When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.

Michael Jordan (17 February 1963 – ),
former American basketball player with the Chicago Bulls

What applies to basketball – and to sports in general – is true as well when it comes to investing.

Before deciding what to do with your money, it is wise to familiarize yourself with some basic concepts and phenomena that determine the future value of your money.

In this section, we will tell you why your money – if you just keep it under your mattress – will lose value over time because of inflation (or the gradual increase in prices).

We’ll show you how interest expense (which you must bear if you borrow money) and interest income (your bank pays you if you put money in a savings account, for example) determine our quality of life, both today and tomorrow.

We’ll give you an overview of key products in which you can invest your money – such as stocks or bonds, for example – and we present the risks that go along with each type of investment.

And we’ll show you how the law of supply and demand determines the price of virtually all goods and services on offer and therefore also of those in which you invest your money.

When you have read the different contributions in this section, you will be provided with everything you need to make financial decisions with confidence. We are not promising you guaranteed riches, but nor are you likely to succumb to those who promise prodigious yields without any risk!

The basics