Some company is trying to sell me financial products where there are 3 funds:

Apologies that it's in German. Rough translations:

  • Left one: This fund secures the selected guarantee.
  • Center one: This fund catches daily capital market fluctuations and secures the selected guarantee together with the "Deckungsstock" (left fund).
  • Right one: This fund offers chances for yield.

The product is of Die Stuttgarter and the company that's trying to sell me the product is Horbach.

I'm a university student in Germany, I work a bit (I make more than I need), have no debt, and around 40 000 Eur on my checking account (thus far I focused on making it through my studies and making some money, not on actually keeping my money; I realize I keep losing money to inflation and want to stop that; I realize I'm stupid for not having thought about the financial part of my finance earlier).

One of the products is for government-subsidized pension (Rürup-Rente), the other one is for private pension, and their idea is that I put equally much into both. But both documents they sent me look virtually identical. I guess the difference is only the government stuff.

I can see that I should have some setup that involves a company to get those government subsidies. But I don't really see an advantage in having a retirement plan that involves that model. I don't think it'd be smart to use the left one (I can decide how much is put into the left one) because whatever is in there seems to be at 0% interest (so actually negative, thanks to inflation). I might as well have that amount on my checking account, as far as I can tell. Whatever the center one does sounds like it cannot work. The right one seems like just buying an index fund.

They guarantee that I will get at least 10% of the money I give to them. But accounting for inflation, that's probably more like 5%. So I don't see how that would be of any significance.

Furthermore, they insist I pay the same amount of money each month. Each year, I can choose whether or not I want to pay 5% more that year (compared to the year before). This doesn't seem to line up with my situation. I have money now that I want to invest all at once.

Is there any advantage to being a customer of such a company or should I just go buy some index fund shares? I can just buy some index fund shares and sell them at any time in case I need some money, right?

  • 2
    Why do Horbach claim this ghastly looking (to me) contraption is better than an index fund?
    – timday
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 22:45
  • 1
    The question Rürup vs. Riester (gov.-subsidized pensions) is non-trivial, and for both you often pay high fees. If you would like to start investing for your pension then I'd recommend to consult a financial advisor ("Honorarberater"). They charge you by the hour instead of selling you products "for free" (while ripping you off and charging high brokerage fees).
    – cruppstahl
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 6:02
  • @timday They say that I can have up to 22 766 EUr annually exempt from tax (88% of it in the beginning, then rising to 100% by 2 percentage points annually). So the idea is that I get part of the money back.
    – UTF-8
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 19:55
  • The three buckets represent low-risk/reward, medium-risk/reward and high-risk/reward investments. Not necessarily the worst diversification strategy.
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


I can just buy some index fund shares and sell them at any time in case I need some money, right?

If this is your investment goal, pension products (regardless of whether they are private or subsidised) don't suit you. Pension products like Riester or Rürup (and other products insurance companies can sell you) should be held until you go into retirement. They will increase your pension then.

At the beginning of your post, you describe that you have 40k on a checking account and would like to invest it.
If this money is for consuming and not for pension then invest it with varying time frames: day-to-day money, 1-5 years fixed-term deposits and securities. Securities can be stocks or bonds and can easily be diversified when buying ETFs. These securities should normally be held longer than 5 years. And always anticipate a total loss of these: So this money is for investing but may not be essential for your survival.


IMHO, Stiftung Warentest has most of the information you are looking for. From Statutory pension to best rate Rürup-Rente (that actually means for self-employed people), including advice on pitfalls and traps. For example, people are criticising Riesterrente , but the conclusion is mixed.

The 10% payout is rather pathetic because it is paid only when you reach the pensioned age. Currently, the money market (Zinsmarkt) is paying 1.1% interest for 60 months deposit, so it is not difficult for the product safely cumulate enough money and pay 10% when you reach 68.

Buying index funds shares is a good idea, but it is not suitable for emergency cash out. Because a market sentimental may put you into a bad position when you need that money. You may want to reserve some money and put them into Zinsmarkt than all in for the index share /ETF. Otherwise, you may be considered taking advantages of Germany current low-interest rates to borrow money from banks that give the lowest interest loan than selling the shares.

  • You're saying that it's for self-employed people. But I can still get it as a regular employee? I'm a student employee (Werkstudent) right now and want to be a regular employee later on. The reason I don't want Riesterrente is that you can't have it paid out to you if you live in a different country. (That's what they told me. But I since have googled and found out that you actually can get it while living anywhere in Shengen after someone took the issue to court.) I don't know where I will live in the future and don't want to pay tons of money into something I might not be able to use.
    – UTF-8
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 20:04
  • You can check out the term, incentive and eligibility of Riester ;-) de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riester-Rente IMHO, it is a safety net scheme.
    – mootmoot
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 8:50
  • Wikipedia sais you have to pay all tax advantages and subsidies back if you don't have to pay income tax in Germany anymore. This definitely kills it for me. Or did you mean to link to the article or Rürup-Rente?
    – UTF-8
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 9:17
  • @UTF-8 I mean, you should consider Riester-rente as tools inside your financial toolbox. For example, you can join the complicated Wohn-Riester(2008) as plan B, then invest the money saved into index. verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/geld-versicherungen/…
    – mootmoot
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 9:57

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