TALK | Financial expert Stefanie Kühn: “If you want to be independent, you have to understand your financial investments”

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TALK | Financial expert Stefanie Kühn: "If you want to be independent, you have to understand your investments"“If you don't want to be dependent on bank advisors, you have to learn to understand your financial investments yourself”: In an interview, financial expert and author Stefanie Kühn talks about the logic of the financial crisis, the individuality of financial investments and the desire to own your own assets. Stefanie Kühn is a Certified Financial Planner and has been advising clients independently on a fee basis with her companyPrivate Finanzplanung Kühn eK. Stefanie Kühn is one of the “Financial Advisers of the Year” for the magazine “Euro Finances”, including one of the “Top 1999 Financial Advisors” in Germany. Stefanie Kühn has written several guides, including Serene in the future or A man is not a fortune.

Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Frau Kühn, all seem to be surprised by the financial crisis. Was not that really clear?

The crisis itself does not surprise me, but its extent already. I see the beginning of the global crisis in the summer 2007, when the US real estate market collapsed completely. When IKB Deutsche Industriebank went bankrupt in the aftermath, it became clear that this was about more than a US-specific problem. And since the beginning of 2008 at the latest, extreme caution was needed: the long-term uptrends broke and put an end to years of steadily rising stock prices.

These were in fact clear signs. Why was there little of caution?

Anyone who spread optimism at the end of 2007 should no longer call himself a "stock market guru". And the “experts” who in spring 2008 saw the time to start trading on the stock exchange between 6.500 and 7.000 points were more likely to have their sales in mind. Withholding tax is approaching and before that, sales should be made with the sale of funds of funds and the like. However, there was no positive news for a real turnaround.

There will always be the ups and downs on the stock markets. What is the best way to behave?

I advise every investor to acquire enough knowledge to be able to decide for themselves which share quota will still let them sleep peacefully. Only those who understand their investments keep control over their money. And some people would then rather separate from a product than a bank consultant thinks. It's not for nothing that it means “personal” willingness to take risks. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe that just arises from a few crosses on a form. Rather, it is important to be clear about your own attitudes towards risk and money. This also includes clear rules for an exit: the end of x% loss. And these rules only have to fit you.

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So far, so clear. But the stock market is probably synonymous in less turbulent times not really what faint nerves, right?

Whoever can not deal with the usual fluctuations on the stock market is simply better advised with a fixed fee. If this rather corresponds to his personality, this is not boring, but completely in order. My clients are often really freed when they realize that they do not need to buy stocks to meet their financial goals. And the most beautiful thing for me is: They come all by themselves!

Times of hand on the heart: when it comes to money, we all want our best ... What makes your advice different from that of a bank?

Banks and most independent financial service providers live on the commissions that they receive once when the financial products are sold and then as so-called inventory commissions. I do not mediate financial products, but advise independently. Similar to lawyers or business consultants, clients pay a fixed hourly rate. In return they have the certainty that I am really optimizing their finances, not my commission. So I also advise clients against investments that do not suit them. And of course those who don't understand them. “Bold” investors ultimately take their finances into their own hands. Despite the fee, they usually save a lot of money.

What is the core of the “Kühn strategy for financial independence” that you describe in your current book?

It is not about getting as rich as possible, nor amassing the first million euros as quickly as possible with more or less secret tricks. On the contrary, I have repeatedly seen that almost every client has their own ideas about financial independence. From this experience I have developed a scenario technique and show the reader which individual investment strategies fit his ideas. However, everyone is responsible for the success of the strategy - “taking care of yourself makes you rich” is my motto here.

Many people are currently very concerned about retirement provisions under the heading “Do you want to cry now or later?” to treat. Most don't want either ...

Of course not. That's why I strongly advise you to think about tomorrow today. Clearly it sounds great, with 55 years only to care about his hobbies. However, few know which financial reserves are necessary. Anyone who wants to keep their standard of living in 20 years today needs almost double the inflation. However, his revenues are rising moderately or not at all. Those who want to stop working sooner have to deal with their financial cushion all the more intensively. This is the only way to recognize what is feasible and what is not. Whom the result disappoints, can now counteract and set the financial course - or set more realistic targets.

Pretty sobering. Does money not only affect the friendship, but also the fun?

On the contrary! Everyone is happy when they have achieved something. Why shouldn't that be the case with money? You just have to deal with it. Those who collect the first increases in value or interest with “their” investment usually want “more of it” on their own. I have clients who really licked blood. And of course I also enjoy seeing that more and more people prefer to take their financial fate into their own hands: In summer 2007, about six new clients came to me every month. Today there are more than twice as many.

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  1. Emerson Muenchov

    I studied one or two training courses as a mechanic, industrial master and then engineering science in automation engineering. Previously, as a mechanic, I was constantly passed around by time companies, among others in companies in Airbus or Phillipps. And 2 years after graduation I worked as an engineer in development and did an extra qualification in SP programming. Which approach would you recommend to me now?

  2. Simone Janson

    Thank you, I am pleased with the praise!

  3. Christiane

    The contribution I find great! When it comes to finance, it is really essential to think ahead and to check how and where you want to invest your money! Unfortunately, you often do not have enough time for a consultation and is not fully informed about your investment. As Ms Kühn already says, it is very important that you understand your investment!

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    […] In March of this year the Ministry of Consumers reacted and published a checklist for a consultation on investment issues - and thus put the banking association under indirect pressure. That it now [...]

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