The French are the savings champions: 5,436 billion euros, one of the highest levels in the world. But investing money has rarely been so complicated. This is due to historically low, or even negative, interest rates for certain states, including France, and to an uncertain economic environment (Brexit, China-United States commercial rivalry, etc.). Here is an overview to guide your savings in 2020, bearing in mind this basic advice: "Avoid investing in a long-term product if you risk needing short-term liquidity", recalls Marc Fiorentino, specialist in financial markets.
1. The stock market is at the top
2019 has proven to be flamboyant for French equities. The flagship index of the Paris Bourse, the CAC 40, which crossed the 6,000 mark in December, recorded an increase of 26.37% over one year, its best year since 1999. And these summits do not not indicate a tumble ahead according to several experts. "The market may be high in terms of index, it is not overvalued compared to the past," said François Chaulet, the managing director of Montségur Finance, a wealth management company. "In the United States, in 2013, the S & P500 index exceeded its 2007 high, then doubled in the years that followed," added Julien-Pierre Nouen, director of economic studies at Lazard Frères Gestion, one of the world leaders in financial advisory and asset management. He goes on, with supporting figures: “On the stock market, by adding the dividends and the potential capital gain, the long-term performance expectation is now around 6% to 7%. "
2. Life insurance returns are eroding
The French love it: life insurance represents 1,700 billion euros in outstandings. However, its holders make a face. This month, life insurers will reveal the remuneration of funds in euros and the comparison with stocks promises to be painful. The remuneration of these risk-free products will fall further: it will be around 1% to 1.5%, at best, according to professionals.
3. Real estate remains stable, but slightly less secure
"The stone is a stable investment, preferred by the French," said Ludovic Arnaud, the president of Next Financial Partners, an investment consulting company. Investors will also be able to turn to civil real estate investment companies (SCPI), "but it is better to go through wealth management advisers, slips Ludovic Arnaud preaching for his parish, because the SCPIs of the big banks are not competitive" . Be careful, however, several real estate professionals warn against "a bubble effect" in Paris and Ile-de-France, "inexpensive money having artificially raised prices".
4. Simplified retirement savings
It does not represent than 230 billion euros in outstandings, against 400 billion euros for regulated passbooks (passbook A, sustainable development passbook), but the Minister for the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, wants to make it “a flagship product of savings of the French ”. A new retirement savings plan (PER) came into effect on October 1. Objective: to simplify the previous offers – individual Perp, Madelin (for the self-employed), or collective contracts subscribed by the company in the form of Perco and PER companies – whose complex rules could discourage. "Savers will benefit from improved remuneration for their savings thanks to appropriate management over the long term," said the Ministry of Economy. When retirement time arrives, the savings thus created can be used freely, for an annuity or capital outflow (split or all at once). An early release is also possible for the purchase of your main residence. Another advantage: the PER also allows you to lower your income tax. Voluntary payments are indeed deductible from taxable income within the limits of the ceilings in force (calculated each year, for each member of the tax household, from declared income).
5. Cryptocurrencies: beware, danger!
"This is a completely opaque market! ", Warns François Chaulet. Cryptocurrencies, "this is not an investment, but pure speculation", we warn at Lazard. To proscribe therefore!