of an asset to free oneself from the emotions of the evaluation – positive as well as negative. He keeps it there with the stock exchange guru André Kostolany, who died in 1999, who recommended: “Separate your money from your emotions, otherwise your emotions will separate you from your money.”

Walter therefore always avoids one thing in his inventory: determining market prices for the individual assets. He even records his shares or fund units without their current market value, only notes the type and number of items – a commercial inventory with counting, measuring and weighing. He does the same with debt. They are only recorded with the remaining debt on the key date. With this exercise, Walter deliberately forces himself to grasp the substance of his assets instead of the time-related and therefore volatile monetary value from his point of view. Because that could be very deceiving.