Stiftung Warentest is looking for the perfect investment for everyone

Stiftung Warentest is looking for the perfect investment for everyone News always well informed


Friday, 19.05.17, written by Cora Christine Döhn

The Experts of Stiftung Warentest present an “ETF Depot for Everyone” in the latest issue of Finanztest. The so-called slipper portfolio they have designed especially for savers who want to build up a cushion, but have neither time nor fancy a complicated investment. The risk savers have in their own hands.



ETFs sind eine Geldanlage für bequeme Sparer
In ETFs Stiftung Warentest sees the perfect investment for everyone

In the current issue of Finanztest (6/2017) Stiftung Warentest presents a self-developed investment concept that should be easy and understandable for every saver. The so-called slipper portfolio , the testers have created specifically for people who are so far reluctant to invest their money profitably, but do not want to give up completely on return. The ETF-based portfolio needs little maintenance, but still allows for profits. How much the investment spends is related to the risk that savers want to take. But how exactly should anyone interested in building such a portfolio proceed?

Slipper portfolio: How do I put together a good portfolio?

The slipper portfolio from Stiftung Warentest consists of at least two components: an ETF for the return and a security module – for example a savings account or another ETF from a secure bond fund . What percentage of their available money savers invest in the first and the second building block depends on their risk appetite or their security needs. Stiftung Warentest speaks of a secure investment, when a share of 25 percent flow into the ETF and 75 percent to the savings account or the pension ETF. Procedure savers vice versa, they take a higher risk in purchasing.

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The agony of choice: which is the best ETF?

In principle, an ETF is nothing more than an equity fund that contains various securities. The stocks included in these packages share a peculiarity: they are based on an index and rise and fall with it . Unlike individual stocks, savers do not bet on a company or industry , but bet on a package based on an index. However, there are over a thousand of these ETFs that investors will need to decide on. According to Stiftung Warentest, the MSCI World Index is clearly the best choice . This is because investors are focusing on the entire world market and not only taking into account the European (MSCI Europe) or German market (DAX). With the MSCI World Index, therefore, the greatest risk diversification is possible.

Save with ETFs: Time is money and heals all wounds

Who wants to build a financial cushion with ETFs for a big trip, as an emergency or for old age, should bring two things above all: a sum of money of about 10,000 euros and a lot of time . The financial test experts advise savers to bring at least ten years, in which they can do without the invested money. Because the biggest enemy of any investment is a sale at a bad time due to lack of money. As a rule, ETFs regain control after a period of loss. Therefore, investors should be able to bring a long breath and be able to sit out bad times without fear of financial worries.

Service: You can benefit from the stock market not only with ETFs. Real estate and other funds also enable high returns. Compare here which other investment options you have.

ETF: Saving with Irregular Income

The Stiftung Warentest emphasizes that not only people with a certain investment amount can invest their money in the slipper portfolio. Even savers who can put aside regular, small monthly payments benefit from ETFs in the form of a savings plan. This is very similar to the one-time investment. Because here also a portion of the money is to flow monthly into one ETF and the other portion is kept safe on a call money account or saved in a pension ETF. Depending on how much risk savers are prepared to take, they should spend more or less money in the ETF.

The positive thing about this form of savings: No one has to pay the rates regularly every month. The savings rates can be suspended for a desired time, without fear of consequences. This is good , for example, for mothers who are on parental leave or who have little money available in their first few years after the birth of a child. So they can save themselves a buffer, put aside money for the education of children or build a cushion for the retirement age.



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Ontiveros asks the central government to "move sheet" and ask for help for the ECB to intervene in the debt markets

Ontiveros asks the central government to "move sheet" and ask for help for the ECB to intervene in the debt markets

He believes that the Spanish economy will continue in recession next year and that the unemployment rate could reach 26 percent

The president of AFI, Analistas Financieros Internacionales, Emilio Ontiveros, has asked the Spanish authorities to "move the sheet" and ask for help for the European Central Bank to intervene in the public debt markets. "They must recognize, admit that we need that support, that financial assistance," he added.


Ontiveros has held these demonstrations in Bilbao where he has offered the conference "Economic and financial conditions for recovery", in the framework of the XIII Finance Forum organized by Elkargi.

The president of AFI has alluded to the "severe" economic situation in which the Spanish economy finds itself within a "diabolic loop" and has indicated that it will be possible to "abandon" this situation only if Europe receives "the necessary support".

In this regard, he said that "fortunately" a few weeks ago the European Central Bank released a program to support the public debt of Spain and Italy "fundamentally". In his opinion, this plan may involve the "opportunity to escape the vicious circle" in which the Spanish economy is located ".

Ontiveros has indicated that it is an "appropriate and necessary" decision by the ECB, because it involves a plan to reduce the risk premium on public bonds of economies such as Spain or Italy.

"It has done so by compromising interventions in the bond markets, direct ECB purchases in the short-term bond markets and, at the same time, the possibility that one of the two rescue funds that Europe has to buy long-term bonds" , has explained.

Ontiveros believes that this announcement may constitute the "beginning of the end" of the current stage of "financial instability". "It remains to be seen that it is the Spanish authorities that, once and for all, resolve this kind of doubt they have and ask for support so that in the public bond markets it is not priced, not only the more or less difficult situation of Spanish public finances, but perhaps worse, the risk of reversibility of the euro, "he added.


In his speech, he pointed out that he "does not quite understand" why the Spanish authorities have not requested "assistance" so that the European Central Bank and the Rescue Fund "intervene in the public debt markets".

Ontiveros has said that the European Central Bank's announcement that, if it is "requested", it is willing to buy debt in the secondary market, it has had a "dissuasive" effect on bond investors, but considers that this is not enough.

"It would be a mistake to trust that the bond markets will sleep peacefully simply with the announcement that the ECB would be willing to intervene in the bond markets, it is necessary to ask for it, even if this implies a certain stigma, but worse is the stigma to quote in the bond markets as we quoted until three or four weeks ago with 10-year interest rates that exceeded 7 percent, "he added.

Ontiveros, who believes that the Spanish bank rescue was necessary, has indicated that the fact that the Spanish treasury pays "high" interest rates means "delaying" the economic recovery.

The president of AFI considers that the "basic" condition for the recovery of the Spanish economy should be articulated in two areas, one of them, "strictly European". In particular, he assured that the European Central Bank and the European Commission must convince the international financial community that the euro is "irreversible" and that the risk of "fragmentation and rupture" of the single currency "does not exist".

Ontiveros has indicated that to eliminate this risk "we must intervene", but has specified that "to intervene, if the rules of the game are that countries request it, it must be done".

The head of AFI has acknowledged that this would entail "conditions" for Spain and, in particular, believes that it could entail three demands, one that of a greater budgetary adjustment, which, in his opinion, is "difficult" since the adjustment program carried out to date by the central government "is not inferior to what some of the intervened economies have done".

Other demands would be the "acceleration" of some reforms and the "intensive surveillance" that, in his opinion, is what affects the "sensitivity" of the governments to "have some men in black or gray" of the ECB, the IMF and of the European Commission that will be the ones that will supervise all the decisions "as if it were a State of exception". Ontiveros has indicated that, in reality, it is something that already happens in the financial system, after the rescue of Spanish banks.

In his opinion, the authorities must weigh whether this "loss of effective sovereignty" compensates against the "loss of well-being of the population". "I think it clearly compensates," he added.

Therefore, after stating that Spain has already lost "part of its sovereignty", has pointed out that Europe must "move record", but "the first thing that should move tab is the Spanish economy, is the Spanish Government."


On the other hand, he pointed out that in 2013 the recession in Spain will continue, the pace of growth will continue to contract and the unemployment rate will increase, even to reach 26 percent. In any case, has specified that, if Europe comes "some economic stimulus", the Spanish economy could begin to "grow something, to leave the recessive zone", but "well into 2013". Ontiveros has warned that it can not be expected that the Spanish economy will grow back to 3 or 3.5 percent.

In his opinion, the recovery of the Spanish economy will be "very difficult and very slow". "I am very much afraid that in 2013 the Spanish economy will continue to be immersed in a recession and without seeing the end of the rise in the unemployment rate," he added.

The president of AFI has indicated that, in any case, the "necessary" condition for the recovery is "to remove the threats of financial instability" and that is, in his opinion, "in the hands of the Spanish authorities". In his opinion, they should "leave aside stigmas and political prejudices and normalize the functioning of Spanish public finances".


Ontiveros has also indicated that Europe should not be limited to managing the debt crisis but should also "stimulate growth". He believes that policies based exclusively on a "poorly understood austerity" are not enough and considers that even in Germany it is beginning to admit that, along with these policies, one must begin to "provide economic stimulus".

In this regard, after stating that the US is doing "well" with stimulus policies, he added that this could facilitate "private deleveraging" and "credit normalization".

However, he assured that, being "realistic", although "the worst" may have already happened in the Spanish banking system, the sector will continue to "dose" the supply of credit because there are problems of "erosion" in the quality of assets. "Without economic growth, there is no improvement in delinquency," he added.

Ontiveros has insisted, therefore, on the need for stimulus because the "therapy" of Europe of "extreme" reduction of spending and investment and even the increase in taxes has "accentuated the recession" in the eurozone.

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Many teenagers have mobile phone debt due to SMS

Hannover (dpa) – Colorful pictures, ringtones, text messages and games – the mobile phone is much more than just a mobile phone for teenagers. It is a must as a toy as a status symbol – and quickly becomes a debt trap. Already twelve percent of the 13 to 24-year-olds in Germany are in debt, with an average of 1810 euros. The mobile phone is already in fourth place of the reasons for loans, after the car, going out and clothes. These are the findings of a study by the Munich Institute for Youth Research, in which 1228 young people were questioned about their debts nationwide.

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Picture: Money Picture: © matttilda / / Text: dpa

The money needed is borrowed mainly from the parents. These are also the ones who adhere to the teenagers for their “mobile phone”. “Young people under 18 years can only conclude a mobile phone contract with the consent of their parents,” says Claudia Kurzbuch of the Federal Working Community (BAG) debt counseling in Kassel. This is hardly reassuring given 2.8 million households in debt. The result: more and more people end up at a young age in debt counseling. “Six years ago, the young adult was an exception for us, today he is a familiar picture.”

The consumer goods industry is complicit with Kurzbuch: “It tries to address the target group of under-25s by all means.” With success: At the end of last year, according to a Cologne study, about 82 percent of 12 to 19-year-olds in Germany had a cell phone – and the number is rising. For telephoning and sending text messages (SMS) they spend according to the consumer center Baden -Würtemberg monthly about 72 million euros.

For the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, Margot Kässmann, the struggle of the kids to “belong to them” is the main reason for the development: “The advertising world tells them that their wishes must be satisfied in order to keep up. ” To keep up belongs the latest mobile phone with the funniest logo. But the picture of Garfield on the display or the current Madonna hit as a ringtone cost money. The purchase is usually made on an expensive 0190 number, the consumer will quickly pulled up to ten euros out of his pocket.

In the business with the extras there are many “black sheep”, says the spokesman of the network operator T-Mobile, Philipp Schindera. For his company, the costs are transparent and easily accessible. “Among the defaulting payers are also hardly young people.” He points out criticism of the marketing. “Although our advertising addresses a broad range of buyers, we do not target the adolescents”. As with all services, there is a great deal of enticement with cell phones and a certain degree of maturity for responsible use. “Similar to credit cards.”

In the prepaid card Schindera sees a good opportunity for parents to control the expenses of their pupils. On these cards – similar to the phone card – a fixed balance stored. Once it’s used up, the cell phone owner can no longer talk on the phone. The best chance for parents to control the use, says the spokeswoman of the mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, Eva Heller. “For security reasons, they often want their child to have a cell phone, so they stay in control.”

So that the debt trap mobile phone after reaching the age of majority not snap, the parents would have to be taken beyond prepaid in the obligation to be, demands the president of the German child protection association, Heinz Hilgers. “You must teach the children a responsible use of money.” That also means Claudia Kurzbuch of the debt counseling: “You can not just let children run into the market economy, you have to explain them.”




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Care of critically ill people is steadily improving

Care of critically ill people is steadily improving

Serious sufferers who have received cannabis to alleviate their pain so far only under conditions and at their own expense, will be relieved in the future. From March 2017, health insurance companies should pay for it. For DHPV this is a good step for palliative care. There, a lot has moved in the right direction, says managing director Benno Bolze. But there are still construction sites.
Versorgung von schwerkranken Menschen ist auf einem guten Weg
DHPV Managing Director Benno Bolze

On Friday, the Federal Council is expected to pave the way for a law that allows dried cannabis and cannabis extracts on prescription as a cash benefit in the future. For Minister of Health Gröhe (CDU), the law represents a further step in the improvement of palliative care. In this area, many measures have recently been adopted to strengthen the care of seriously ill patients. At the end of 2015, the Act to Improve Hospice and Palliative Care (HPG) came into force. But has the supply really improved? talked to Benno Bolze, the managing director of the German Hospice and Palliative Association (DHPV), about cannabis on prescription and about the HPG and followed up in which areas the palliative care in Germany would have to be improved .

In future, cannabis will be paid as a medicine by the health insurance companies. Federal Minister of Health Gröhe sees the law strengthening palliative care in Germany. How does the DHPV assess the innovation planned for March 2017?

Benno Bolze: It’s a good step in the right direction. Even before the regulation was changed, it was possible that cannabis was used as medicine. However, this was associated with hurdles. First, a prescription of the doctor was necessary. In addition, the patient needed a state permit and had to pay the remedy himself. With the amendment of the law, the requirements are significantly simplified , so that cannabis as a medicine is an accessible and therefore free option for the care of seriously ill patients.

For more than a year, the law has been working to improve hospice and palliative care, which aims to strengthen the care of critically ill people wherever they spend their final stages of life. In your opinion, has the law made a significant contribution to better people being accompanied?

Benno Bolze: The DHPV has made a major contribution to getting these legislative changes underway. They lead to a significant improvement in the care and support of seriously ill and dying people in Germany. The law provides the basis for the improvements. Further details are given by additional agreements. For example, we have already achieved very good results in the framework of the revision of the framework agreement for outpatient hospice services. There are already significant improvements in funding . These mean better structures for the outpatient services and thus an improvement in the care of those affected .

We are experiencing similar developments in the area of ​​inpatient hospice care, where we are still in talks. There, too, we are on a very good way.

Will the higher minimum subsidy for inpatient hospices, as agreed by law, be enough for the sick in care?

Benno Bolze: The higher minimum grant is part of the solution . However, we need precise regulations on the question of quality and performance in inpatient hospices , so that we have uniform standards nationwide in inpatient hospice care. So far, this has sometimes been implemented very differently in the individual federal states. At present, we still have individual countries where financing is not yet designed to ensure supply and support with a correspondingly high level of quality. However, improvements are also being made here through the HPG.


What is the minimum grant?

The health insurance companies pay a minimum amount per inpatient hospice and day to inpatient hospices. In the course of the HPG, this was raised from seven to nine percent of the so-called reference value in social insurance, so that the minimum subsidy in 2017 is 267.55 euros.

How can patients know how good a hospice is? Is there similar to the nursing home care notes?

Benno Bolze: Quality is a very important issue. For the people who come to us and are cared for in the inpatient hospices need a high degree of care, support and care at the end of their lives.

Years ago, there was the idea of ​​transferring the nursing fees given to nursing homes to the hospices. However, it quickly became apparent that these standards of quality measurement for inpatient hospices are only very limited, for example because there are other priorities in care. That’s why we are working on a new catalog for testing quality in inpatient hospices in the course of the HPG.

Irrespective of this, it remains the decision of the person who is admitted to inform himself in advance about the work in the inpatient hospice . What forms of support are there? How are the relatives cared for and accompanied? Anyone living in the hospice should always seek the interview with the hospice management if something did not go optimally. In addition, there is a hospice advocate to whom residents can turn.

In Germany there are more than 2,000 outpatient hospice services, inpatient hospices and palliative wards in hospitals. In your opinion, is this sufficient for the trustworthy accompaniment of seriously ill and dying people?

Benno Bolze: In Germany, we now have a dense supply network , for example through the teams of specialized outpatient palliative care and thus improved care at home. In view of that, it would be a mistake to say that we need a certain number of beds nationwide. Instead, one has to look at the situation on the ground to decide if and which form of care in the region will be further developed. For example, if there has been a stationary hospice on site for many years, a complementary team of specialized outpatient palliative care could be useful.


Cost of inpatient palliative care

95 percent of the costs for the care of seriously ill in inpatient hospices takes over the statutory health and long-term care fund. The remaining five percent raise hospices, among other things, from donations.

What steps still need to be taken to further improve palliative care in Germany?

Benno Bolze: We see room for improvement, especially for inpatient care facilities. Here an expansion of the supply is necessary . Nursing homes are always places where people have lived many years and sometimes want to be cared for and accompanied at the end of life. Here we also want to ensure that patients at the end of life do not have to be transferred from the nursing home to a hospital, but can stay in their usual environment, because the care in the home is accordingly well organized.

Thank you for the interview, Mr Bolze.


Many offers for single parents are unknown

Thursday, 17.11.16 , written by Cora Christine Döhn Single parents often find it particularly difficult to structure their everyday lives. The state, organizations and associations therefore offer a range of support options for them. While counseling services are widely used, one-parent families are not well aware of financial benefits, says Regine Schefels from the Berlin Advisory Council on Family Issues. >

Interview mit Regine Schefels

Regine Schefels, Head of the Berlin Advisory Board for Family Affairs

Many single-parent families have money worries as well as chronic lack of time. Because especially when the children are small, many single parents can not pursue full-time employment. It is all the more important for them that they know about any financial relief from the state . But that’s not the case, says Regine Schefels from the Berlin Advisory Council on Family Issues. Many single parents know cafés with child care and counseling services for the social situation. However, many financial benefits are unknown to them . Regina Schefels explains how this can change in the interview.

There are numerous support options for single parents. Which offers are particularly used and needed?

Regine Schefels: We can only talk about single parents in Berlin. Here parents know most of our offers very well. One-parent families, for example, visit activities in family centers and receive advice from various providers, such as the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers (VAMV) or SHIA eV Many parents mainly use the counseling services on the social situation . In the area of ​​psychosocial support , we also see a great need. In addition to these offers, there are networking opportunities, such as informal meetings, excursions or open cafés with childcare. In Berlin, such events are always well attended.

At the moment, we are very curious about how much the demand for flexible child care for single parents in Berlin is in demand. A model project has recently started in Berlin.

What about the financial benefits? Do single-parent families make as much use of it as the support they provide?

Regine Schefels: We find that many single parents are not adequately informed about specific benefit entitlements. This opinion is shared by the self-help initiative Single Mothers SHIA eV: They find that single parents are not informed comprehensively enough about what they are entitled to. Often, single parents are advised to make an application for specific benefits without knowing exactly what they are promised. We thus get the impression that single parents, whether it comes to a consultation in the job center, the youth welfare office or elsewhere, are not well informed about their claims for benefits .

That should change in our opinion. For this, more personnel would be needed in the first place. In addition, staff should be specially trained and provided for the needs and circumstances of lone parenting.

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What support is missing for single mothers and fathers?

Regine Schefels: One-parent families who are single parents over a long period of time and work at the same time are relieved of supportive offers. Especially the women who work in precarious areas or work in shifts usually have little financial leeway. In their mid-30s or early 40s they are often “exhausted” and face burn-out. For this group, it would also be necessary to provide childcare services for health prevention as well. Then they could socialize and have time for themselves again.

The extended advance on maintenance is expected to provide financial relief to single parents who do not receive maintenance from the other parent from 2017 onwards. How could this change affect the daily lives of single parents?

Regine Schefels: The extension of the advance on child support primarily means more financial security for single parents. With a “secure” advance on maintenance, you have more money available for a longer period of time. Previously, single parents were always under pressure, “what do I do when the performance is eliminated.” Fortunately, this concern is now falling from her shoulders.

Thank you for the interview, Mrs. Schefels.