Robo-Advisor Growney in the test - experiences 2020

The robo-advisor growney was founded by Gerald Klein in 2014 and has been active on the German market as a financial investment broker since 2016. The Berlin-Wedding-based company relies on a passive investment strategy* with regular rebalancing. The provider's five different portfolios are ETF-based and build on stocks and bonds. Commodities and real estate are not included in growney's portfolios. The associated account and custody account is held at Sutor Bank. Due to the passive investment approach, the costs are low. Further advantages are the flexibility of the investment goals as well as the possibility to invest even small amounts without a minimum deposit. But: How does the provider fare in comparison to the established competition? What has been my experience with Growney?

* Related: Read more about the superiority of passive investment strategies here

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At a glance – The Growney quick check

  • Investment with passive risk management
  • High return after fees of 7.65 % p. a. (when investing in the Grow100 portfolio)
  • Comparatively cheap service fee between 0.39 % and 0.99 % p. a. (depending on investment volume)
  • 5 investment strategies with different levels of risk
  • Automatic and regular rebalancing of your portfolio
  • No minimum deposit, custody fees or hidden fees
  • Savings plans from as little as 1 euro
  • Clear online platform, support available via phone, email and live chat

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The provider also has an attractive special offer running: promotion for new and existing customers: Until February 15th, 2018 you will receive a bonus of up to €500 with a deposit of at least €10,000

Promotion for new and existing customers: By February 15, 2018 you will receive a bonus of up to €10,000 if you deposit at least €10,000 500 €

The amount of the bonus depends on the date up to 15.02. invested volume. There is the following scale:

  • from €10,000: €50 loyalty bonus
  • from €25,000: €100 loyalty bonus
  • from €50,000: €150 loyalty bonus
  • from €100,000: €250 loyalty bonus
  • from €200,000: €500 loyalty bonus

The growney review

Five ETF portfolios for different risk classes

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Rocket launch for your facility| Image source: Pixabay.com, User: geralt, Pixabay License

The robo-advisor growney offers investors five ETF portfolios. The portfolios are called grow20, grow30, grow50, grow70 and grow100. The number indicates the proportion of stocks in the portfolio. The grow20 portfolio consists of 20 % equities and 80 % bonds, while the grow100 portfolio consists entirely of equities. Because stocks grow faster than bonds over long periods of time, portfolios with a higher proportion of stocks have higher expected returns. These higher returns come at the cost of higher volatility (fluctuation). This means that these portfolios fluctuate more in value and are therefore mainly suitable for a long-term investment strategy. The more defensive ETF portfolios grow20 and grow30, on the other hand, are more suitable for medium- and short-term investments. The grow20 portfolio with 20 % shares and 80 % bonds is a comparatively defensive investment, with which a return of around 2.57 % returns can be expected. In contrast, the grow100 portfolio is waiting with an expected return of 7.65 % p. a. on.

Du möchtest mehr über den Anlageprozess bei Growney wissen: Hier ist das Investment Whitepaper mit wissenswerten Hintergrundinfos verlinkt

ETF selection at growney based on defined criteria

The ETF selection at growney is based on the following four specified criteria:

Yield (tracking difference)

An ETF selected by growney should generate the returns of the index shown as precisely as possible. In practice, the ETF is usually below the index due to its costs (TER = total expense ratio) and other influencing factors.

Image accuracy (tracking error):

Growney prefers ETFs with as little tracking error as possible. This has the advantage that the development of the ETF price is reflected exactly on a daily basis. For example, if the index rises 0.21 % in one day, the ETF should also rise 0.21 % and not just 0.19 %. Growney takes tracking error into account when making selections and prefers ETFs that have the smallest possible tracking error.

issuer quality

All ETFs that growney selects comply with the UCITS directive. This directive protects investors through numerous measures. For example, the UCITS Directive stipulates that the investor's assets are held in an ETF as separate assets, so that they are fully protected even if an ETF provider goes bankrupt. Other criteria that growney takes into account is the investment amount that is managed by a provider, how long the provider has been active as an ETF provider and the quality of the collateral if it is a swap ETF.

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The costs of Growney - overview of the conditions of the robo-advisor

Geld-Gebühren-Kosten
Growney: Simple and Cheap Cost Structure | Image Source: Pixabay.com User: Pettycon CCO Creative Commons License

Growney offers an easy to understand and affordable cost structure. There are only two fees:

  • The service fee Growney receives for its service. This is made up as follows:
    • Depot value under €10,000: 0.99 % p. a.
    • Depot value from €10,000 to less than €50,000: 0.69 % p. a.
    • Deposit value from €50,000: 0.39 % p. a.

TIP TIP*: If a fee limit is exceeded, the entire assets are calculated with the lower fee. So it's always worth getting just above the level.

In addition to growney's service fee, the fund companies of the respective ETFs charge fees for the launch of the ETF. These are between 0.17 % pa and 0.27 % pa, i.e. well below the average fees of active funds, which are in the order of around 1.5 % to 2 % pa.

In summary, the costs at growney are between 0.56 % pa and 1.26 % pa

There are no other costs such as transaction costs. This makes growney one of the cheapest providers on the market, especially for amounts over EUR 50,000.

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Test it risk-free – investing without a minimum deposit

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By eliminating the minimum deposit, the Robo Advisor is particularly useful for people who want to try out the Robo Advisor concept without great financial risk. For this purpose, a small amount of just a few euros can be invested in a portfolio and you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the software. Furthermore, low contributions help to cope better with possible losses, or learn to deal with the fact that the stock market does not always go up, but that short-term slumps are always part of it.

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Global diversification

The five investment strategies offered by growney are globally diversified. With ETFs, up to 2,400 individual stocks from up to 45 countries are passively mapped.

Automatic rebalancing

Due to the different development of the positions on the stock exchange, regular rebalancing is essential. This ensures that positions that have risen more sharply are not overweighted than positions that have risen or fallen more slowly. Thanks to the rebalancing, the portfolio always fits the provider's initially selected risk class. You don't have to worry about anything. This process is carried out for you by growney.

Deposit insurance at Growney

Light-bulb
Image source: Pixabay.com, User: Collin00b, Pixabay License

The Robo Advisor is approved as a financial investment broker according to §34f GewO and does not have a banking license. However, Growney does not manage the depot himself. This is the responsibility of SutorBank, with which Growney works. As a German private bank, Sutor Bank is subject to strict regulations and belongs to the deposit protection fund of German banks. In the event of bankruptcy, this fund steps in very quickly and reimburses investors for any losses. Furthermore, Sutor Bank is subject to supervision by BaFin.

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Experiences with growney - what do others say about the robo advisor?

Below is a brief summary of other reviews of the robo advisor:

  • The portal Investment-Digital rated growney with 4.1 out of 5 stars. The decisive factor was the uncomplicated investment process and the inclusion of tax aspects.
  • The portal German FX Broker particularly emphasizes the simple and transparent cost structure and the clearly understandable risk management.
  • financial tip gives growney a 3.5 out of 5 in the robo-advisor check. This puts the robo advisor in third place. Liked here:
    No minimum investment, also for savings plans, the targeted customer survey and the balanced investment strategy across developed markets and emerging countries
To the Growney Depot

Conclusion Growney field report: Inexpensive robo advisor without minimum investment

The provider convinces with a very simple cost structure that is also located at the lower end compared to other providers. Growney makes it through features like Invest without a minimum deposit successfully differentiated from other providers. As a result, the provider is primarily aimed at undecided people who want to take their first steps in the lucrative stock market business without great risk. Even with large amounts of more than 50,000 euros, growney convinces with a low cost burden, so that the investor can benefit more from rising prices.

Investors do not need to have prior knowledge or to monitor the portfolio themselves. On the contrary: If you still want to continue your education, you can find it on the website a well-structured FAQ area.

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Alternative to growney

Another successful robo-advisor with a similar philosophy to growney is VisualVest. This provider was also able to convince with low costs, ease of use, high yields and functioning risk management.

Read more about here Robo Advisor Visual Vest

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