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Tutorial: Index-certificates

What are index certificates?

With an index certificate, you can directly benefit from the development of the underlying instrument. It allows you to diversify the risk, because you do not invest in one specific security, but in an index – such as for example the ATX. This way your investment is not influenced by the fluctuations in one security, but by the combined development of all the securities contained in the index.

The losses of one group of shares may be offset by the gains in another group in the index. Your overall risk is therefore lower if you hold an index certificate than if you hold specific shares. Index certificates may be issued on performance indices as well as on price indices.

How do index certificates work?

Index certificates are issued at a certain exchange ratio relative to the underlying instrument. Most often they are traded at 1:100 or 1:10 to the index. This means that if for example the ATX is at 3,700 points, one index certificate with an exchange ratio of 1:100 to the ATX costs EUR 37. By the way, index certificates are a cost-efficient form of investment in that they come with no load or management fee.

Your benefits

If you are convinced of future price rises of an index, index certificates are a price-efficient way of investing in the underlying instrument. The certificate reflects the price movements of the underlying index 1:1. Issuers basically charge no load or management fee on index certificates.

Your advantages

  • You benefit directly from the development of the underlying. This means that in the case of a rising market, your potential gains are not capped.
  • Index certificates are a cost-efficient form of investment.
  • They are an easy way for you to diversify the risk.

Details you should be aware of

  • Falling markets translate into losses for index certificates.
  • An index certificate can never outperform the underlying.

How do index certificates react to…

… rising markets?
Rising markets mean proportionately rising index certificates. If the ATX increases for example from 4,000 to 4,400 points, i.e. by 10%, the value of the index certificate will also rise by 10% from EUR 40 to 44 (in the case of an exchange ratio of 1:100).

… stable markets?
If the index does not move, the index certificate will not move either.

… falling markets?
Falling markets mean proportionately falling index certificates. If the ATX declines for example from 4,000 to 3,600 points, i.e. by 10%, the value of the index certificate will also decline by 10% from EUR 40 to 36.


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