Survey of private investors: Tax aspects play a subordinate role in investment decisions-safety and return take pride of place

Whereas current advertising campaigns make a big issue of the coming Abgeltungssteuer and the talk about 'asset transfers' abroad would suggest otherwise, tax aspects actually tend to play a subordinate role in the investment decisions of most Germans. By far the most important criterion for them is the safety of the investment. These are the findings of a representative survey carried out by TNS Infratest on behalf of DZ BANK AG.

A total of 1,030 holders of securities took part in the survey. Of these, fewer than one third said that tax aspects such as the Abgeltungssteuer, for example, are 'very important' for their investments. Thus none of the other six criteria presented in the survey is less relevant for the investors. Respondents with a higher level of education attach particularly little importance to the tax aspect: only twenty-three percent of respondents having completed high school or university say that it is 'very important' for their investment decision.

German investors tend to pay more attention to the safety and return of the investment product-and to whether it is simple and easy to understand. Eighty-two percent of those polled said the safety of the investment product is 'very important' or 'important' for them. Seventy-seven percent of the investors polled also place the return at the centre of their investment decision. An equally large percentage of the respondents also said that the products must be simple and easy to understand.

Moreover, the investment preferences of men and women differ fundamentally in only one point: safety. This is of prime importance for eighty-nine percent of women, but only for seventy-seven percent of the men. Both sexes uniformly view the tax relevance of the investment as less important.

'The findings of the study confirmed our own product development analyses,' said Peter Schirmbeck, the DZ BANK Head of Division responsible for the certificate brand AKZENT Invest. 'Investors rightly prefer an investment to be a combination of safety and a good return rather than a tax optimisation that may possibly only be effective for a short time.'

The products that meet investors' expectations include guarantee certificates. Twenty percent of those polled viewed these as 'more attractive than' and another twenty percent as 'just as attractive as' other forms of investment. One possible reason for this comparatively low percentage is that so far only fourteen percent of Germans view their familiarity with certificates as 'fairly good', while sixty-eight percent 'only know them by name' and seventeen percent not at all. Peter Schirmbeck explains this so: 'It is, therefore, important that we broaden the knowledge of certificates in the population: after all, they are a very attractive alternative to direct investments especially for the private investor.'

The first 'Investor Index' is slightly negative
As part of the survey, DZ BANK also asked how German private investors view the situation in the equity market and collated the findings in the 'Investor Index', a new sentiment indicator that is to be polled regularly from now on. Although the index is currently slightly negative, forty percent of those polled nevertheless assumed that the Deutsche Aktienindex (DAX) will rise in the next six months. Another twentyfive percent expected share prices to remain unchanged and only one quarter said they believed share prices would fall. The most bullish among those polled were those that own shares. Forty-seven percent of this group expected share prices to rise and only twenty-three percent thought they would fall. Certificate-holders, by contrast, were far more bearish. Only thirty-three percent of this group see share prices rising, while thirtyfive percent expect them to come down.

Responses to the question how the risk on the equity markets will develop within the next six months produced a similarly mixed picture. Here, too, the certificate-holders were the most cautious. Sixty-three percent of this group were of the opinion that the risks will increase. But 'only' fifty percent of all those polled were of this opinion, while thirty-seven percent assume the risks would remain unchanged and only eight percent expected the risks to decline.

The DZ BANK's Investor Index is based on the relationship between the respondents' expectations regarding market opportunities and risks. The index charted eighty-seven points and is thus in negative territory.
Investors would only assess the opportunities and risks in the equity market as being equal at a level of one hundred. But if the index rises above one hundred points, this would mean they see the opportunities as being greater than the risks.

Press release with charts (356 KB)



Dr. Ilja-Kristin Seewald, Head of Press Department, Internal Communication, Public Affairs DZ BANK AG
Tel.: +49 69 7447-42894

Sylke Grußendorf, Spokesperson DZ BANK AG
Telephone: +49 69 7447-2381