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Talk – Is there an investment mentality?

Felix Niederer
Guest: Oliver Herren, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer at Digitec Galaxus

Find out from Oliver Herren, co-founder of Digitec Galaxus, how his investment mentality views the journey as the destination. From investing time, to deferring rewards, to cultural influences.

A life as an entrepreneur

Felix: My guest in today's Coffee Talk is Oliver Herr, co-founder of the largest online department store in Switzerland and co-founder of True Wealth. Oliver, you've been an entrepreneur all your life. What do you invest in as an entrepreneur?

Oliver: The incentive for me was to do something that I enjoy. I found out that I enjoy the journey the most, seeing the journey as a goal and continuously optimizing it. An investment mentality means constantly keeping at it, improving and creating a compound interest effect in your skills.

Investment of time and attitude

Felix: As an entrepreneur, do you only invest money?

Oliver: Above all, you invest time, your own time. You invest in your skills, continuously optimize them and thus develop a compound interest effect. The difference between you and others who don't invest becomes greater and greater over time.

Oliver: Above all, investing your own time and effort in your own skills. It's about seeing the journey as a goal and constantly improving. An investment mentality is different from a consumer mentality, where you spend money and seek short-term pleasure.

Reward deferral and joie de vivre

Felix: Are we caught between consumption and procrastination, i.e. investing?

Oliver: It's a matter of attitude. It's more fun to learn than to consume. Happiness lies in the process, not in achieving the goal. You should set yourself good, challenging goals that make the journey worthwhile.

Felix: What about reward deferral?

Oliver: Reward deferral is not only relevant for money, but a general principle of life. Learning and investing in yourself brings long-term pleasure as opposed to the short-term pleasure of consumption.

Books, habits and perseverance

Felix: You mentioned books. Which books have particularly influenced you?

Oliver: «Atomic Habits» showed me how small habits pave the way to success. A similar book that I haven't read yet but find interesting is «Mindset». The selection of books and continuous reading are part of my investment mentality.

Felix: How important is perseverance in the investment mindset?

Oliver: Perseverance is crucial. It takes time to find out whether an idea is successful. Difficult phases are part of it, but they are part of the journey, not necessarily a constant up and down.

Financial education for the next generation

Felix: At True Wealth, we have introduced children's portfolios. How do you teach your children the investment mentality?

Oliver: The important thing is to keep at it. Learning new things can be exhausting, but it's more fun than short-term consumption. Children should learn that challenges and continuous learning are part of life.

Enjoyment, joie de vivre and cultural differences

Felix: Is there room for enjoyment and joie de vivre in the investment mentality?

Oliver: Enjoyment and joie de vivre are present in the flow state, when you are absorbed in an activity. This can be achieved in various areas, be it in sport, making music or even at work.

Felix: Cultural differences play a role. How do you see that?

Oliver: The cultural difference comes from religion. The Protestant work ethic is more prevalent in German-speaking Switzerland, whereas in French-speaking Switzerland and towards Italy, Catholic influences are more noticeable. The definition of enjoyment and joie de vivre may vary, but the state of flow is universally enjoyable.

Teamwork, challenges and enjoyment at work

Felix: As a successful entrepreneur, you have to get up again and again. How do you deal with challenges?

Oliver: We have been lucky that it has worked out quite well. Teamwork, shared flow and the joy of work are crucial. The non-monetary gratification of making progress together brings immense joy.

Felix: Finally, how do you see the connection between an investment mentality and enjoyment?

Oliver: The state of flow, whether alone or in a team, brings the greatest joy. It's about constantly improving, looking for challenges and being absorbed in the process. This is investment mentality at its best.

Felix: Thank you very much for this exciting conversation, Oliver. I look forward to the next time.

Disclaimer: We have taken great care with the content of this article. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude the possibility of errors. The validity of the content is limited to the time of publication.

About the author

Felix Niederer

Founder and CEO of True Wealth. After graduating from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) as a physicist, Felix first spent several years in Swiss industry and then four years with a major reinsurance company in portfolio management and risk modeling.


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