So savers seem to be well advised to stick to these clearly tax-privileged contracts with guaranteed interest rates of up to four percent and not to let the companies chase them away.

These include stocks and real estate. Two asset classes that are known to have not had the worst performance in recent years. Unfortunately, however, a suitable diversification in investing customer funds was neglected.

Customers have to unload this. In addition, when the reform package to stabilize life insurers comes into force, not only will the guaranteed interest rate be reduced bit by bit (currently 0.90 percent), but the participation in the assessment reserves has also been changed. In order to relieve life insurers in the current phase of low interest rates, the reserves from fixed-income investments do not have to be taken into account since the reform came into force. To the chagrin of savers, this can amount to a few thousand euros per contract. Low real interest rate At this point, the insurance companies reflexively refer to the comparatively high returns they have been able to generate for their customers over the past few decades.

But that’s relative. Investments in the secure fixed-income sector have already achieved an annual performance of around 5.5 percent over the past 40 years. By investing in such papers, the corporations were able to meet their obligations with little effort and earn a lot from the contracts. Apart from that, it should not be forgotten here that the real interest rate (the nominal interest rate in relation to inflation) is far less impressive than the 5 to 6 percent return one might expect. This is far too little for a long-term investment, which is usually also intended to serve as a retirement provision.

 The industry is responding to such reservations with new products. With these, the measly guaranteed interest is no longer even offered, but only the receipt of the paid-in capital. In return, the customer then has the chance that any surpluses achieved are invested in more profitable products, i.e. stocks, or higher surpluses are promised. Consumer advocates consider both variants to be a bad idea. Too expensive, too opaque, too little prospect of success, so the tenor. Burdens from old contracts So it is a good thing that guarantee promises from old contracts remain valid.

Even if this is above the average current interest rate of your own insurance company. So savers seem to be well advised to stick to these clearly tax-privileged contracts with guaranteed interest rates of up to four percent and not to let the companies chase them away. Because the high interest promises of past years are a burden on insurers.

Since termination is currently not possible, one or the other customer should be tempted to terminate himself. A dubious practice, but the industry is worried as individual insurers are trying to sell their old, high-interest policies. Here, old stocks including own funds and capital investments are transferred to a settlement company, which takes over all rights and obligations.

Consumer advocates see such efforts critically, as the consequences for customers are still fully foreseeable. But that this path is also difficult for companies, as shown by Ergo Versicherung, which has so far been left with its legacy issues, which does not exactly help calm the situation. And already insiders are warning of the collapse of the providers. Although there is the rescue company “Protektor” financed by the industry, their reserves are limited and should at best be sufficient to save small or medium-sized insurers. In the event of an impending crash, it would be more likely that the Federal Financial Services Agency (Bafin) reduce the insured sums and interest.

In other words, the guaranteed interest rate is not set in stone either. Which is by no means to be forecast at this point. And regardless of this, an isolated collapse of the insurance companies is hardly conceivable – because the financial system is far too interconnected. So banks would probably get more than just stumbled over it. And with the appropriate deposit insurance, in the event of a crisis it should look similarly meager as with “” Protektor “”. Experts advise against panic selling.

In principle, however, anyone who has doubts about the viability of life insurance policies should seek independent advice and then decide what to do with their contract, advises the Association of Insureds (BdV), for example. Current interest for the year 2018 Source: “Lung disease in China: travelers at Shanghai airport wear face masks. (Photo: REUTERS) A new disease puts China on the alert. Now a researcher is making it clear: The lung disease can also affect humans Experts fear that 1700 Chinese could be infected with the coronavirus. In Europe, no case is known. The new lung disease in China is spreading surprisingly quickly: The authorities spoke of over 200 infected people across the country, after only a few dozen patients had been mentioned.

According to the renowned Chinese expert Zhong Nanshan, the new pathogen is not only transmitted from animal to person, but also from person to person. The expert from the state health commission told the broadcaster CCTV that two patients in Guangdong had become infected with sick relatives without having visited Wuhan beforehand. In 2003, among other things, Zhong helped publicize the full extent of the Sars epidemic in China, while the World Health Organization (WHO) set up its emergency committee.

The experts should advise on Wednesday whether a health emergency should be declared. These independent experts also recommend actions that might need to be taken. In total, the Chinese authorities announced almost 140 new cases of the disease. According to the state television broadcaster CCTV, the novel pathogen has now been diagnosed in 218 patients in the People’s Republic.

Among them are 170 patients in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the lung disease first appeared in December. A third patient died there: the novel virus was detected in five patients in Beijing and one patient in Shanghai, and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong reported 15 cases. There is also evidence of people in Thailand, Japan and South Korea who were previously in Wuhan.

No cases of travelers introduced in Europe have been reported to date; according to the health authorities in Wuhan, the virus first appeared in December at a local fish and poultry market. So far, the authorities had always pointed out that there was still no evidence of human-to-human transmission. According to Zhong, 95 percent of the cases are related to Wuhan. The new virus belongs to the corona virus family, which also includes the deadly Sars pathogen. In 2002 and 2003, almost 350 people in mainland China and almost 300 others in Hong Kong died of the Sars epidemic. China’s head of state Xi Jinping also intervened in the debate for the first time.

The president has “” given important instructions to stop the spread of the epidemic with all his might, “” announced CCTV. Saving human lives has “” top priority “”. At the same time, Xi called on the authorities to “” publish information promptly and intensify international cooperation. “” The bad news of the spread of the virus came a few days before the Chinese New Year celebrations next weekend.

Every year around the festival, millions of Chinese are traveling by train, bus or plane in the country and across Asia, which potentially increases the risk even further. The London Center for the Analysis of Global Viral Diseases estimates that the actual number of infected people is already significantly higher than Beijing stated: It announced on Friday that more than 1,700 people were infected. According to the Federal Government, there is currently no acute danger for Germany. The Federal Ministry of Health referred to an assessment by the Robert Koch Institute, according to which the risk for Germany is “” very low “”. The outbreak of the disease was “” reason for special observations and analyzes “”.

The Foreign Office stated in its travel advice for China that the risk for German travelers in Wuhan was assessed as “” moderate “”. It called on travelers to avoid contact with sick people and animals, not to go to markets with animal products and “” to “” ensure adequate hand hygiene. If you have a fever and signs of a respiratory infection, you should see a doctor immediately. Italy has meanwhile introduced controls at the airport in Rome. Measures have been taken to check possible suspected cases on board planes from the city of Wuhan in Rome-Fiumicino, said the Ministry of Health in Rome.

The probability that the virus will be introduced into the European Union is “” low, but cannot be ruled out “”. A spokesman for the ministry said the controls would require the pilot to report to the plane whether there were passengers on board with symptoms, and a spokeswoman for Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt said there are currently no special measures. The airport is in contact with the health department and the other European and international airports, as uniform procedures should be applied. Source:, mau / AFP / dpa “The New Year celebrations in this country were a few weeks ago, but in China .. …. it really starts all over again.

January 2020 …… according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the year of the pig ends. One day later, …… so on January 25th, the new lunar year begins …… this is the year of the rat. The Chinese New Year celebrations do not only last one night, as in us, …… but two weeks and end with the Lantern Festival on 15.

Day. This year …… the preparations and the anticipation for the big festival …… will be affected by the coronavirus that has occurred in China, from which hundreds of people have already fallen ill and dozens have died. The almost explosive increase in travel activity New Year celebrations in China could accelerate the spread of the virus; that causes concern. Because the Chinese New Year – translated it means …… “” Spring Festival “” – is also the largest and most important …… family festival in China.

And so the huge empire gets in motion during the holidays and long before that: …… Since many Chinese no longer have their jobs where their family lives and often even work abroad, ….. . Every year at the New Year celebrations the largest regular migration movement – often referred to as the “largest annual migration of peoples in the world” “- many millions of Chinese travel to their families. Most Chinese take their entire annual vacation for the festival to be with their families as long as possible to be. (The Chinese only have five or ten vacation days a year, depending on the company they belong to.) There are also three official New Year holidays. And what will … the year of the rat bring? “” A year of new beginnings and great opportunities is ahead of us, but we have to be careful of turbulence on the financial markets. “” At least that’s what the traditional lunar calendar says Chinese before. The rat, which is rarely associated with positive traits in the West, has a much better reputation in China. People born in the year of the rat (around 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or 2008) are considered to be Intelligent, imaginative and versatile. There are twelve animal signs – rat, cattle / buffalo, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep / goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – that replace each other year after year at the New Year celebrations. The rat follows the pig in the Chinese zodiac and this year it is also associated with the element metal, a combination that only exists every 60 years. The twelve animals in the horoscope become the Elements wood, fire, metal, water and earth are assigned. So now begins the year of the metal rat. Chinese fortune tellers pay special attention to the rat year because with it a completely new cycle in the lunar calendar begins. Chinese astrologers emphasize that the beginning of the next twelve-year cycle … .. at the beginning of which there is the rat, a good time is to dare something new. Anyone who wants to change something in their career or is looking for new happiness in love has good prospects in the year of the rat. To famous rats according to the Chinese calendar belong to Katy Perry, ……

Ben Affleck, …… Scarlett Johansson and …… Prince Harry.

In his case, it should already be clear that there are many changes to come, and not everything will turn out well in 2020. Horoscopes also show a positive and a negative side in China. Investors should be especially careful, says Hong Kong Feng Shui master Raymond Lo, a well-known expert on the “” Theory of wind and water “” (here 2005) Finally, the last rat year of 2008 ended in a disaster for the stock markets. During the global financial crisis, prices plummeted. “” The pace of growth will slow down significantly, “” Lo draws a gloomy outlook for the global economy for the coming months. His colleague Ma Mingchao even speaks of the ” “Darkness before dawn” “. At least major natural disasters, such as those predicted in the year of the pig, are not to be expected. Ma Mingchao sees the danger that diseases will spread. Even Chinese who are not superstitious are involved This prediction is hard to hear, because the lung disease mentioned has been spreading in some regions since the beginning of December 2019.

So far, hundreds of people have contracted the coronavirus and dozen have died. Already … memories are awakening of the great Sars epidemic, which killed hundreds of people in China 17 years ago. The current development worries many Chinese. Like every year, the travel wave is huge, …… but there are more stringent controls and restrictions.

The metropolis of Wuhan, which is the starting point of the new corona virus, is practically under quarantine. In order to prevent the lung disease from spreading, the authorities have stopped air and rail traffic in the city and all bus and ferry connections there.