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Germans Amass Record Amount of Wealth

Germans amassed almost €4 billion in savings last year -- the highest level in history. Private households in Germany stashed away 5 percent more cash in 2003 than in the previous year, the Association of German Banks (BDB) reported on Friday in Berlin. Germans keep more than a third of their money as ready cash, or converted into savings or short term investment funds. Around 25 percent of their savings is wrapped up in life insurance policies and old age pension schemes. Private investment in the stock market notched up 1 percent last year to 6 percent, though Germans remain relatively cautious about buying stocks. In 1999, Germans invested 13 percent of their savings in the stock market, but this figure crashed to just 5 percent in 2002.