Spanish households never saved as much as they did during the confinement decreed by the coronavirus pandemic, to such an extent that their savings rate in the second quarter of last year rose more than 14 points, reaching the historical maximum of 24.4% of disposable income, according to the INE. The result of an unprecedented 24% contraction in consumer spending in the same period, this cushion thinned in the third quarter, dropping to 15.1%, after economic activity and mobility recovered. Even so, it could be used to constitute capital to be rescued in the future, when an unforeseen event arrives and a need has to be faced or when carrying out a planned project. “Possibly, this is a good year to opt for different product ranges and differentiate between short, medium and long-term savings objectives,” says Antonio Gallardo, financial expert at the bank comparator iAhorro.
While it is true that Bank deposits They offer very little profitability, if not zero, it is no less true that they can be very useful tools to rescue money quickly in case of need. “Its main advantage at the moment is to be able to withdraw the money often without penalties or, at most, waiving the interest generated, so the capital is always kept,” explains Gallardo.
This savings product adapts to any type of profile, according to this expert, although the conservative saver will prefer it, that is, the one who can only assume very low or non-existent risk. In this case, however, it will be better to avoid putting all the savings in deposits. “Having an excessive position would lose profitability opportunities in other products”, warns Gallardo.
Some entities do not even market this product for very short terms, so this expert suggests comparing the options that banks in the European Union sometimes offer, covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund of the country to which they belong. “It will be necessary to find out about the situation of each entity and verify that they are really banks and not other types of companies that are not covered with that guarantee”, advises Gallardo.
Savings insurance. Many of these products (individual systematic savings plans, unit linked, insurance pension plans, life annuity insurance and individual long-term savings insurance) allow you to build capital with small periodic contributions (for example, 50 euros per month), which That gives them a lot of flexibility, and make other bigger contributions. Despite being low, according to current interest rates, their remuneration is somewhat higher than what can be obtained with deposits.
“It is not a deposit and it is not protected by the Guarantee Fund, but the savings insurance is marketed by solvent insurers, so it is a highly secure and conservative product,” Gallardo emphasizes. The potential user will have to look for a highly profitable product, but also focus on commissions and partial redemption conditions in the short term. “There are products that do not allow you to withdraw the money in the first months or do so only partially, penalizing the early redemption,” warns this expert.
SIALP and CIALP (Savings Plans 5). They are savings products whose benefits are not taxed, as long as they are not redeemed in the first five years. They have had very little success so far, but their interest is heightened by the reduction in tax relief for other products such as PIAS or Individual Pension Plans.
The biggest advantage is its flexibility. “They allow the constitution of a capital that can be withdrawn even before the term has elapsed (although in this way it will have to be taxed for the profit generated) and, in the case of having chosen the product in the form of insurance (SIALP), the redemption is not mandatory after five years, which allows the accumulation of larger capital ”, explains Gallardo. Its main limitation is that the maximum contribution is 5,000 euros per month.
“It is a conservative product, but it focuses on those who have money to spare in the short term and who think about building capital with some objective, not only retirement but any other, such as the acquisition of a home,” says Gallardo. Therefore, the user must determine exactly what they are looking for. If this savings is useful for retirement, this expert suggests a SIALP, the most used form of marketing.
‘Robo advisors’. They are automated investment platforms, which work through algorithms. They are managed entirely online, according to the principles of passive management, which foresee the construction of a portfolio of securities that replicates the behavior of a certain reference index, without the intention of exceeding it at any time.
For Gallardo, “it is a cheaper way to invest in funds, in a year in which it is committed to economic recovery.” Although many fit the profile of each, the robo advisors They do not stop investing in equities, so it is a product that carries a certain level of risk. For this reason, Gallardo’s advice is “not to deposit in him all the capital that we have and assume that it is a long-term investment, so we will not use the money that we will need for other purposes.”
And be careful with the risk profiles, because there are robo advisors they only offer three. On the contrary, “the more profiles the platform offers, the greater possibilities it has to adapt to investment preferences,” Gallardo highlights.
Occupational pension plans. If you are looking to save for retirement, this is the best instrument, according to Gallardo. The General State Budgets, recently approved, have increased the maximum deduction for personal income tax in contributions from the previous 8,000 euros to the current 10,000 euros. In general, they are also cheaper than individual pension plans.
In Gallardo’s opinion, “at the moment they are very limited, since few companies offer it and those that do are usually large, so the great challenge for 2021 will be to generalize them and see if the Government promotes them, also taking them to the self-employed ”.
As for the profiles for which they are indicated, “there are from the most conservative to the most aggressive, although they do not usually invest in assets that are too risky,” says this expert.