ETF Portfolio with European ETFs

Categories Investing, Switzerland

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 detail. 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 select 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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Swisscard Cashback Credit Card Review – Free and 1% Cashback

Categories Budget, Switzerland

Recently Swisscard announced a new offer for credit cards: Swisscard Cashback. They offer an American Express (Amex) and either a MasterCard or a Visa. They already offered several cards in the past. But these new Cashback cards are really interesting.

First of all, all these cards are free! This fact is essential because unless you spend a lot of money, a small fee will render your cashback useless. But these are not the only free cards in Switzerland! What is very interesting is that they are offering 5% cashback in the first three months. After that, the cashback bonus becomes 1% on the American Express card and 0.2% on the MasterCard and Visa cards.

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The Poor Swiss versus the Average Swiss Household

Categories Frugality, Switzerland

Frugality and expenses are difficult to compare between two different households. It is especially true if you compare different situations like family and children. And it is almost impossible to compare yourselves to people from another country. Therefore, it is essential to compare with the average household comparable to your household.

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Interview of Daniel Peter, CEO of VIAC

Categories Retirement, Switzerland

I had the chance of interviewing Daniel Peter, the CEO of VIAC. If you do not yet know what VIAC is, it is a Swiss company that is providing an excellent third pillar option. If you are not familiar with the third pillar, I wrote an entire post about the third pillar. It is the Swiss equivalent of an IRA but with less choice. It is tax-advantaged and should be used by everyone serious about retirement.

I have already talked about this company on this blog. Currently, VIAC is offering the best third pillar option in Switzerland. They have very low fees compared to the other Swiss options. It is very easy to open an account at VIAC as well.

Moreover, they were also the first company to offer a third pillar account with 97% of stocks. Before that, the best option has only 75% of stocks. This is really great because the investment time of the third pillar is very long. Therefore, we want a large allocation to stocks.

But, Daniel Peter will tell you all about VIAC much better me. So, without further ado, here are Daniel’s answers to my questions!

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9 Frugal Tips to Ski For Less in Switzerland

Categories Frugality, Switzerland

There is no denying that ski is a costly hobby. And this is especially true in Switzerland, one of the most expensive countries in the world. First of all, you will have to spend a lot to get your ski equipment. But then, you will have to pay at each ski station to use their ski lifts. And this is not cheap as well.

However, there are a few things you can do to ski for less in Switzerland. You can already take a look at these deals regardless of the season. These tips can be handy for next season, for instance.

These tips are especially useful if you are a beginner or you are teaching a beginner. For instance, we have been able to ski for free with Mrs. The Poor Swiss at the beginning.

In this post, we are going to see nine techniques that will help you ski for less in Switzerland. If you know other tips, I would love to hear about them!

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Interview of Marc Pittet Author of Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland

Categories Financial Independence, Switzerland

Marc Pittet, or Mr. MP, is the author behind the blog MustachianPost. Last year, he started the project of writing a book about becoming Financially Free, or Financially Independent, in Switzerland, by the age of 40. Today, I am interviewing him about his new project, Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland.

Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland is a book about retiring early in Switzerland. This is something difficult because Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Moreover, there is very little information on how to retire early in this country. This is something that Marc Pittet wants to change!

Thanks a lot to Marc for answering my questions. As you will see, he even provided us with some exclusive information about the book and about his journey to Financial Independence! In the interview below, things in italic are my comments and the rest is all answers from Marc.

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Swiss Investors Will Lose Access to US-Domiciled ETFs

Categories Investing, Switzerland

Update: As of July 2020, we still have not lost access to these funds. But it is not clear how long we will keep it.

Since the beginning of the year, I cannot buy Exchanged Traded Funds (ETFs) domiciled in the United States from my broker, DEGIRO. Since my current portfolio is mostly invested in Vanguard Total World (VT), this is a big problem for me. I can now only sell these ETFs, not buy them anymore. That means that the next time I will have some money to invest, I cannot invest it anymore as I want. This event is terrible news for Swiss investors.

This problem is due to new regulations that will come into play. These regulations already affected all European investors since 2018. But Switzerland was not affected before. We are going to see what changed. These issues are based on several European and Swiss laws. These laws are sad news for European investors and Swiss investors. I am not a legal expert at all. So this is only my interpretation of these laws. If I am wrong or I missed something, please let me know!

In this post, we are going to see why this is happening. And we are also going to see what are the different options for us. There are several possible solutions to this issue. But none of them is perfect, as we will see.

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How to Open a VIAC Third Pillar in a Few Easy Steps

Categories Investing, Retirement, Switzerland

I recently compared the different third pillars available in Switzerland. I quickly concluded that VIAC provides the best third pillars in Switzerland. VIAC third pillars are cheap and have an excellent global diversification. Moreover, you can have up to 97% of your portfolio invested in stocks.

Before, my only problem with VIAC was that they are mobile-only. But I need to go over this small problem and be smarter about it! And since PostFinance increased their fees, I decided to walk away from them earlier than I planned.

Now that I have chosen my new third pillar, it is time to do the transfer. For this, I first have to open an account at VIAC. Then, I have to transfer my existing third pillar money from PostFinance to VIAC. In this post, I am going to describe the steps necessary to open a VIAC third pillar. Then, I am also going to explain how to transfer an existing third pillar to VIAC.

As you will see, it is incredibly easy. If you think it is difficult to open a new third pillar and transfer your existing third pillar money on it, then I hope I will convince you that it is trivial! You should not delay changing a bad third pillar for a good one by the fear that it is difficult because it is not!

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7 Great Frugal Tips to Keep Your Food Budget Small

Categories Budget, Frugality, Switzerland

Our food budget is something that we are managing to keep quite low. We manage to keep our food budget below 400 CHF per month, on average, for two people.

For Switzerland, it is a very good food budget. And several months we are quite lower than this. It is the months we are inviting many people to our place that are increasing the average.

To reach this low food budget, we are doing several things. And by following these simple tips, you can also keep your food budget low!

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