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  #21  
Old 16.02.2021, 09:57
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

Convert to bitcoin. Of course, you main gain or lose 10% or more in the seconds it takes to convert to and from.

When I needed to convert large sums, I used a foreign exchange company. It was all very quick and easy (know your customer notwithstanding!) and saved me thousands.
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Old 16.02.2021, 17:26
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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Can be used to fill up your gas tank.
coop pronto only I think. But yes, I use them for those.


I'd avoid any bank converting anything, you get horrible deals.
I would get it transfered to an USD account in your name, and then convert through transferwise or IB. IB probably being the safer option.

I would not trust revolut with such an amount of money (support is sketchy if they block your account because of suspicious activity) and their fees grow with large amounts anyway, I think people tend to use transferwise for this stuff because it ends up being cheaper.
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  #23  
Old 16.02.2021, 17:44
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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coop pronto only I think. But yes, I use them for those.
Also BP and AVIA.
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  #24  
Old 16.02.2021, 17:48
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

Never knew they could be used at Coop Pronto. Only BP and Avia stations as far as I know.
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  #25  
Old 17.02.2021, 14:48
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

Follow-up, I visited my bank as well as UBS. To answer some questions from above:

First off, the US bank who will pay out the inheritance via wire-transfer will only do so to a Swiss bank that also has US operations, so my local Switzerland-only bank can't be used (this was in the fine print). My bank also does not accept checks.

So I walked down the street to UBS who has US operations (who I consider the lesser of two evils as compared to CS).

- Yes, they accept US bank checks in dollars. They charge 60 CHFs per check, and give a worse exchange as compared to wire transfer (for today, 0.865 CHFs per dollar vs. 0.8953). That's 363 CHFs lost on a 10K USD exchange, or 3090 CHFs lost for a 100K exchange. It's tempting because it's the least amount of hassle.

- For wire transfer, if I ask the US bank to convert to Swiss Francs and wire it to a UBS account, they will probably give a terrible exchange rate. I need to find out what it is, but I am sure it won't be attractive. UBS, on the other hand, will accept US dollars wired into a UBS dollar account, but once it's in there, conversion into CHFs will be at the current "wired" exchange rate, plus they deduct 2% as a fee! Ouch.

So now I am investigating international money transfer specialist companies who can accept dollars coming in with no charge, and then convert into CHFs at a better rate and wire it directly into my CHF account. One already got back to me, and it sounds good, but the T&Cs are rather long and confusing (torfx.com.

Will report back later how that is going.
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  #26  
Old 17.02.2021, 17:28
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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Follow-up, I visited my bank as well as UBS. To answer some questions from above:

First off, the US bank who will pay out the inheritance via wire-transfer will only do so to a Swiss bank that also has US operations, so my local Switzerland-only bank can't be used (this was in the fine print). My bank also does not accept checks.

So I walked down the street to UBS who has US operations (who I consider the lesser of two evils as compared to CS).

- Yes, they accept US bank checks in dollars. They charge 60 CHFs per check, and give a worse exchange as compared to wire transfer (for today, 0.865 CHFs per dollar vs. 0.8953). That's 363 CHFs lost on a 10K USD exchange, or 3090 CHFs lost for a 100K exchange. It's tempting because it's the least amount of hassle.

- For wire transfer, if I ask the US bank to convert to Swiss Francs and wire it to a UBS account, they will probably give a terrible exchange rate. I need to find out what it is, but I am sure it won't be attractive. UBS, on the other hand, will accept US dollars wired into a UBS dollar account, but once it's in there, conversion into CHFs will be at the current "wired" exchange rate, plus they deduct 2% as a fee! Ouch.

So now I am investigating international money transfer specialist companies who can accept dollars coming in with no charge, and then convert into CHFs at a better rate and wire it directly into my CHF account. One already got back to me, and it sounds good, but the T&Cs are rather long and confusing (torfx.com.

Will report back later how that is going.
I had a USD account with Post Finance, UBS & BCV, receive the wire transfer then transfer via currency fair when you want. It's terribly easy, do not let either bank exchange the money.
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  #27  
Old 17.02.2021, 19:21
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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I had a USD account with Post Finance, UBS & BCV, receive the wire transfer then transfer via currency fair when you want. It's terribly easy, do not let either bank exchange the money.
Even better. Just don't exchange the money (or exchange as little as possible).

Invest it in USD.
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  #28  
Old 17.02.2021, 19:55
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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Even better. Just don't exchange the money (or exchange as little as possible).

Invest it in USD.

I've been around long enough to have witnessed the USD dollar lose half of its value against the Swiss Franc. I have lost a lot of money in US dollar based investments that increased in value in dollars, but in the end lost on the exchange rate. This trend seems only to go in one direction over the long run, so I am very hesitant to repeat that mistake.
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  #29  
Old 17.02.2021, 22:12
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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I've been around long enough to have witnessed the USD dollar lose half of its value against the Swiss Franc. I have lost a lot of money in US dollar based investments that increased in value in dollars, but in the end lost on the exchange rate. This trend seems only to go in one direction over the long run, so I am very hesitant to repeat that mistake.
Okay, but have you priced what the Swiss banks are going to charge you each quarter so that you can invest the money on this side? It works out to hundreds of franks per quarter and although the account is ‘managed’ they don’t do the work that I would associate with earning those kind of fees. Be careful of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. And if you are planning to keep it in cash, inflation, low as it is, is still higher than the horribly low interest rates on offer.

Long term, investing in the US stock market is one of the safest growth-based investments out there. The first key is to diversify; with 6 figures of capital and for the same price that the Swiss banks charge, you could find a quality investment advisor in the US to actively manage the money for you. (PM me if you would like a recommendation.) Alternatively, you can choose an index fund without management fees (depending on your time horizon/goals, maybe you would also want to include other investment classes as well). The second is to invest the money with a long-term outlook (more than a couple of years). If you back up such that you are looking on a time horizon of >5 years rather than <1 year, the overall market trajectory is consistently in favor of growth, even if there are shorter periods of downturn within that. The last key is to not follow’ the daily/weekly/monthly ups and downs such that you become emotionally worked up about every up- or down-swing and want to change your portfolio. If you can separate your emotions from your decisions (e.g. by adhering to a strategy), and you are already a US Person for tax purposes, then on a long-term basis you will do much better by investing in the US than here, regardless of the USD to CHF Forex rate.
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  #30  
Old 18.02.2021, 00:14
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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I've been around long enough to have witnessed the USD dollar lose half of its value against the Swiss Franc. I have lost a lot of money in US dollar based investments that increased in value in dollars, but in the end lost on the exchange rate. This trend seems only to go in one direction over the long run, so I am very hesitant to repeat that mistake.
It doesn't matter what currency your investment is held in.

E.g. if you buy msci world and it goes up 10% in US dollars, and the franc appreciates 5% against their dollar, the performance of msci world in CHF will be 5%.

What does give you currency exposure is the market the company you've invested in sells to. For instance Nestle has minimal CHF exposure despite being a Swiss company with shares denominated in CHF as it sells to most of the world and their percentage of sales in Switzerland will be low.

Because Switzerland is a small country with its exchange dominated by a few huge multinationals the Swiss index comes with a big foreign currency exposure.

Apologies if you already understand this, but a lot of people don't and I'd rather risk patronise you than risk losing the opportunity of saving you hundreds-thousands of CHF in pointless commission.

Obviously if you are going to hold the CHF in cash that's different, but if you are exchanging to invest that's highly likely to be a poor decision.

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 18.02.2021 at 00:37.
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  #31  
Old 18.02.2021, 10:48
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

2% of Nestle profits come from Switzerland, they make more in India. If the CHF rises the profits in CHF will drop. This is a danger for Swiss based investors & irrelevant to every other investor in Nestle
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  #32  
Old 18.02.2021, 16:13
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

I can count the number of years I have until retirement on one hand. I don't have the appetite or the investment horizon to invest in funds again. I also don't need the psychological stress of watching fund prices go up and down, while simultaneously keeping an eye on exchange rates, all the time losing 1-3% management fees to the banks (that is all they care about).

My main takeaway about what the value of having money is is this: you don't have to think about it. Investing in funds or stocks or ETFs achieves the exact opposite of that goal. You think about it all the time.
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  #33  
Old 18.02.2021, 16:19
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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I can count the number of years I have until retirement on one hand. I don't have the appetite or the investment horizon to invest in funds again. I also don't need the psychological stress of watching fund prices go up and down, while simultaneously keeping an eye on exchange rates, all the time losing 1-3% management fees to the banks (that is all they care about).

My main takeaway about what the value of having money is is this: you don't have to think about it. Investing in funds or stocks or ETFs achieves the exact opposite of that goal. You think about it all the time.
I suspect you will live for 30 years, you should have an investment horizon slightly longer as 1 in 10 people live to 100!

Buy S&P 500 & don't bother looking at it, would be a reasonable way forward with fees of less than 0.1%. I mainly invest in Fundsmith & Smithson, higher fees but better results since inception. Generally traders underperform the index as they look & trade too much.
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  #34  
Old 18.02.2021, 16:20
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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I can count the number of years I have until retirement on one hand. I don't have the appetite or the investment horizon to invest in funds again. I also don't need the psychological stress of watching fund prices go up and down, while simultaneously keeping an eye on exchange rates, all the time losing 1-3% management fees to the banks (that is all they care about).

My main takeaway about what the value of having money is is this: you don't have to think about it. Investing in funds or stocks or ETFs achieves the exact opposite of that goal. You think about it all the time.
Fair enough - in that case my advice does not apply!
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  #35  
Old 18.02.2021, 16:26
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

An interesting takeaway from my meeting with UBS about how to transfer large amounts of dollars from the US to Switzerland.

UBS recommendation: open up a US Dollar account with us, transfer your dollars into that account, then convert to a Swiss Franc account when you want to. Oh, and be happy, we won't charge you negative interest on your dollar account!

Me: that sounds great! Are there any fees that I have to pay? Answer: oh, I forgot to mention that we will charge 2% whenever you move funds from your dollar account to your franc account. Me: WTF!!!???

Then I ask: what if I simply bring UBS a physical bank check in US dollars, then ask for you to convert it into francs and deposit it directly into my franc account. Then I don't need a dollar account at all, and the 2% fee disappears, right? UBS answer: that's correct, but then you have to pay 60 Francs for us to process the check!

We are talking about a 6-figure sum, and they are using a one-off 60 Franc charge as argument for using a their proposal where they take 2% straight off the top of the entire sum!?

You can't trust big banks. Not at all.
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Old 18.02.2021, 16:58
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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An interesting takeaway from my meeting with UBS about how to transfer large amounts of dollars from the US to Switzerland.

UBS recommendation: open up a US Dollar account with us, transfer your dollars into that account, then convert to a Swiss Franc account when you want to. Oh, and be happy, we won't charge you negative interest on your dollar account!

Me: that sounds great! Are there any fees that I have to pay? Answer: oh, I forgot to mention that we will charge 2% whenever you move funds from your dollar account to your franc account. Me: WTF!!!???

Then I ask: what if I simply bring UBS a physical bank check in US dollars, then ask for you to convert it into francs and deposit it directly into my franc account. Then I don't need a dollar account at all, and the 2% fee disappears, right? UBS answer: that's correct, but then you have to pay 60 Francs for us to process the check!

We are talking about a 6-figure sum, and they are using a one-off 60 Franc charge as argument for using a their proposal where they take 2% straight off the top of the entire sum!?

You can't trust big banks. Not at all.
OPEN with Post Finance, transfer via a currency broker not a Bank. Their exchange rate will be crap in addition to the 2%
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Old 18.02.2021, 17:05
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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OPEN with Post Finance, transfer via a currency broker not a Bank. Their exchange rate will be crap in addition to the 2%
You didn't read my posts very well, did you?
1) The US bank will only deal with a Swiss bank that has US operations, so forget your suggestion of using Post Finance.
2) I clearly wrote that there is no 2% charge if I give them a physical check, just a slightly worse exchange rate.
3) I contacted the most highly recommended currency broker. I can't get them to respond to simple questions about their T&Cs. Not very trust inspiring.
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Old 18.02.2021, 17:12
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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You didn't read my posts very well, did you?
1) The US bank will only deal with a Swiss bank that has US operations, so forget your suggestion of using Post Finance.
2) I clearly wrote that there is no 2% charge if I give them a physical check, just a slightly worse exchange rate.
3) I contacted the most highly recommended currency broker. I can't get them to respond to simple questions about their T&Cs. Not very trust inspiring.
1)Post Finance has USD accounts so will have a US clearing agent. https://www.postfinance.ch/de/privat...dwaehrung.html
2)There will be a percentage fee in addition to the fixed fee for a check negotiated by UBS, they just have not told you yet
3) try another broker
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Old 18.02.2021, 17:23
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

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An interesting takeaway from my meeting with UBS about how to transfer large amounts of dollars from the US to Switzerland.

UBS recommendation: open up a US Dollar account with us, transfer your dollars into that account, then convert to a Swiss Franc account when you want to. Oh, and be happy, we won't charge you negative interest on your dollar account!

Me: that sounds great! Are there any fees that I have to pay? Answer: oh, I forgot to mention that we will charge 2% whenever you move funds from your dollar account to your franc account. Me: WTF!!!???

Then I ask: what if I simply bring UBS a physical bank check in US dollars, then ask for you to convert it into francs and deposit it directly into my franc account. Then I don't need a dollar account at all, and the 2% fee disappears, right? UBS answer: that's correct, but then you have to pay 60 Francs for us to process the check!

We are talking about a 6-figure sum, and they are using a one-off 60 Franc charge as argument for using a their proposal where they take 2% straight off the top of the entire sum!?

You can't trust big banks. Not at all.
Rule 101 is never, ever, convert money using a bank. UBS will doubtless offer you a rubbish conversion rate were to you to deposit the money directly into a CHF account. Don't use them.

More complicated, best performance Option 1) I'd open a US dollar account with HSBC expat https://www.expat.hsbc.com/, provided you earn at least 100K / c. 120K CHF, then use a dedicated FX company to get it into your swiss account. Make sure they are at least as good as transferwise.

Very simple and convenient Option 2) Just opening a transferwise account, transferring from the US bank to transferwise, then exchanging within transferwise is highly likely to be far better than anything involving UBS.

Transferwise would turn 500K USD into 446’778.14 CHF at the time of writing this post. That should be your basemark. Their all-in fee would be 1’947.34 USD. Ie 0.39% or so total fee. Don't pay more than this.

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 18.02.2021 at 18:14.
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Old 06.03.2021, 01:40
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Re: Received inheritance from US - Should I ask for a check or wire transfer?

Hi!
Newbie here. This forum seems extremely helpful and friendly! I thought I'd piggy back on this thread instead of starting a new one.
I have been working in the US for a few years but it's time to move on and I'll be moving to CH with my SO this summer.
My plan was to to transfer 50-100k in cash to CHF for us to start our lives here and leave the rest of savings in US brokerage account. Based on the above very helpful post it seems like transferwise or currency fair is the way to do it.

My concern is not currently having a bank account in which to receive the money in CH, and the fact that my address will be in flux during the move itself. My current planned order of operations is as follows:
1) Open TW account while still in the US using US address.
2) Fly to CH and use US debit card for inital expenses.
3) Acquire Swiss address and open Swiss bank account.
4) Transfer money from US bank to Swiss bank account.
5) Close out US bank account and update address in TW to CH address.

Are there any obvious holes in this plan?
Also relatedly, there are no fees on the Swiss bank side in this transfer right?
I am mostly worried that TW will freak out over the large sum and then get suspicious that I am using two separate addresses. I am also worried that it will be hard for me to prove my identity since my US phone number will no longer work in CH (my plan doesnt offer international texts or roaming) and I won't actually be living at my US address anymore.
Last time I moved countries I permanently lost (a much smaller) sum of money to a bank who refused to talk to me once I no longer lived in the country and couldn't to their satisfaction prove who I was.



Any pointers or help would be very welcome. I'll be sure to check out the meetup threads once we actually arrive .


Thanks a lot,
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