cheering fans

  • Although daunting at first, investing in public markets is one of the best ways to grow long-term wealth. 
  • David Bailin, the global head of investments at Citi Private Bank, which serves clients with accounts of at least $25 million, says the younger you start, the better.  
  • In a recent interview with Business Insider, he discussed the best practices on learning where and with whom to invest.

Many young people with steady incomes invariably consider some type of investing to grow their money. 

It’s complicated and daunting, but one of the best ways to grow wealth over a long period of time. 

Today, David Bailin travels the world advising people who have at least $25 million in investable assets on how to grow their wealth. As global head of investments at Citi Private Bank, he certainly had some useful tips for his 25-year old daughter when answering a question similar to the one Business Insider posed in a recent interview.

“You want to become a professional investor now,” Bailin said he told his daughter. 

He’s not referring to an official certification. Rather, it’s about learning the best practices of where you should put you money and with whom you should invest. 

“If you are not a global investor, you are crazy because our market is 52% of the world’s market capitalization,” Bailin said. “It is absolutely guaranteed to change.”

China is one part of the world that Citi Private Bank believes its ultra-high-net-worth clients are underinvested in. The country’s innovation in tech, expanding middle class with money to spend, and increasingly well-run state-owned industries are among the reasons why they’re optimistic about the country’s markets.  

With regards to who to invest in, Bailin leans towards active managers who pick their funds’ stocks, versus products like exchange-traded funds that bundle various stocks together or track an index. The problem with some ETFs, he said, is that although they can be bought cheaper, their performance doesn’t necessarily match the underlying securities they’re tracking. This difference, called a tracking error, can take a bite out of returns. 

He also said young investors should be careful about relying on the advice of retail brokerages, because the better advice does not involve lots of trading (which pays the brokerages in fees) and is not as US-centric.

He added, however, that fintech has created access to some of the cheapest and most convenient ways to trade the markets. “That’s 80% of the way there,” Bailin said. “100% of the way there would be to have a global portfolio and be able to pick the funds. So I told her ‘you should steal the info we provide to ultra-wealthy families and do it.”‘

DON’T MISS: Citi scrutinized the investment accounts of thousands of its super-rich clients, and the findings reveal crucial lessons for every investor

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