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Old 09.09.2013, 18:36
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Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

Hi, I'm looking to invest some money and am looking for a bank/broker that offers low fee equity investment funds, specifically index trackers for the big US and European markets (funds denominated in CHF would be a bonus). Does such a thing exist in Switzerland?

In the US I'd just open a Vanguard account but in Switzerland I can't find anything like that. Credit Suisse who I have my current account with charge an initial fee of 1.5-2.0% for all their funds and only offer actively managed funds with very high annual management charges. Swissquote who I also use have a choice of 1000s of funds but no low cost index trackers for the S&P etc.

I can't imagine I'm the first expat to run into this problem so hopefully somebody out there can give me an idea of where to look

Thanks!
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Old 09.09.2013, 19:08
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Hi, I'm looking to invest some money and am looking for a bank/broker that offers low fee equity investment funds, specifically index trackers for the big US and European markets (funds denominated in CHF would be a bonus). Does such a thing exist in Switzerland?

In the US I'd just open a Vanguard account but in Switzerland I can't find anything like that. Credit Suisse who I have my current account with charge an initial fee of 1.5-2.0% for all their funds and only offer actively managed funds with very high annual management charges. Swissquote who I also use have a choice of 1000s of funds but no low cost index trackers for the S&P etc.

I can't imagine I'm the first expat to run into this problem so hopefully somebody out there can give me an idea of where to look

Thanks!
Just buy a US product economy of scale
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Old 09.09.2013, 19:44
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Just buy a US product economy of scale
I would but I don't have a US address which makes that more difficult. I also don't know if that would make doing my taxes more complicated (I'm not a US citizen but have worked there)
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Old 09.09.2013, 22:16
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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I would but I don't have a US address which makes that more difficult. I also don't know if that would make doing my taxes more complicated (I'm not a US citizen but have worked there)
Have a us broker account , dead easy.
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Old 09.09.2013, 22:53
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

Swiss Post Finance is easy to use, on-line & in English but probably not the cheapest; probably cheaper than CS. :-) :-)
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:29
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Swiss Post Finance is easy to use, on-line & in English but probably not the cheapest; probably cheaper than CS. :-) :-)
It's way more expensive than trading with Schwab for example, costs higher both selling & buying plus some Swiss stamp duty.....Plus dividends taxed at source 30% rather than 15%. Nothing to like even if cheaper than CS!
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Old 09.09.2013, 20:17
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

"1000s of funds but no low cost index trackers for the S&P etc."

umm, not trying to sound like a dick but have you not heard of SPY? if all you want is to track S&P, SPY is the etf that is almost 10% of S&P to the penny. just buy the shares in swissquote and be done with it. no management fees, only the commission to buy and sell. Holding a US stock won't affect your taxes any more than holding VW shares. You already have a swissquote account, just click on "north America" in the left side panel, then select "ETF's". The second one from the top is "SPDR S&P 500 ETF" (AKA: SPY)

hit "trade it" enter how many at what price and you now own SPY.
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Old 09.09.2013, 20:27
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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In the US I'd just open a Vanguard account but in Switzerland I can't find anything like that.
As a very happy Vanguard investor in the States I understand where you come from!

I have never invested in Switzerland, but Googling for vanguard etf switzerland led me to their Exchange Traded Funds page. I assume that these funds can be bought through the cheapest online brokerage.

To repeat, I know nothing about investing in Switzerland, but hope that the link may help you get started.
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Old 17.11.2019, 11:19
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

Dear Steve - I recommand you: Don't buy funds! Buy shares directly! Only shares, you like and trust them. It's much cheeper than funds.



Best regards Alain



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Hi, I'm looking to invest some money and am looking for a bank/broker that offers low fee equity investment funds, specifically index trackers for the big US and European markets (funds denominated in CHF would be a bonus). Does such a thing exist in Switzerland?

In the US I'd just open a Vanguard account but in Switzerland I can't find anything like that. Credit Suisse who I have my current account with charge an initial fee of 1.5-2.0% for all their funds and only offer actively managed funds with very high annual management charges. Swissquote who I also use have a choice of 1000s of funds but no low cost index trackers for the S&P etc.

I can't imagine I'm the first expat to run into this problem so hopefully somebody out there can give me an idea of where to look

Thanks!
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Old 17.11.2019, 11:23
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Dear Steve - I recommand you: Don't buy funds! Buy shares directly! Only shares, you like and trust them. It's much cheeper than funds.
The OP asked a specific question on how to buy index funds, not single shares.
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Old 17.11.2019, 15:42
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

I know and I understood steve's question very well. But I recommand to EVERYBODY: Don't buy funds! The reason is: Only a few Fundmanger have the vote for the firms inside the fund. Million of people pay - more or less - to give them the power. Unbelievable...



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The OP asked a specific question on how to buy index funds, not single shares.
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Old 17.11.2019, 15:44
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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I know and I understood steve's question very well. But I recommand to EVERYBODY: Don't buy funds! The reason is: Only a few Fundmanger have the vote for the firms inside the fund. Million of people pay - more or less - to give them the power. Unbelievable...
And for some people who are not that knowledgeable or do not have the time, funds can be a good solution.
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Old 17.11.2019, 16:25
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

It s up to you: I will never give money to a fundmanager or a third person. (just in case, i'm a ex-banker)
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Old 17.11.2019, 21:01
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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I know and I understood steve's question very well. But I recommand to EVERYBODY: Don't buy funds! The reason is: Only a few Fundmanger have the vote for the firms inside the fund. Million of people pay - more or less - to give them the power. Unbelievable...
So your argument in support of stock picking is basically just being to vote at shareholder meetings?


This is a very weak argument for an individual investor. Unless you have millions invested and control a non-neglible portion of the company your vote basically doesn't matter anyway.


Like it or not passive indexing is here to stay and grow, you will be always outnumbered by big index funds and active managers commanding billions of dollars.
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Old 18.11.2019, 22:29
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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This is a very weak argument for an individual investor. Unless you have millions invested and control a non-neglible portion of the company your vote basically doesn't matter anyway.
You're saying (shareholder) democracy is overrated, maybe even useless. I'm not saying you're wrong but a good many people are virtually guaranteed to strongly disagree.
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Old 17.11.2019, 18:33
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Dear Steve - I recommand you: Don't buy funds! Buy shares directly! Only shares, you like and trust them. It's much cheeper than funds.



Best regards Alain

Dear Alain,

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when you start handing it out to others as advice. Very few people have the basic skills required to do a good job in stock picking, most people don't have a problem identifying good stock, but make very bad buy and selling decisions. Telling random individual not to buy funds, buy shares instead is about the same as telling them to shoot themselves in the left foot rather than the right foot, they still end up with a sore foot... People will loose just as much money, if not more by taking your so called advice.

You have your own agenda based on you posting history and that is fine up to the point where you start giving it out as advice.
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Old 17.11.2019, 18:59
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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Dear Alain,

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when you start handing it out to others as advice. Very few people have the basic skills required to do a good job in stock picking, most people don't have a problem identifying good stock, but make very bad buy and selling decisions. Telling random individual not to buy funds, buy shares instead is about the same as telling them to shoot themselves in the left foot rather than the right foot, they still end up with a sore foot... People will loose just as much money, if not more by taking your so called advice.

You have your own agenda based on you posting history and that is fine up to the point where you start giving it out as advice.
No command to your meaning of my knowledge.

I said my meaning of funds, tell yours.
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Old 17.11.2019, 19:11
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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No command to your meaning of my knowledge.

I said my meaning of funds, tell yours.
This is not a tit for tat game. People disagree with you and have a right to their opinion. So have you.

Still, I think it can be a dangerous route you are proposing.

And what area of banking did you work in then? What banks?
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Old 17.11.2019, 20:14
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

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No command to your meaning of my knowledge.

I said my meaning of funds, tell yours.
You have not come out with any knowledge other that stating funds are bad, shares are good, it's sound bites not advice.
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Old 18.11.2019, 08:59
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Re: Low cost Investment Funds in Switzerland

If one has the know-how to replicate stock indexes using individual stocks, then that is certainly the cheaper option over the long-term because you knock out fund TERs. However, this requires either a fairly large amount of initial capital or a broker with no minimum fees per trade. Otherwise brokerage fees will kill your chances of returns.

For smaller investors, low-cost ETFs provide a way to buy into a broad portfolio (i.e. and entire index) for just one brokerage fee.

For average Janes/Joe's without much investment know-how or capital, I would venture to say that even paying yet one more fee for an affordable fund savings plan or robo advisor with a broad portfolio of ETFs would end up being the better investment over stock picking.

I agree with Alain that stock picking is the ideal option, but only for investors with know-how and enough capital to create the necessary portfolios. Anyone else is more likely to lose money on stock picking, in my humble opinion.

Voting rights are an issue BUT the fact is that most shares are held in street name, so you don't get the voting rights anyway. You can have your broker appoint you as proxy for AGMs, but you can't vote. That is true for many Swiss brokers as well. Registered shares are obviously the ideal, but you pay much higher brokerage fees for these.

As mentioned by others, IB is an affordable solution for buying US funds. If you prefer keeping your assets in Switzerland or buy into Swiss ETFs or index funds, Consider Swissquote (reasonable brokerage fees) or Cornertrader (no custody fees).
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