News Stiftung Warentest shows eco fund in the test the red card
Thursday, 17.10.13 , written by Bernd Lauberg 57 closed eco-funds was examined by Stiftung Warentest in the current test (Finanztest 11/2013). In detail, only ten funds were examined, many flew out of the investigation because of KO criteria. None of the tested eco-funds is recommendable from the perspective of Stiftung Warentest. On the contrary: Almost all are deficient. >
Beware of eco funds currently warns Stiftung Warentest
In fact, closed eco-funds are a great way for green investors to spend their money “green”. But Stiftung Warentest advises now in the current test of the financial test from. Because “none of the audited funds can recommend the Finanztest experts in good conscience,” is the sad judgment of the consumer organization. Too much risk, beautified forecasts, too tightly calculated reserves: “The test result is an indictment” for closed eco-funds. After all, two funds have received from the Stiftung Warentest the rating “sufficient”, the remaining eight are simply “Poor”.
Ecofund test by Stiftung Warentest: far too great risks for investors
Investors can invest in eco funds usually with an investment starting from 10,000 euros up plus an additional five percent for the acquisition costs. In return, the funds offer returns of between five and ten percent and a secure investment. Because the state-guaranteed feed-in tariffs for the electricity should make the plant safe. But the fund can become a risk if the providers of solar and wind farms, biogas and hydropower plants do not plan the costs and yields well. For example, Stiftung Warentest has sorted out the closed eco-funds, for which more than ten percent of future investments have yet to be determined.
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Almost all tested closed eco funds are deficient
Only ten funds meet the conditions set by the consumer organization to even be included in the test and were still offered on the company’s website as of September 2, 2013. Nine of them finance themselves with more than 60 percent debt. This is risky from the perspective of Stiftung Warentest. Because investors must then repay the bank loans with money from the fund, “if the business is going bad.” The more fund providers fund their investments with debt, the riskier it can be for the investor.
Stiftung Warentest critically examines eco-funds
Stiftung Warentest has tested the funds for the returns and the costs, the forecasting risk as well as the control and the contract. The lower the one-time costs and the running costs, the better for the consumer. It is equally good if the provider provides “sufficient liquidity reserves at different times”. Should unforeseen events occur, the consumer’s investment is not immediately at stake. The consumer organization also assesses the situation positively if an auditor has confirmed the prospectus information for the fund offer as plausible and correct.
Two eco-fund “test winners” determined by financial test
The “best” closed eco funds “CFB funds 180 – solar Germany portfolio V” (Commerz Real Fund) and “LHI Solar Germany VII Georgsdorf & Prenzlau” (LHI Leasing) have in the test of Stiftung Warentest with “sufficient” cut off. The consumer organization advises only wealthy investors to closed eco-funds, as these, despite some collateral hold a high risk. Therefore, they should not invest more than five percent of their assets. As “a good chance to earn money with wind, solar or biogas plants,” Finanztest sees public participation in the vicinity of the place of residence. Because investors are familiar with each other and the goals of the project can be planned together. Consumers should in any case put their environmental funds through their paces and not rely blindly on the high promise of returns.
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- Bernd Lauberg
- editorial staff
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