Aion Bank leads the way to more transparency in investment fees
In July, the National Bank of Belgium reported 291.9 billion euros in regulated savings accounts, once again confirming that we are indeed a nation of savers. Unfortunately, this pile of cash isn’t doing much for Belgians, due to an inflation of around 0.90%, savers’ deposits are losing value every year.
Belgians are therefore looking for ways to make their money work for them. With low interest rates, today's ETF (exchange-traded fund) investments are an interesting alternative to potentially get a better return. ETFs are investment funds that normally closely track the performance of a financial index. They are traded like shares and hold assets such as shares, commodities or bonds. ETFs typically have higher daily liquidity and lower cost than mutual fund shares, making them attractive for investors.
However, there are a lot of differences on the market, and promised returns don’t always lead to real returns. Equally, as experienced investors know, commissions and fees could cost you most of your profits, especially when you consider the compound effect for long term investments. That is why Aion Bank is launching its investment fee calculator: to bring transparency to the market and show investors how much they are paying to banks and investment managers. Based on a risk profile, the invested amount, and the period of investment, one can easily see what his or her profit would be. Furthermore, the calculator makes it possible to compare the fees charged for different investment options.
“Transparency is key at Aion Bank. That’s why we found it important to introduce an investment fee tool, so consumers can see how much these charges are eating into their returns. We do not charge our Premium Members these typical management fees for our ETF product, so investors can get more out of their money”, adds Van Esbroeck.
A simulation example: with an ETF investment portfolio of €10,000 at Aion Bank, you can make an extra 2.37% over the period of one year compared to a mixed mutual fund with the same gross returns simply by avoiding annual investment fees. That’s €237 extra in earnings that would have been wasted on unnecessary fees at other banks .
How to start?
When starting ETF investments, Aion Bank Premium Members fill in an investment questionnaire (approved by the FSMA and based on behavioral economics) to define their profile as an investor (conservative, moderate or dynamic). The investment profile is based on the surveyor's financial experience, basic knowledge of investment instruments, financial situation, investment horizon and risk appetite.
Currently, Aion offers ETFs from well-known funds like BlackRock and Vanguard in two portfolio categories: Global ETF, focusing on global economy, and Progressive ETF, analyzing and focusing on technology, healthcare and clean energy.
In addition to ETFs, Aion Bank’s all-inclusive approach to banking includes a complete package of daily banking products, multi-currency accounts, currency exchanges at interbanking exchange rates, international transfers, superior interest rates on savings accounts, competitive rates for loans, personalized financial advice, and a combination of smart tools to help members save on household bills, all for a fixed monthly fee of 19 euros.
“ETF asset management is one of the benefits Premium Members receive as part of their Aion Bank membership. Each member can receive a recommended portfolio tailored to their personal risk profile, and thus offer a valid option for every possible type of investor. What’s more, you don’t need great capital to start: investment can start from as little as 100 EUR,” declares Kim Van Esbroeck, Country Head at Aion Bank Belgium.