Interview of Julius Kirscheneder, Founder of The Neon Bank

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julius Kirscheneder, one of the founders of Neon. I hope you will like this interview as much as the other interviews I have made in the past on this blog.

Neon is a great Swiss bank. I have already talked about it as one of the best banks in Switzerland. What makes it different from the other banks is that it is entirely digital. You will not find Neon offices in Switzerland. Instead, you will have your bank in your pocket all the time!

Another way they distinguish themselves is that they are very cheap. In fact, if you use it well, they are free!

Neon was founded in 2017 in Switzerland by four people, one of whom is Julius that I will be interviewing today. They now employ ten people, mostly in Zurich. In fact, they are not really a bank since they do not have a banking license. They are working with Hypothekarbank Lenzburg acts, which acts as their banking partner.

So, let’s hear what Julius Kirscheneder, Founder of the Neon Bank has to say!

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Online Shopping in Switzerland – The best websites

Categories Frugality, Switzerland6 Comments on Online Shopping in Switzerland – The best websites

These days, a lot of shopping is done online. It is so practical to shop for something online. It can save you a lot of time. And it allows you to easily compare many different websites to get the best deals. This can also save you some money.

Of course, online shopping also has its dark side. Since it is so convenient to shop online, some people are buying many more things than they should. It is so easy to press a button and get things delivered at home. I am sure it happened to many of you. At least, it happened to me!

If you are only buying things you need, online shopping can be a great thing. But you still need to know where to shop online. Even in our small Swiss country, there are hundreds of websites where to shop. And let’s not forget that sometimes online shopping is not cheaper than shopping in a normal shop!

In this post, I am going to list the best online shopping websites in Switzerland. This should allow you to shop for the best prices!

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Guide to Taxes in Switzerland – Reduce your taxes!

Categories Budget, Switzerland20 Comments on Guide to Taxes in Switzerland – Reduce your taxes!

Taxes in Switzerland are quite complicated due to the multiple states. Each state has its own rules and even its own software to fill your taxes. Nevertheless, it is very important to know how the taxes work in order to be able to fill your tax declaration.

I want to go over the details of how the Swiss Taxes work. We are going to talk about the multiple levels of taxes in Switzerland, how is your income taxed and how is your wealth taxed. We are also going to see the things you can deduct from your income when you fill your tax declaration and how you can pay your taxes.

Of course, we cannot talk about taxes without talking about optimizing taxes. That is probably the only reason people want to learn about taxes! In this post, I am going to share all I know about optimizing taxes in Switzerland!

Stay tuned to learn all about the taxes system of Switzerland and how to reduce your taxes!

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N26 Digital Bank – Save on Foreign Currency Fees

Categories Budget, Switzerland12 Comments on N26 Digital Bank – Save on Foreign Currency Fees

Everybody will agree with me that paying 1.5% of fees, or more,  on each transaction abroad really sucks! That is not something you want to think about when you are on vacation or shopping online in other countries. Thanks to N26, this should never be necessary anymore!

N26 is a digital bank offering transfers in other currencies for free! Not only that, but the entire bank account is actually free! And they are a bank! Your money is insured according to European laws. You can even withdraw money for free several times a month! That sounds great, right?

In this post, I am going to cover everything you need to know about N26. And since I have already talked about Revolut on this blog, I will compare both services which are similar but not totally equivalent!

Stay tuned to find out how to save money on foreign exchange fees!

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Neon Bank: Free Swiss Digital Bank

Categories Investing, Switzerland4 Comments on Neon Bank: Free Swiss Digital Bank

Neon is one of the newest Swiss Digital Banks! It offers an entirely free bank account. Having a free bank is very important if you want to save money for managing your money. Swiss Banks are becoming more and more expensive. It is great to see some free alternatives!

Neon is a digital bank. It has no offices. You can manage your money entirely from your phone. With your bank account, you will receive a Mastercard that you can use for your payments. And you can use the mobile application to pay your bills and transfer money to other bank accounts.

One of the great things with Neon, compared to other digital alternatives is that your funds are insured! If it goes bankrupt, you are insured up to 100’000 CHF! You have the same security as if you had a class bank account.

We are going to see exactly what is Neon! Should you use it? How does it compare to other Swiss banks? And what about Revolut?

If you keep reading to the end, I will have a special offer for you!

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Swiss Life Select will not help your financial life

Categories Investing, Retirement, Switzerland5 Comments on Swiss Life Select will not help your financial life

I have already talked about Swiss Life Select (SLS) in the past. I paid for their services. And I consider it is one of my biggest budgeting mistakes. There are many reasons for that. Not only was paying for their services a mistake but so was accepting some of the products they recommended. And I just thought a new thing that I find out about them. They actually screwed me over with bad insurance.

So I want to talk more about that. I do not want other people to do the same mistake as me. While this post is focused on SLS, it applies on most of all the financial advisors and insurance advisors you will be in contact with. They almost all have the same issues.

As a note, this only reflects my experience with Swiss Life Select. Maybe some other people had a better experience with them. And since you have a private advisor in the company, it is also possible that my bad experience is related to that.

So, let’s see what is wrong with that SLS offers you in this post! I hope that this does not come as too much of a rant. I did some bad choice by trusting these people and I want people to avoid doing the same mistake as me! Continue reading “Swiss Life Select will not help your financial life”

Swiss Stock Market Indexes – SMI index, SPI and SLI

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I have talked at length about many stock market indexes on this blog. For instance, I have talked about the S&P 500 index and the Russell 3000 index. However, these are U.S. stock market indexes. Since this is a Swiss blog, I thought it was about time to spend some time on the official indexes of the Swiss Stock Market.

As it turns out, there are many Swiss Stock Market Indexes. This is a small stock market (about 2% of the world capitalization). But it is one that is considered quite stable. Therefore, there is quite more interest in this stock market than the small market capitalization would make us think.

In this post, I am going to go over all the indexes from the Swiss Stock Market. If you prefer visuals over texts, head to the end and discover a nice infographic I made for the different Swiss Stock Market Indexes.

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The Best Credit Card Strategy: No Fees and Maximum Returns

Categories Budget, Switzerland11 Comments on The Best Credit Card Strategy: No Fees and Maximum Returns

Since I have started improving my personal finances, I have optimized a lot my usage of credit cards. I have reduced the annual fee of my credit cards to zero. As a matter of fact, I have reduced all my credit card fees to zero! That’s right, I do not pay any fee using credit cards, even for foreign currencies. This is much better than before since I did not even know I was paying too much at that time!

Moreover, I have also improved the cashback I get for each of my purchase. Now, I get up to 1% cashback on my purchases! On the other hand, to optimize my fees and cashback, I had to go from one single card to three credit cards. There is no free lunch, unfortunately.

In this post, I am going to share my entire credit card strategy. If you want to save on fees and improve your cashback, this will help you! Indeed, if you are willing to go the extra mile, you can save money and generate some small income with credit cards.

If you have an idea on how to improve my strategy, I would love to know about it!

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Switzerland is unfair to married couples

Categories Financial Independence, Retirement, SwitzerlandLeave a comment on Switzerland is unfair to married couples

Marriage is a great thing in which I believe. However, something that not many people know is that in Switzerland, you are better off financially if you are not married. There are several disadvantages to being married in Switzerland.

Do not take me wrong, I am not saying you should not get married! We got married last year and I do not regret it at all. Marriage is about love not about money! But I know that in the future, we would be better off financially if we did not marry. This is important to know the differences between married couples in Switzerland, especially if you plan to retire here.

So in this post, we are going to see what financial difference there are between a married couple and an unmarried couple. You will see that there are some substantial differences in taxes and retirement for married couples.

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ETF Portfolio with European ETFs

Categories Investing, Switzerland31 Comments on ETF Portfolio with European ETFs

In 2020, Swiss investors may lose access to U.S. funds. DEGIRO already cut access to these funds. And it is highly likely that Interactive Brokers does the same next year. So, we need to be prepared for that eventuality. The alternative to U.S. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is European ETFs.

You can also use mutual funds, it is almost the same thing. However, it is much more flexible to invest through ETFs in Europe. The main problem is that European ETFs are inferior to U.S. ETFs in many ways as we are going to see in details. Unfortunately, we may not have the choice to use them. The alternative of not investing at all would be much worse!

In this post, we are going to go through the multiple steps of designing a new portfolio. First, you need to decide the allocation of the different parts of the portfolio. Then, you need to choose between different stock market indices. Finally, you need to choose the best ETF for each index. I believe it is an excellent exercise. However, it is not trivial and should not be taken lightly.

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