The best financial services for your money!

Download this e-book and optimize your finances and save money by using the best financial services available in Switzerland!

Download The FREE e-book

Selma 3a Review 2024 – Pros & Cons

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Choosing a great third pillar is essential. You will invest in this account for many years in the future. Recently, there has been a trend for Robo-advisors. So, now there are also Robo-advisors third pillars.

I have already talked about Selma, the Robo-advisor. But now, I want to talk about their third pillar offer. In late 2019, Selma introduced their third pillar offer.

If you already have an account with Selma or if you like Robo-advisors, this article may interest you!

So, we will find out how the  Selma 3a account compares with the other third pillars available in Switzerland.

About Selma 3a
Total Fee 0.90% per year
Maximum portfolios 1
Stock allocation Up to 97%
Maximum foreign exposure 50%
Maximum investment in cash 3%
Investment Strategy ETFs
Fund providers N/A
Languages English, French, German
Sustainable option Yes
Mobile Application Yes
Web Application No
Custodian Bank Saxo Bank
Established 2019
Foundation’s domicile Zürich

Selma 3a

Selma 3a

Selma 3a is the first Robo-Advisor Third Pillar account of Switzerland! You can have a large allocation to stocks (97%!) and invest in a diversified passive portfolio!

Open an account

Selma is a popular Robo-advisor in Switzerland. They offer an investment account and choose ETFs for you. You can also access a personal virtual financial assistant from within the app.

Selma started in 2016, but they only started their Selma 3a account in November 2019. The third pillar account results from collaborating with VZ Vorsorgestiftung, which will hold the funds in your name. If you need a refresh on retirement accounts, I have a complete guide on the third pillar.

If you already have an account with Selma, you can open a third pillar account directly from within their app. This will connect your two accounts, making it straightforward to manage your investments in the same place.

Selma is available in French, English, and German!

If you want more details about their investing offer, I have a full review of Selma.

Investment Strategies


We look at Selma’s investment strategies for your third pillar in detail.

The investment strategy for the third pillar is quite different from the investment strategy of the default account. Selma 3a is not a Robo-advisor. They are using six profiles for investment:

  1. Profile 2: 15% in stocks
  2. Profile 3: 25% in stocks
  3. Profile 4: 35% in stocks
  4. Profile 5: 45% in stocks
  5. Profile 6: 75% in stocks
  6. Profile 7: 97% in stocks

It is not a typo. There is no profile 1. It is a bit weird, but it is a minor detail.

When you start your account, the Robo-advisor will ask you questions to define your investor profile. Based on your answers, the service will assign you one of the six profiles we just saw. After this, this is no longer a Robo-advisor. Each profile is a fixed portfolio.

You can still change from one to another if you choose to or if your risk capacity changes. If your overall Selma risk profile changes, Selma will ensure that the third pillar risk profile still makes sense.

Once you retire, one good thing is that you can transfer your ETFs into your main investing account. So you will not have to liquidate them. This feature could make your retirement much simpler.

All these strategies fully invest in stocks and bonds. Only 2% or 3% of each strategy is kept in cash in a money market fund, and the rest is invested in various fixed asset classes: stocks, bonds, real estate, and precious metals.

Looking at my favorite profile, the one with 97% stocks, we can see that half of the shares are Swiss stocks. The rest is a mix of Swiss bonds, international bonds, and tiny percentages of the other classes. I think that this portfolio could be more straightforward. 2% invested in gold will make no difference in the long term.

It is good that these strategies invest so much in the market. It is also great that the maximum allocation to stocks is 97%. It is a great advantage.

The investments are made weekly, which is excellent because you only have to wait one week for your money to be invested!

Overall, they have good investing strategies using index ETFs. These strategies are solid and well-diversified, and the maximum allocation to stocks is excellent. On the other hand, Selma 3a could simplify the portfolios to avoid tiny percentages, but this should be minor in the long term.

Fees of Selma 3a


When investing in the third pillar, you invest for the long term. You will have to keep your money in the account until retirement. There are some exceptions, but most people will generally keep it for long.

So, when investing long-term, you must be careful about investing fees! So, we need to look at the fees of Selma 3a.

The base fee of Selma is 0.68% per year. This fee covers all the costs for Selma. They have the same fees for the main investing account as the third pillar account. The transparency of these fees is great: all accounts and all strategies have the same fees.

One great thing is that these fees are decreasing with your assets. Indeed, Selma has a degressive system for fees:

  • Below 50K CHF: 0.68% fees per year
  • From 50K to 150K CHF: 0.55% fees per year
  • From 150K CHF: 0.47% fees per year

So, you can get lower fees if you have a sizeable third pillar. And even better, all your assets with Selma count towards this. So, if you have a Robo-advisor account at Selma, it will be easier to lower your fee.

In addition, you will have to pay the fees for the products you are investing in, such as the fees for ETFs. These fees will depend on your investment strategy. With Selma 3a, these fees range from 0.20% to 0.22% per year.

Overall, you will pay about 0.90% fees annually. This is not that bad compared to some invested third-pillar accounts. However, it is quite expensive compared to the best third-pillar accounts in Switzerland. If you have more than 150K CHF with fees, this comes down to about 0.70%, which becomes quite interesting.

Open a Selma 3a Account

Selma 3a
Selma 3a

Opening a third pillar account with Selma is very easy.

If you already have an account, you can open a third pillar account from within your account. Otherwise, you will have to open a new account at Selma.

Opening a 3a account is straightforward. The Selma assistant will walk you through all the steps and ask you questions directly. It is like chatting, a well-done process that is easy to follow.

Based on your answers from the chat, Selma will recommend one of the six profiles, and you will have the chance to change it before you start investing.

One good thing is that if you have your investing account and your assets at Selma, you will have a good overview of your assets. And your third pillar assets will be considered by the Robo-advisor for investing your main assets.

Currently, you can only have one third pillar account with Selma. I think that this will change in the future. But this could be an issue if you are close to retirement. Having several third pillars can help reduce your taxes.


We should always compare services with other possible alternatives.

Selma 3a vs Finpension 3a

Best Third Pillar!
Finpension 3a
Very low fees

Finpension 3a is the best third pillar in Switzerland.

Use the FEYKV5 code to get a fee credit of 25 CHF*!

*(if you deposit 1000 CHF in the first 12 months)

  • Invest 99% in stocks
Grow your 3a with FEYKV5 code Read my review

The current best third pillar in Switzerland is Finpension 3a. So, we should compare Selma 3a and Finpension 3a.

The investment strategies are slightly different. Overall, both services invest in index funds. Selma uses only index ETFs, while Finpension 3a uses index funds. Finpension uses index funds because, as a third pillar foundation, they have access to better funds than most. Furthermore, this reduces trading costs and stamp tax duty.

However, this adds redemption and issuance fees. Also, Selma will let you transfer your ETFs directly into your main wealth. So you may not have to liquidate your ETFs when you reach retirement age.

Both services let you invest up to 97% in stocks.

Regarding fees, you will pay about a 0.39% fee per year at Finpension 3a with the highest allocation to stocks. At Selma, you will pay about 0.90% per year. In the long term, such a difference in fees is very significant.

From a usability perspective, Selma is slightly easier to start than Finpension 3a. However, both remain extremely simple. While you have many advanced options, the basic options at Finpension 3a are as simple as those with Selma.

On the other hand, Selma will show a combined overview of your investments and your retirement assets. You only need one place to manage both of these assets.

Finpension 3a is better than Selma 3a because of the much lower fees and the more aggressive investment. But Selma makes it easier to transfer your wealth at retirement age.

For more information, I have a complete review of Finpension 3a.

Security of Selma 3a


We can also look at the security of your assets. Security is essential for long-term investing.

VZ Vorsorgestiftung will hold your cash and shares. All your shares are held in your name. So, if Selma goes bankrupt, all your money is safe at VZ. If VZ goes bankrupt, since your shares are held in your name, they should also be safe. Now, VZ is a big asset management company. The chances that it will go bankrupt are relatively low.

From a technical standpoint, Selma’s security is quite good. All communications are encrypted. And you can use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) as well. Using a second factor will highly increase your security.

Overall, security seems alright to me.

Selma 3a FAQ

How many Selma 3a account can you have?

Currently, you can only have one Selma 3a account.

How much can you invest in stocks with Selma 3a?

You can invest up to 97% in stocks with Selma 3a.

Who is Selma 3a good for?

Selma 3a is good for Selma users that do not want to use multiple third pillars and want to limit the number of financial services they use.

Who is Selma 3a not good for?

Selma 3a is not good for people that do not have a Selma account. Selma 3a is not good if you want the cheapest available third pillar. Finally, it is also not good if you want more than one third pillar, since they only allow one.

Selma 3a Summary

Selma 3a

Selma 3a is the first Robo-Advisor Third Pillar account of Switzerland! You can have a large allocation to stocks (97%!) and invest in a diversified passive portfolio!

Product Brand: Selma

Editor's Rating:

Selma 3a Pros

Let's summarize the main advantages of Selma 3a:

  • High allocation to stocks (97%)
  • Weekly investing!
  • Well integrated into the Selma Robo-Advisor
  • Investments and third pillars are matched together
  • Extremely simple to use
  • Strategies invest fully in the stock market
  • Use passive ETFs
  • Good security, with Two-Factor Authentification

Selma 3a Cons

Let's summarize the main disadvantages of Selma 3a:

  • The fees are relatively high (0.90%/year)
  • You can only have one third pillar account with Selma 3a


Selma 3a

Selma 3a is the first Robo-Advisor Third Pillar account of Switzerland! You can have a large allocation to stocks (97%!) and invest in a diversified passive portfolio!

Open an account

While Selma is a good Robo-advisor, its third pillar has few advantages.

If you are looking for a simple solution to combine all your investments (Selma Robo-advisor) and your third pillar (Selma 3a) in one place, Selma is a great offer. This offer is the only one of its kind in Switzerland.

But in this case, simplicity has a cost. Overall, Selma is too expensive for a pure third pillar invested passively. You will pay about 0.90% in fees per year, which is too high for me. However, if you have a large amount in your third pillar, you could get it down to 0.70%, which starts to be interesting.

If you compare this account with Finpension 3a, you will pay significantly higher fees. Since this is not a Robo-advisor third pillar account (the strategy is a fixed portfolio), you do not get some advantages. On the other hand, if you also have your investments at Selma, your risk profile will be better tuned.

However, Selma is still a good third pillar. They offer a significant allocation to stocks (97%).  If you compare it to some alternatives of big banks, Selma 3a is a good third pillar. Unfortunately for Selma 3a, there are some very competitive alternatives like Finpension 3a!

While Selma is the first Robo-advisor with free assets and a third pillar, there are now new offers. Indeed, in 2022, Inyova also launched its 3a offer. You can read more about it in my Inyova Review. And later in the year, True Wealth also launched its True Wealth 3a offer.

If you are interested in alternatives, you can check out the best third pillar in Switzerland.

What about you? What do you think about the Selma 3a offer? Which third pillar account are you using?

The best financial services for your money!

Download this e-book and optimize your finances and save money by using the best financial services available in Switzerland!

Download The FREE e-book
Photo of Baptiste Wicht

Baptiste Wicht started in 2017. He realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. Since 2019, he has been saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

Recommended reading

16 thoughts on “Selma 3a Review 2024 – Pros & Cons”

  1. Hi again,

    The blog says get the 1st 5k CHF managed for free but when I clicked the link it takes you a to 34 CHF bonus.

    Can you please clarify?.


  2. Hi,

    It is my 2nd year in Switzerland. I used to invest in the US where it is easier.

    My 2022 3rd pillar is in cash at the bank. For my 2023 3rd pillar I was thinking of Selma but should I use Finpension instead?.

    If I understand correctly, for 3rd pillar + investments Selma is a good option but for 3rd pillar only, I should use Finpension. Did I get it right?.


    1. Hi Virginia,

      Both are good options, but Finpension is significantly cheaper than Selma for the third pillar.
      I would indeed recommend Finpension 3a over Selma 3a. And even if you have Selma for your investments, you could still get Finpension for your 3a.

      1. ok thanks but if I do so… I will not decrease the fees with Selma, since it is progressive, it is probably better to invest as much as possible there…

        No way to do individual investments at finpension right?

  3. Hi

    I love your little blog and all the things you’re trying out. Make’s the time while being in the military more fun😂

    You should maybe conside the fact that the more you invest, the less fee you’ll pay. It can get as low as 0.47%. So if you invested already in Selma and py every year the 3a, you’ll get soon the 0.55% and then 0.47%.

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Tizian,

      Haha, Thanks :) I am glad I make military life more fun. I have been there and used books to pass the time, always one my pocket.

      That’s correct, they added this since I wrote this article. I have not yet updated the article to reflect that, I will have to do that. And it makes the 3a more interesting. Thanks for reminding me!

  4. 0.90% per year to get to talk to a computer? It sounds so Swiss. Pay, don’t ask, we might charge for the the air you breathe.

    1. Hi Nero,

      Yes, that’s expensive, but that’s not only to talk on your computers, but that’s the entire fees for managing your assets.
      The cheapest in Switzerland is about 0.53%, so even the cheapest is not cheap.

      But yeah, Switzerland is very expensive for managing money.

  5. Hi, thanks for the review. Some of my 3rd pillar accounts at VIAC are 100% cash for the moment. Do you think that it’s safer to keep these accounts with Selma while I wait for the right moment to go back to a high percentage of stocks in an account at VIAC?

    1. Hi Alex,

      No, cash is not safer at Selma that at VIAC, they have the same security.
      And holding cash at VIAC is free, but you cannot hold 100% cash at Selam. If you hold 15% of stocks only, you will still pay a 0.9% fee at Selma.

      So, cash is much better off at VIAC than at Selma.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Dear poor Swiss

    One 3a option that I personally find quite interesting is the VZ for reasons that may not be too obvious at first. It’s perhaps not the cheapest, but the only product I know where you have a reasonable amount of flexibility as to what the underlying strategies should be. You can, for instance, tilt your portfolio towards income strategies (high yield credit, Emerging market bonds, Didividend Stocks) and not suffer the punitive income taxes levied on normal accounts. In taxable accounts you can then invest in capital gain strategies such as broad index ETFs in a much cheaper way. All in all this provides a more cost and tax effective portfolio in my opinion. The caveat is that this assumes a matching time horizon across both portfolios.

    1. Hi Mario,

      Thanks for sharing, I never considered the VZ option. It seems I will have to take a look at it again. It’s a good point that this is the only place where you could optimize for income.
      But it still remains niche, for people wanting to have an income tilt.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hello,
    Thanks for your feedback. Why are you saying that investing 97% in stocks ETF with VIAC is likely to change this year?

    1. Hi Matthieu,

      This is not what I was trying to say :P
      This part will not change, but the part where we can only invest 80% ins stocks with Selma will change. And so maybe this advantage of VIAC will go away.

      I am going to edit the article to make this more clear.

      Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Your comment may not appear instantly since it has to go through moderation. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *