The yield on private financial assets - Germany in an international comparison

In December 2015, we analyzed asset yields of households in several eurozone countries for the years 2010 to 2014. The results were, at least for German households, sobering: Together with Austria, they showed the lowest yields, clearly below 3%. Even countries such as Spain and Portugal, severely hit by the euro crisis, reached yields of around 5%. The reasons are obvious. The securities asset class (shares, bonds and investment funds) is the key to the return on assets: the scale of value gains determines the difference in returns. However, this asset class plays only a minor role in German portfolios. But thanks to the high volume of savings, German households still managed to achieve a satisfactory level of asset growth; at almost 4 % p.a. it was significantly above that in the euro crisis countries.

In the meantime, 2015 data on financial assets are available.[1] Therefore, we have updated our calculations in order to review last year’s results. However, we also changed the time period to the four years between 2012 and 2015. Why? In summer 2012, Mario Draghi held his famous “whatever it takes” speech to save the euro. Since then, the ECB has no longer been conducting monetary policy merely to stabilize the price level, but is also using its expanded tool box (OMT, PSPP, NDR etc.) to secure the survival of the euro itself. As a consequence, the impact of monetary policy on capital markets has intensified; the distortions in markets particularly for bonds, but also for shares have increased. In sum: The environment for savers has become even more challenging than in the years before.

[1] See Allianz Global Wealth Report 2016.

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