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Old 30.08.2006, 16:40
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Independent Financial Advice

What is the Swiss equivalent of an Indpendent Financial Advisor in the UK?

I know I can use the tied-in service at my bank, but I would like an independent of the whole market place.

I'm not really sure what I need at the moment (savings, investments, pensions, life assurance etc) but want to know what is out there and start planning for my future over here. Any ideas?
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Old 30.08.2006, 18:28
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

The nearest you will get is a treuhand who are just that an IFA but they charge for advice... If you are looking for independent life planning, you know the thing, they come along and draw a rugby post and show that you are not covered for invalidity, insufficient pension needing to set life goals etc then AWD and MLP are the big two but remember they will want you to provide referrals and that can end a friendship!!!
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:24
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

There are some very good life insurance products on the market.

You have to read up quite a bit though to make sure you get cover with decent invalidity and death cover.

I think "independent" is the right word. There are not many around.

For example, some companies are very good with health insurance, but there life policies are not that great and vice versa.

I went round all the banks in Vevey to see about high interest long term savings accounts. The best one I found was UBS who are offering 4% (I think) but you can't withdraw any of your money until you retire.

Most life insurance products will give you 6% - 8% plus you have cover for death and invalidity, and you can usually withdraw your money after some time (for example 10 years / 15 years or whatever).

If you have a specific question, you can pm me.

Hope this helps
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Old 01.09.2006, 10:35
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

I have very good financial advisors based in Cyprus, a company with a mix of English and S.African independent advisors,
Not sure what you want but they can put together a decent portfolio based on your current and future situation (single, married, children, schooling, protection etc)

If you want their details let me know

Nick.
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Old 01.09.2006, 14:55
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

These guys are based in Geneva and are very good

www.forthcapital.com They deal only with Expats and all business is conducted in English
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Old 01.09.2006, 15:50
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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The nearest you will get is a treuhand who are just that an IFA but they charge for advice...
The trend in many markets is to move towards fee-based advice rather than commission-based advice. If the advisor isn't charging you a fee, then they're earning their income from commissions from insurance and fund companies who are promoting products. Not very independent is it?

I've seen a report on banks and larger investment managers called the "Fuchs" report - it covers Germany, Switzerland and Austria. See here: http://www.fuchsbriefe.de/reporte/re...lash=&tonline=

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 04.09.2006, 13:38
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

The fee based advisers are getting kickbacks dont be so niave
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Old 04.09.2006, 15:34
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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If the advisor isn't charging you a fee, then they're earning their income from commissions from insurance and fund companies who are promoting products. Not very independent is it?
Cheers,
Nick
That depends....

Unfortunately, there are a lot of independent advisors who are not independent at all and will try and push you more into one insurance than another as they receive a higher commission. All companies pay their "courtiers" differently - this is not new to anyone.
The company I work with decided to pay everyone the same amount for whichever insurance company the client decides to go with. We also work with all 94 companies, so I would say we're about as independent as it goes!
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Old 07.09.2006, 12:15
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

Jenni,

Is that investments as well ?
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Old 07.09.2006, 14:39
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

Investments, 3rd "pillier" etc. yes

If you have a specific question, pm me

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  #11  
Old 01.06.2007, 16:37
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

How can one be sure that a fee-based advisor isn't being paid a commission as well?
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Old 01.06.2007, 16:45
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

You can't. But based on the latest federal jurisprudence covering retrocessions and the European MiFID, they are strongly incentivised to disclose any such.
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Old 02.06.2007, 15:12
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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How can one be sure that a fee-based advisor isn't being paid a commission as well?
Good point....

Something quite strange I've picked up on since being over here is that, the more "professionals" charge for a service, the more the customer thinks it's worth paying.

So, sometimes, even though someone will earn a commission from a contract, they charge aswell, and, surprisingly, the customer thinks he must be getting better advice as he's had to pay for it! It's rather strange...

This seems to go for all types of activity from financial advisors to gardners, painters, electricians and the like.

The other thing about commission is that, if we didn't earn commission from these companies then we'd have to charge people for our advice.
There is such a lack of information in Switzerland in general that I'd rather give it to people for free and get paid by a company if we sort something out together.
Seems fairer to me
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Old 05.06.2007, 16:20
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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We also work with all 94 companies, so I would say we're about as independent as it goes!
That's rather different from the company I received "independent financial advice" from. It claimed to search the whole offshore market but in reality recommended products from only a handful of companies.

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Something quite strange I've picked up on since being over here is that, the more "professionals" charge for a service, the more the customer thinks it's worth paying.
Perhaps the client thinks that, by paying for the advice, the advisor is actually legally liable for his recommendations. Plus, according to advice from the UK FSA on how to choose an IFA, you're more likely to get independent advice if you pay a fee.

Quote:
There is such a lack of information in Switzerland in general that I'd rather give it to people for free and get paid by a company if we sort something out together. Seems fairer to me
If you're paid commission from the investment companies, particularly if this is your only source of income (as in the case of the individuals working for the so-called advisory company I dealt with), it must be difficult if not impossible to give the client impartial advice as opposed to "talking up" the product and telling the client what he needs to hear in order to sign up.
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Old 05.06.2007, 18:17
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

After my run-in with an individual calling himself an "independent financial advisor" who works for a company that claims to give independent financial advice to expats, I found the following information, which I realize now would have been useful to read beforehand:

http://www.oregondfcs.org/pdf/3219.pdf

http://www.crimes-of-persuasion.com/...n/advisors.htm
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Old 06.06.2007, 17:24
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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If you're paid commission from the investment companies, particularly if this is your only source of income (as in the case of the individuals working for the so-called advisory company I dealt with), it must be difficult if not impossible to give the client impartial advice as opposed to "talking up" the product and telling the client what he needs to hear in order to sign up.
If you work with different companies, the advantage that you have is that you can explain to people both the good and bad of each particular company. Obviously, you're not going to explain every single company inside out to everyone you meet! That would be impossible.

What I tend to do is offer 2 or 3 possibilities for people (sometimes 4 even!) depending on where they live, age etc. In each case I'll explain what's good and what's less good with each company for the price, and then the person can decide for themselves.

What's the point in pushing a particular product or company onto somebody? Unfortunately, there are people who work in similar areas to me that do that. But, believe me, they come and go.... there's no way you can think long-term working like that.

I guess there's no way to prove my honesty to you and it seems like you've had a bad experience so I understand why you would be hesitant to work again with advisors. That's one of the downsides of my work.

Luckily, they've now brought in a "brevet fÚdÚrale" for my line of work. i.e. you have to take an exam etc. and are known to the authorities. Hopefully this will seive out some of the bad eggs.....

Jenny


P.S. the "oregon" link is very interesting. Couldn't agree more!
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Old 07.06.2007, 15:46
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

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What's the point in pushing a particular product or company onto somebody? Unfortunately, there are people who work in similar areas to me that do that.
I was proposed one investment and one only. When I asked about other options, I was told they were more expensive. The advisor named only a couple of other insurers whose investments he could recommend, which made me suspicious of the claim that they searched the entire offshore market. This suspicion has been confirmed by what I have learned from ex-employees of the company.

Quote:
But, believe me, they come and go.... there's no way you can think long-term working like that.
Yes, I've discovered that they come and go and move around from place to place. It stands to reason that people who operate like that can't stay in one place for too long if their income depends on the commission they're paid for the number of investment they can sell. There are only so many expats in one place, not all of whom can be successfully persuaded into signing up, and of those who do sign up, there will be a limit to the amount of money they can spend. Nor does it make sense to hang around and wait for the reaction of customers who finally come to realize that their investments are not appropriate.
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  #18  
Old 07.06.2007, 23:22
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

You could try the Verm÷gens Zentrum
http://www.vermoegenszentrum.ch/

or AWD
http://www.awd.ch/

both of which are supposed to be independent
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  #19  
Old 15.06.2007, 16:08
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

Can you not get online trading services from the big banks i.e. UBS, Credit Suisse etc. or are they not online and cumbersome/expensive?
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Old 27.06.2007, 15:37
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Re: Independent Financial Advice

If you deal with a reputable firm then they will search the market but like Jenny said cannot go through every product. They will recommend one or two & let you make your mind up. The products grow tax free & enable you to draw on your savings if needed provided you keep a minimum in & for an initial period. They also offer a level of service (or should do) to continually meet & monitor your plan & circumstances. If you went to a bank you would not be able to enjoy the same tax free investment or flexibility generally & would be tied to their products. After all, the main reason for being an expt is the money & you want to make the mot out of it rather than leave in a bank account attracting 0% or not much more.
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