Friday, July 11, 2014





Profile: Maria Schoenberg of Germany dumps stocks


October 06. 2013 1:37AM
Associated Press



Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


(AP) To understand why people are so cautious with their money five years after the financial crisis, The Associated Press interviewed consumers around the world. Here is what one person said:


Name: Maria Schoenberg


Home: Frankfurt, Germany


Age: 45


Maria Schoenberg is financially secure but remains as frugal and cautious as ever.


Her husband is a rheumatologist; she's a freelance copywriter. They've done well enough that she can limit her hours and spend time with their 11-year-old daughter. Schoenberg contributes to private pension plans to supplement her government pension. Tuition at most state universities in Germany is virtually free, so they don't have to worry about socking money away for their daughter's education.


Yet Schoenberg chooses to stuff her extra cash in the bank, shuns all but the safest investments and is too scared to borrow.


"A penny saved is a penny earned," she says. "That's my life motto right now."


When the Schoenbergs moved closer to their daughter's school recently, they decided to rent again rather than borrow to buy because they thought taking on debt would be dangerous. And forget about stocks. "The market is going to be like the climate it's going to climb and then crash," she says.


Schoenberg didn't always think that way. In 2006, she inherited some money and decided to put it into stocks, only to watch their values plummet in the financial crisis.


She's been selling ever since. After Germany's DAX index surged in December, she recalls saying to herself, "I'm done with this." She dumped the last of her holdings.


Schoenberg prefers certificates of deposits at banks now, though she's earning less than the rate of inflation. She has bought CDs with maturities of three, six and 12 months, at roughly 1 percent. Inflation in Germany is running about 2 percent a year.


"I know I'm losing money, but I'm adding to it," she says. With CDs, "I have everything under my control, and I'm going to keep it under my control."


Schoenberg's views on money have also been shaped by how she was raised. Her father, who was born in 1915 and died in 1995, compared stocks to "roulette." He said they were only for "rich people."


"My father was Generation Depression. He was always very cautious when it came to investing," she says. "We've always been cultured this way."


Her losses in the financial crisis have only added to her fears and distrust of the financial services industry.


"I don't trust anybody with my money anymore," she says.


Associated Press


Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds