Best books to start investing for Belgians (2024)

Best books to start investing

De hangmatbelegger - beginner's guide to ETF investing

by Yoran Brondsema (co-founder of Curvo) and Tim Nijsmans

Best books to start investing for Belgians (1)

"De hangmatbelegger" ("The Hammock Investor"), authored by Curvo co-founder Yoran Brondsema and financial advisor Tim Nijsmans, presents a unique and refreshing perspective on the world of investing. The book's central theme revolves around the concept of "hammock" investing – a metaphor for a relaxed, stress-free approach to managing your investments. The approach, based on passive investing through ETFs, is tailored for Belgian and Dutch investors who seek to navigate the financial markets without the common anxiety and complexity that often accompany investment decisions. Yoran and Tim emphasise the importance of a long-term outlook, advocating for proven strategies that promote steady growth and wealth accumulation over time. They challenge the prevalent mindset of aggressive trading and frequent portfolio adjustments, suggesting that a more laid-back, thoughtful approach is likely to be more effective.

In the second half of the book, Yoran and Tim delve into the practicalities of implementing the hammock investment strategy. They provide insights into building a well-diversified portfolio, focusing on asset allocation and risk management. The key is to avoid the pitfalls of market speculation and instead rely on a solid foundation of investment principles that withstand the test of time. To make things concrete, they give examples of model portfolios of ETFs, each tailored for a different type of investors and financial goals. They also address common misconceptions and fears that investors face, offering advice on how to remain composed and confident in the face of market volatility. Their philosophy extends beyond mere financial gain, advocating for a balanced lifestyle where personal well-being and financial health go hand in hand.

Although we're going to be slightly biased, "De hangmatbelegger" serves as an enlightening guide for Belgian investors who wish to enjoy the journey of investing while lying back in their metaphorical hammock, secure in the knowledge that their financial future is well taken care of. Note that the book is currently only available in Dutch. Learn more on the book's website.

Je bent jong en je wilt… beleggen - for young Belgians

by Cédric Proost

"Je bent jong en je wilt... beleggen" by Cédric Proost serves as a guide for young Belgians eager to step into the world of investing. Tailored specifically for his age group, Cédric demystifies the complexities of the stock market, offering practical advice and strategies that resonate with novice investors. The book emphasises the advantages of starting to invest early in life, highlighting how time and compound interest can significantly boost long-term returns.

Cédric navigates through various investment options, from stocks and bonds to more novel avenues like cryptocurrencies, providing a comprehensive overview of each. With a focus on risk management, diversification, and setting realistic financial goals, the book is an invaluable resource for young adults looking to make informed, savvy investment choices. It's a clear and engaging roadmap for anyone at the onset of their financial journey, underscoring the importance of informed decision-making and long-term planning in building a strong financial foundation. The book is only available in Dutch.

Investing Demystified - introduction to passive investing

by Lars Kroijer

We came across Lars Kroijer's work when we started our investment journey. His book "Investing Demystified" presents a straightforward and accessible approach to investment, challenging conventional financial wisdom. Kroijer, a former hedge fund manager, argues against the common belief that individual investors can consistently outperform the market. Instead, he advocates for a simpler, low-cost investment strategy centred around the acceptance that most investors cannot beat the market.

He emphasizes the importance of investing in broad, diversified, and low-cost index funds as a more realistic and efficient approach for the average investor. By demystifying the complex world of investing, Kroijer empowers readers with the knowledge to make more informed decisions, minimize risks, and achieve better financial outcomes. His approach is grounded in practicality and is particularly beneficial for those seeking to understand investment without getting overwhelmed by the myriad of choices and technical jargon in the financial world. We were fortunate to interview Lars back in 2019 when we first started with the idea of launching Curvo. His interview has some great insights into staying the course and sticking to low-cost index funds!

Money: Master the Game - (long) introduction to the world of good financial habits

by Tony Robbins

"Money: Master the Game" by Tony Robbins offers an insightful introduction into the realm of financial management and investing. This book, aimed at demystifying the often complex world of finance, serves as a comprehensive guide for individuals looking to gain control over their financial future. Robbins delves into the principles of saving, investing, and building wealth, providing actionable advice and easy-to-understand tactics. He emphasises the importance of developing good financial habits, making informed decisions, and understanding the psychology of money. By interviewing several financial giants, Robbins distils their wisdom into practical steps that promise to guide readers on a path to financial freedom. The book is not just about accumulating wealth but also about using it to lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Although it's a great way to get into the world of index investing, the book was written for an American audience. So Belgians will have to look to a book like "De hangmatbelegger" to get acquainted with the details of index investing in Belgium. Unfortunately, Robbins also has a tendency to repeat himself. But it definitely inspired us to get into the world of index investing and launch Curvo.

Trillions - a readable history of index investing

by Robin Wigglesworth

"Trillions" delves into the world of index funds and their monumental impact on investing. The engaging narrative chronicles the evolution of index investing from its inception to its rise as a dominant force in the financial world. The book explores the origins of the first index funds, highlighting the innovative thinking of pioneers who challenged traditional active management strategies. It emphasizes the significance of index funds in democratizing investing, making it more accessible and cost-effective for the average investor.

The narrative weaves through the technicalities of index fund creation and management, explaining how these funds track market indices and offer diversified exposure to various asset classes. "Trillions" also addresses the broader implications of the growth of index investing, including its influence on financial markets, corporate governance, and global economic trends. It's a captivating read for anyone interested in understanding how a simple yet powerful idea transformed the investment world, making it possible for millions to participate in market gains more efficiently and equitably.

Bonus: Het grote pensioenbedrog - a warning on the future of our pension system

by Mark Scholliers

Another book that prompted us to launch Curvo was "Het grote pensioenbedrog" by Mark Scholliers. We interviewed Mark when we first came up with the idea for Curvo. Mark provides a critical and insightful examination of the pension system, particularly focusing on the challenges and inconsistencies in the context of Belgium. Scholliers delves into the complexities and shortcomings of the current pension schemes, arguing that they are unsustainable and unfair to future generations.

He scrutinises the promises made by politicians and policymakers, suggesting that these assurances are often misleading and may lead to significant financial problems for individuals in their retirement years. The book also explores the impact of demographic changes, such as an aging population and declining birth rates, on the viability of pension funds. Scholliers advocates for a more transparent and equitable system, urging reforms that would ensure the long-term sustainability of pensions. His analysis is aimed at raising awareness among the general public and encouraging active engagement in the discourse on pension reform.

The book provides a significant contribution to the ongoing debate on social security and retirement, offering a thought-provoking perspective on a topic that affects millions of people. It also drives our mission at Curvo to solve the pension crisis for our generation. To us, index investing offers a way for young people to take their financial future into their own hands, rather than having to rely on an uncertain state pension.

Questions you may have

What is the best book on investing?

"De hangmatbelegger" by Curvo co-founder Yoran Brondsema and Tim Nijsmans provides a practical and accessible guide for any Belgian to start index investing. However, we acknowledge our bias. In the end, the "best" book on investing is a subjective choice and depends on your goals, experience level, and investment philosophy.

What is the best way to learn how to invest?

Reading a book is a great start! Our guides can also help you on your journey:

  • Beginner's guide to index investing
  • How to invest in ETFs in Belgium
  • Best broker to buy ETFs in Belgium

There also some communities online that can help you start. There's the Beleggen group on Facebook, or else the Vlaamse Federatie van Beleggen (VFB)organises many events on investing.

Does it still make sense to invest?

Yes it does. There's real long-term growth potential and you see it in one form or another through the books above. Historically, the stock market has provided substantial returns over the long term, outperforming many other types of investments. Also, investing your savings in stocks can help protect your money from the eroding effects of inflation. Over time, a well-constructed stock portfolio can offer returns that outpace inflation, maintaining or increasing the purchasing power of your money!

What is best to invest in as a beginner?

Index investing, also called passive investing, is a tried and tested method for growing your wealth. It’s based on the observation that rather than picking individual stocks and trying to buy and sell at the right time, it’s usually more profitable to invest in the stock market as a whole. Instead of finding the needle in the haystack, you buy the entire haystack. We've written a guide if you wish to learn more on the topic.

Can you make a lot of money investing?

Yes, it is possible to make a significant amount of money through investing, but it's important to approach this with realistic expectations and an understanding of the risks involved. Historically, investing in assets like stocks, bonds, and real estate has yielded substantial returns over the long term. The stock market, in particular, has consistently provided strong returns over extended periods and been able to benefit from the power of compounding. One of the most powerful concepts in investing is compound interest, where you earn interest not only on your initial investment but also on the accrued interest over time. This can lead to exponential growth of your investment, especially if you start early and reinvest dividends or earnings!

Can you make a living from investing?

Yes, it is possible to make a living from investing, but it's important to approach this with a clear understanding of the challenges and risks involved. It requires a lot of planning and quite a significant capital to begin with. There are several key factors to consider:

  1. Significant capital required: to generate enough income to live on, you typically need a substantial amount of capital invested. The exact amount depends on your lifestyle, expenses, and the rate of return on your investments.
  2. Understanding risk and return: higher returns often come with higher risks. Living off investments means balancing the need for sufficient returns to cover expenses with the risk of significant losses.
  3. Stable and reliable income sources: focusing on investments that provide a steady income can be crucial. This might include dividend-paying stocks, bonds, real estate (rental properties), or other assets that generate regular income.
  4. Market volatility: the financial markets can be unpredictable. Your ability to make a living from investing may be challenged during periods of market downturns. It's essential to have a strategy to manage these periods, possibly including having a cash buffer.

Remember to keep your long-term goals in mind!

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or opinions, but I can provide information on the concepts mentioned in the article you shared. Here's a breakdown of each book mentioned and the concepts they cover:

"De hangmatbelegger" ("The Hammock Investor") by Yoran Brondsema and Tim Nijsmans

  • This book presents a unique perspective on investing, focusing on a relaxed and stress-free approach to managing investments.
  • The authors advocate for passive investing through ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) and emphasize the importance of a long-term outlook.
  • The book provides insights into building a well-diversified portfolio, asset allocation, and risk management.
  • It addresses common misconceptions and fears that investors face and promotes a balanced lifestyle where personal well-being and financial health go hand in hand.

"Je bent jong en je wilt... beleggen" by Cédric Proost

  • This book is tailored for young Belgians who want to start investing.
  • It demystifies the complexities of the stock market and offers practical advice and strategies for novice investors.
  • The book highlights the advantages of starting to invest early in life and provides an overview of various investment options, including stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.
  • It emphasizes risk management, diversification, and setting realistic financial goals.

"Investing Demystified" by Lars Kroijer

  • This book challenges the belief that individual investors can consistently outperform the market.
  • The author advocates for a low-cost investment strategy centered around broad, diversified, and low-cost index funds.
  • The book aims to demystify the complex world of investing and empower readers to make more informed decisions and achieve better financial outcomes.

"Money: Master the Game" by Tony Robbins

  • This book offers an introduction to financial management and investing.
  • It provides actionable advice and tactics for saving, investing, and building wealth.
  • The author emphasizes the importance of developing good financial habits, making informed decisions, and understanding the psychology of money.
  • The book includes interviews with financial experts and distills their wisdom into practical steps for achieving financial freedom.

"Trillions" by Robin Wigglesworth

  • This book explores the world of index funds and their impact on investing.
  • It chronicles the evolution of index investing, highlighting its role in democratizing investing and making it more accessible and cost-effective.
  • The book explains how index funds track market indices and offer diversified exposure to various asset classes.
  • It also addresses the broader implications of the growth of index investing on financial markets, corporate governance, and global economic trends.

"Het grote pensioenbedrog" by Mark Scholliers

  • This book examines the pension system, particularly in the context of Belgium.
  • The author explores the complexities and shortcomings of the current pension schemes, arguing for reforms to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • The book raises awareness about the challenges and inconsistencies in the pension system and encourages active engagement in the discourse on pension reform.

Please note that the availability of these books may vary, and some are currently only available in Dutch. It's always a good idea to check with local bookstores or online retailers for availability.

Best books to start investing for Belgians (2024)

FAQs

Best books to start investing for Belgians? ›

1. The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias. If you are truly just starting out in your investing journey, this book is a great place to start. You'll learn tips on how to save and invest for your future and get excellent advice on what to avoid in the financial world.

How to start investing in Belgium? ›

There are two ways you can invest in the stock market from Belgium:
  1. Investing through a broker, where you're responsible for your investments.
  2. Investing through an app like Curvo, where the investments are managed for you.
Mar 27, 2024

What is the first book I should read on investing? ›

1. The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias. If you are truly just starting out in your investing journey, this book is a great place to start. You'll learn tips on how to save and invest for your future and get excellent advice on what to avoid in the financial world.

Is Degiro available in Belgium? ›

As a Belgian investor, you have to choose between signing up to the Dutch or French version of DEGIRO. DEGIRO waives the connectivity cost for the home exchanges: 🇳🇱 DEGIRO.nl: no fee for Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels.

What is the 30% rule in Belgium? ›

Limitation of the 30% lump sum tax and social security free expense reimbursem*nt to EUR 90,000 per annum. Possibility for the employer/company to reimburse on top of the lump sum 30% specific other expenses, such as moving expenses, installation costs (maximum of EUR 1,500), and school fees.

What is the 1 rule of investing? ›

Warren Buffett once said, “The first rule of an investment is don't lose [money].

What books is Warren Buffett reading? ›

53 books recommended by Warren Buffett
  • Influence. Robert B. ...
  • Shoe Dog. Phil Knight.
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie.
  • Poor Charlie's Almanack. Charlie Munger.
  • The Intelligent Investor. Benjamin Graham.
  • Seeking Wisdom. Peter Bevelin.
  • The Outsiders. William N. ...
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bill Bryson.

Has Warren Buffett written any books on investing? ›

While Warren Buffett himself has never authored a book, many books have been written about his life, his investment strategies, and his philosophies. Some books about Buffett focus more on his life and achievements, while others focus more on replicating his investment style.

What is passive income in Belgium? ›

Passive income is e.g. dividend, interest and royalty income, but - according to the Belgian text of the law - also rental and lease income and income from buy-sell activities or certain insourced services, with limited added value.

Can I invest in S&P 500 from Belgium? ›

To invest in the S&P 500, a search with the ISIN code (IE00B5BMR087) is the easiest way to proceed. You'll notice that there's only one exchange where this ETF can be purchased from: Euronext Amsterdam, which is the Amsterdam stock exchange.

Why invest in Belgium? ›

Belgium is the best performing country in the OECD in terms of innovation and biotech industry development, based on biopharmaceutical patent applications, drugs under development, venture capital invested and the number of biotech companies per capita.

Can I use Robinhood in Belgium? ›

Additionally, Robinhood is simply not available in Belgium and can only be used by US citizens. For Belgian investors, there are alternative apps that offer similar features to Robinhood.

Can you use Vanguard in Belgium? ›

We hope that it became clear that there are two ways in which you can invest in Vanguard funds in Belgium: You can do it yourself using a broker, or. Use an app like Curvo.

Can you use Webull in Belgium? ›

FAQ Detail. Can I trade on Webull when I'm abroad? Webull Financial LLC does not open or maintain accounts on behalf of persons residing outside of the United States.

What is a good business to start in Belgium? ›

The following are few business ideas that you can start easily in Belgium:
  • Farming. Essentially, the nation's economy depends massively on the horticulture. ...
  • Lawn Plant Nursery. ...
  • Mobile phone Repair. ...
  • Fare Import. ...
  • Data Technology. ...
  • Pants Making. ...
  • Land and Construction. ...
  • Retail.

How can a foreigner start a business in Belgium? ›

If you are a citizen of a nation outside of the EU or EFTA and wish to start a business in Belgium, you must first apply for a professional card (carte professionnelle/beroepskaart) unless you already have a Belgian residence permit. Your professional card serves as a representation of your right to work.

What is the main source of income in Belgium? ›

Belgium has a free-enterprise economy, with the majority of the gross domestic product (GDP) generated by the service sector.

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