Start investing and get your financial life back on track in 2022

Czech-startup Fondee offers an online platform for investing in pre-set portfolios under the guidance of experts.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 13.01.2022 16:00:00 (updated on 09.01.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

During the depths of the pandemic, many of us worried about our future and our financial shortcomings. Do we have enough money saved up for the difficult times ahead? Will we still be able to pursue our dreams of growing our wealth, getting out of debt, or having enough capital to start a business?

Almost half of Czechs still save money only in cash or keep it in a current account, where part of it is lost to inflation year after year, research shows. Investing is still not as popular here as it is in other Western European nations, where people are more willing to dip their toes into the stock market for long-term gains.

According to Jan Hlavsa, CEO & Co-Founder of investment platform Fondee, this is partly because of the country’s past and habits and not being able to understand how the market works. “Many people are simply scared that they could lose their money - not only the profits, but all of it,” he adds. 

For foreigners living and working in the Czech Republic, this translates into fewer opportunities to invest locally and little support from financial institutions when they’re ready to take that step.

Enter Fondee, a tailor-made investing option where you can choose a portfolio that suits your goals and comfort level. Instead of paying financial advisors or trying to navigate the confusing investment market on your own, Fondee offers you pre-made portfolios that match your risk profile. 

How it all works

When you sign up for Fondee (which can be done online in just a few clicks – no time-consuming trips to offices or banks required), you’ll be asked to assess your risk profile through an online questionnaire. This will then allow you to choose an investment portfolio that matches that profile.

Clients have a choice of seven pre-set portfolios with a different share of bond and equity components depending on their risk attitude and experience with investing.

For example, if you’re comfortable taking risks, you might do better with an “Audacious Investor” portfolio that is predominantly stock-backed with a high proportion of stock ETFs (Exchange Traded Fund) and a very small proportion of bonds (15% or less) and cash (5% or less). If you’re a “Conservative Investor” you might feel more comfortable with a portfolio that contains 70-90% of bonds and only 10-30% of stock ETFs.

Conservative portfolios offer lower yields but also lower risk and are better for investors who want to take the “slow but steady” approach to growing their money. Riskier portfolios have a higher stock component, which offers a chance for better returns long-term -if you can deal with the stress of the market ups and downs along the way. 

What happens next?

Investing with Fondee is simple and there are no fees to get started. Once you’ve picked a portfolio you’re comfortable with, you can then choose how much to invest before Fondee's portfolio manager takes over the process. Even better, you can invest regularly or just once – whatever suits your situation better.

Although you can start with as little as CZK 1,000, Hlavsa says you can invest any amount. “However, to get a portfolio balanced just right, we recommend at least CZK 10,000 or 400 EUR to start, but it's really not obligatory,” he adds.

Once the process is underway, you can just sit back and let the experts at Fondee handle everything. You can always check the value of your investment online and sell everything at any time. “In case our clients need their money and want to withdraw it, they will have it in their bank account usually on the very next trading day,” Hlavsa says. 

So how much does it cost to invest through Fondee? Less than you’d expect with total average fees of about 1.05% of your portfolio a year. Translated to actual money, this means you would pay a total of CZK 3,150 in fees after three years for an investment of CZK 100,000. Similar investments for a stock-based portfolio would cost you CZK around 9,600 in fees at ČSOB or Česká spořitelna.

Plus, Fondee is regulated and supervised by the Czech National Bank and offers complete support in English, which includes an English-speaking customer care service ready to help you through any difficulties. 

With the global economy starting to recover and a new year bringing you a chance to set new financial goals, now might just be the perfect time to get started investing.

This article was written in cooperation with the Fondee. Read more about our partner content policies here. Disclaimer: Trading financial instruments carries risks. Always ensure that you understand these risks before trading.

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