The global economy has been in turmoil over the past few years, which has also impacted peoples' day-to-day lives in Finland.  According to a recent survey by OP Uusimaa, people are especially worried right now about inflation, rising costs of living and their personal finances.

Despite the gloomy economic outlook, the customers of OP Uusimaa have continued to put money into long-term savings. Statistics show that the sums saved monthly have decreased only slightly. On the other hand, the current economy may have made many people rethink the importance of saving money.

"Even with the economy in turmoil, we have gained new customers for our saving and investment services. Uncertainty for the future may have opened people's eyes to the importance of saving and investing," says Eevi Määttä, Senior Vice President, Personal Wealth Building at OP Uusimaa.

Building wealth is possible even during unstable economic times. Määttä sees saving as a long-term enterprise, in which there are no shortcuts to wealth. That's why the best time to start building wealth through saving and investing is here and now.

"The first step is to decide what your goals are, make a plan for building wealth and get started. The amount saved can be small or large depending on your situation," says Määttä.

According to Markus Malviniemi, Senior Vice President, OP Private, the possibilities for building wealth are more extensive right now than previously. The main reasons for this are the more attractive yields from fixed income investments.

"For quite a while, the yield from fixed income investments was close to zero, but they are now a viable option again. Fixed income investments enable saving through investing also for more cautious investors who are not yet ready to enter the stock market," says Malviniemi.

The three time spans of wealth building

The best time to start is now, but how does wealth building work in practice?

According to Eevi Määttä, the smartest way to begin saving or investing is to save a buffer that can be turned into cash easily in case of unexpected situations or expenses.

"Some people keep their savings buffer invested in funds, for example, while others prefer bank savings. Savings in a bank account are available for use immediately. Money invested in funds can usually be withdrawn the next day.

"Many people start out by investing monthly in a mutual fund or ETF. This way, money is put away in savings almost without the person realising," says Määttä.

Another way to get started with saving a buffer is by micro-saving small sums at a time. OP's Money Box is a great tool for building a buffer through micro-saving. Each card purchase builds up the savings almost unnoticed.

It's also a good idea to plan your saving and investing in the medium and long term. Medium-term goals can include a holiday trip or buying a first home. In the long term, people typically save for retirement or for their loved ones such as children or grandchildren.

"For those wishing to actively make investment decisions, I recommend investing in a mutual fund or ETF. Alongside this, it's also possible to open an equity savings account for investments in individual stocks. We offer information and tips by OP's analysts to help you trade in stocks," says Määttä.

For those looking for professional investment advice, OP's specialists are always available for an appointment. The consultation can be done over the phone, online or in person at a bank branch.

Personal investment advice

Markus Malviniemi says that saving and investing are basically the same thing over a different time scale. Whereas saving is done with small sums over time, investors think about how to grow their existing wealth.

"When investing, we need to look more closely at how the assets are used.  That's where a professional investor can offer support and advice," says Malviniemi.

OP offers help in building a personalised, long-term wealth management plan based on the customer's circumstances and goals. Wealth management clients receive professional help in maintaining and building their wealth.

"Wealth management allows you to prepare for the future and think about the long-term goals of your wealth. We want to make things as easy and straightforward as possible," says Malviniemi.

Wealth management clients are designated a personal asset manager with whom they can discuss financial goals and wishes confidentially. Personal advice by a professional allows us to build an investment solution that meets the client's needs.

In most cases, the greatest benefit is that the professional investor can offer insight into different asset classes and products that the client can invest in.

"OP is a large financial institution that offers a wide range of banking, insurance, legal and housing services for its wealth management clients. In addition to investing, we help our clients get the most out of all services offered by OP," says Markus Malviniemi.

More information on Wealth Managemnet at OP Uusimaa.