Stiftung Warentest is developing the “101” savings plan for everyone
There is great uncertainty among many people. Is it even still worth it in the present low-interest phase to save money and keep it aside? Would it not be better if you spend it all for as long as it is still worth something? Yet, it would also be nice not having to struggle with money problems when you’re old or if you were able to finance a stay abroad or university studies for your own children.
Stiftung Warentest believes saving continues to be worthwhile and it has developed the so-called “101” savings plan for all consumers. It has this name because it is also easy to handle for laypeople as well as convenient and suitable for anyone. A monthly instalment of EUR 50 is already enough to save up a small fortune over a period of 10 to 15 years – and notably at a higher yield than a mixed fund or savings book. Calculating the “101” savings plan back over the past 15 years, an investor would have earned EUR 57,000 by now with a monthly instalment of EUR 200. Mixed funds would have yielded only EUR 43,000 in contrast and interest savings plans just EUR 40,000.
For the “101” savings plan, Stiftung Warentest relies on ETFs (Exchange Trusted Funds) that reflect a stocks index. The “101” is filled with a mix of worldwide distributing stock and bond funds. The stocks funds raise your yield opportunity and the bond funds ensure stability in the securities account. Depending on whether you rather aim at security or a higher yield, your monthly instalment will be split differently over the two funds. Stiftung Warentest recommends stock funds in the global index MSCI World for the ETF savings plan. The pension fund should best be run on euro government bonds.
And this is how it was tested: Stiftung Warentest compared the conditions for ETF savings plans of 18 issuers in a table to an offer of at least 20 ETF savings plans. Here, the annual costs for the savings plan model and the securities account with monthly instalments of EUR 50, 200 and 500 were calculated.
The result shows that a comparison of costs and conditions of different issuers is worth it for the saver. Foremost direct banks are attractive, which can often boast affordable securities account costs. But here, too, be careful! The saver pays EUR 150 per year at the most expensive issuer. At flatex, with monthly instalments of EUR 200 and 500 you pay just EUR 10.80 per year for a savings plan model and securities account, which is managed by flatex as the most affordable broker in these categories. But flatex not only scores with very affordable prices, it also provides the largest offer among direct banks for the saver with nearly 500 ETF savings plans. Stiftung Warentest has only praising words for the “discount broker flatex with a huge selection of savings plans and charges just 0.90 cent for every model, regardless of the savings instalment amount. Especially with high savings instalments, the annual costs of EUR 10.80 are a true bargain.” 
Stiftung Warentest therefore recommends the following to investors: “The lower the costs of a savings plan the higher the yield in the end. Searching for an affordable bank directly pays of for the ETF saver.” 
  Source: Stiftung Warentest, “Finanztest”, issue of 06/2016 “ETF savings plans.
Making a small fortune from monthly instalments”