The Foundation's assets, amounting to about 3.9 billion euros, are invested as profitable and sustainable as possible. The Foundation is economically independent and autonomous in its decision-making. Apart from financing the Foundation’s ongoing operations, the investments of the Foundation capital pursue above all two objectives: The first one is to secure funding for research on a continuous basis, while the second is to maintain the real value of the Foundation’s capital.

The capital is invested in accordance with the principles of the portfolio theory: the more broadly the individual risks and thus also the chances are spread through the choice of the kind of investment, the better secured is the overall success.

When investing on the stock market, the Foundation is also following the main principles of portfolio theory. Here too, the objective is to spread the risks and opportunities on a broad basis in order to achieve a steady increase in value.

Almost 50 per cent of the Foundation’s assets are nominal values and can thus be categorized as interest-bearing securities. The traditionally rather high share of nominal values ensures a regular income that can be planned and is generally associated with low risk. That is especially important for the provision of funds which are to be financed exclusively from ordinary income. Furthermore, this approach avoids significant price fluctuations and depreciation.

The diversification principle is also applied to the property sector. Just like shares, real estate investments are supposed to protect the investment against inflation risks. At the same time, the income from rents is a major component for earning current income and making funds available for research.

Over and above the indispensable audit of the annual accounts by an auditing company, an Investment Advisory Committee made up of high-ranking representatives from German business and academia advises the Foundation on its investment strategy and on assessing the results achieved.