Investment strategies of Europeans – Who saves the best?


Rising inflation and low interest: the conditions for growing wealth are anything but favorable these days. In order to succeed anyway, you need the right strategy. And it is exactly in this area that Europeans have very different approaches — true to the saying "other countries, other customs" – with a tremendous effect on average yields.

In terms of asset creation, Germany's 2.8 % annual yields place it towards the bottom of the pack in Europe. This was the result of a study from the Allianz insurance group, which analyzed the development of European private assets over the past 15 years.1

The only country with lower yields is crisis-ravaged Greece (2.4 %). The example of the Federal Republic shows that saving in itself is not enough to create wealth effectively. It is essential where and how you invest your money. The majority of risk-averse Germans continue to save their money on savings accounts, current accounts, or money market accounts. While these investment forms offer a great level of safety, they barely generate interest and thus low yields. An average interest rate of 0.2 % paired with an inflation rate of 1.7 % even has a net result of a loss of wealth. A different long-term strategy is needed.   

Spaniards achieve 5.1 % yields

The situation in Spain is completely different. Here, just like in Germany, private assets grew by about 70% since 2003. And this even though the Spanish earn less on average and also put away a smaller share of their monthly net income. What the Spanish have over the Germans is a clever investment strategy. They were able to achieve average yields of 5.1 % in the last 15 years. One of the reasons for this is the openness of the Spanish to stock investments. They make up about 22 % of their portfolio – in Germany it is only about 7 %. Germans can mainly thank sacrifice for growing their assets. The Spanish, on the other hand, let their money work for them.

The perfect investment strategy

But what does the perfect investment strategy look like? Unfortunately there is no one simple answer to this question. It varies from person to person regarding how they want to split up and invest their capital. In addition to the amount of the capital, it also depends on personal wishes and goals and the risk-tolerance of a person. However, it is always recommended to diversify investments widely across different product classes and terms. In addition to money market and savings accounts, investors can also select from stocks, investment funds, ETFs, real estate (funds), and rare metals. Before making an investment decision, one should study the product in detail. It can never hurt consulting an expert – for instance from OVB. Using a competent consultant makes it easy to develop a customized strategy.

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