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Simplewealth Review 2024 – Pros & Cons

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

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

It is time for yet another Robo-advisor review. Simplewealth is a Swiss Robo-advisor that aims to be affordable, transparent, and easy to use.

This review will analyze Simplewealth in detail: its pros and cons, fees, and strategies. By the end of the article, you will know whether you should use Simplewealth for your investing.

About Simplewealth
Management fee 0.50%
Product Costs 0.20%
Investing strategy Passive
Investing products ETFs
Minimum investment 5000 CHF
Currency conversion Unknown
Customization None
Sustainable No
Languages German and English
Custody bank Interactive Brokers
Users Unknown
Established 2017
Headquarters Zürich, Switzerland

Simplewealth

Simplewealth Logo
Simplewealth Logo

Simplewealth was launched in 2015 by Jeremy Cohen and Adrien Wegschiede. They then obtained authorization to manage client funds in 2017 under Swiss regulations.

In 2020, the company was bought by private investors and taken private. These investors significantly boosted the service with new algorithms, new features, and better fees.

One interesting point is that Simplewealth is using Interactive Brokers as a broker. So, your portfolio will be in an account in your name, and Simplewealth will execute trade operations for this account. But only trade operations can be done by Simplewealth. Transfer operations can only be done by you.

Interestingly, they are not only open to Swiss residents. If you are a European citizen, you can also open an account. And if you are an American living in Switzerland, you can also open an account, which is excellent because most services refuse Americans because of complex regulations.

It is important to note that Simplewealth will not store your money in Switzerland because they use IB. So, although they are a Swiss robo-advisor, you do not have the advantage of your money staying in Switzerland.

So, we now delve into the details of Simplewealth.

Investing strategy

3/5

We take a look at how Simplewealth will invest your money.

Like most Robo-advisors, Simplewealth invests using Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). This means they devise an investment portfolio of several ETFs, each with a different allocation. If the portfolio becomes too out of balance, they will keep it balanced.

Unfortunately, they are not very transparent about the ETFs they are using. I could not find this information on the website. This lack of information is funny (and sad) because they say that transparency is one of the central values on their About page.

I have started the registration process to get more information. The process asks the usual questions about your savings goal and investing capacity. From this, they will then derive your risk capacity and portfolio.

In my case, they recommend the most aggressive investment strategy, which makes sense. This strategy invests in the following:

  • 90% stocks
  • 5% high-yield bonds
  • 5% cash

I would have preferred getting rid of the bonds and going higher in stocks, but this is not a bad portfolio. I wish this could be found easily on the website without entering an email address.

Unfortunately, I did not get the details as to the content of this portfolio.

You need to have 5000 CHF on your account to get started with Simplewealth. 5000 CHF is a standard minimum in Switzerland to avoid having too few shares of ETFs.

Overall, the investing strategy seems to make sense. But there is not enough information available without sharing personal information. I would not recommend investing in any service without knowing more about what it will invest in. On top of that, an allocation of 90% to stocks is too little for aggressive investors.

Investing Fees

4/5

Investing fees are very important when you are considering any financial service. Investing fees are often the only control point on your future returns. So, here is how much Simplewealth is charging.

Simplewealth’s fee system is straightforward. They charge a 0.50% annual custody fee monthly. They also have a Corporate account with a 0.40% custody fee, but it is unclear what conditions are needed to obtain this account, so I will focus on the Individual account.

On top of that, you will have to pay the fees of the ETFs. Once again, they lack transparency because they do not mention this fee on their website. This fee will depend on the ETFs that are used in your portfolio. It could range from 0.10% to 0.30%.

Unlike most Swiss Robo-advisors, Simplewealth will not charge you Swiss stamp duty fees. The reason is simple: since they are using Interactive Brokers, they do not pay this fee.

Overall, the fees of Simplewealth are reasonable. A 0.50% custody fee is a good fee for Swiss Robo-advisors.

Security

4.5/5

Finally, we look at the security of using Simplewealth.

I did not find much about the technical security of Simplewealth. They are sharing that they follow Swiss standards for data protection. I have not found any record of a security issue with them. But they are relatively new and do not seem very well-known, so this does not tell us much.

Interactive Brokers LLC will hold all your money and securities. By creating an account with Simplewealth, you create an account with IB. This IB account is where your money will be held. Each Simplewealth customer has a different IB account, which is good!

Since they use IB, your assets have the same protection as if you had an account at IB UK. In case of bankruptcy, your cash should be protected by the FSCS for up to 85K GBP.

On top of that, we also get American protection through SIPC. Currently, this gives up to 500’000 USD protection, with a maximum protection of 250’000 USD for stocks.

As for regulations, Simplewealth is regulated by VQF and registered with FINMA. They should be under regular audit by VQF. These regulations are standard for asset managers.

Overall, the security at Simplewealth looks adequate. The protection in case of bankruptcy is good. I wish they were more transparent on their websites to trust them more.

Alternatives to Simplewealth

There are many good alternatives to Simplewealth.

Since they both use Interactive Brokers, Investart is an excellent alternative to Simplewealth. Investart has the same features and security, but the fees are lower. I also feel like they are significantly more transparent. You can read my review of Investart to get started.

If you want a Swiss Robo-advisor that stores your assets in Switzerland, I recommend True Wealth or Selma. Both are keeping your assets in Switzerland and are more transparent. True Wealth is the same price as Simplewealth, while Selma is straightforward to use for anybody. I have a review of Selma and a review of True Wealth.

Overall, I cannot find a significant advantage to Simplewealth compared to its alternatives.

FAQ

What is the minimum deposit for Simplewealth?

You need at least 5000 CHF for Simplewealth.

Where is your money at Simplewealth stored?

The money is in the hands of Interactive Brokers, a US broker.

Who is Simplewealth good for?

Simplewealth is good for Swiss investors that want to invest at a reasonable price, with their assets stored outside of Switzerland.

Who is Simplewealth not good for?

SimpleWealth is not great if you want your money to be stored in Switzerland since they will use Interactive Brokers to store you rmoney.

Simplewealth Summary

3/5
Simplewealth

Simplewealth is a Swiss Robo-advisor using Interactive Brokers to trade for its clients.

Editor's Rating:
3

Simplewealth Pros

Let's summarize the main advantages of Simplewealth:

  • Low custody fees
  • You can open an account with only 5000 CHF
  • Adequate security
  • Can be used by Europeans and Americans

Simplewealth Cons

Let's summarize the main disadvantages of Simplewealth:

  • Lack of transparency on the website
  • We do not know which ETFs they are using
  • The money is not stored in Switzerland
  • You need to keep 5% in cash
  • You can only invest up to 90% in stocks

Conclusion

While it is not a bad service, I would not recommend Simplewealth.

First, they should share more information on their websites without going through the account creation process. We cannot even find the composition of the portfolios they offer, and the portfolios themselves are not visible on the website.

Second, while they are a Swiss robo-advisor, your assets are not stored in Switzerland. Indeed, they use Interactive Brokers for the accounts. It is not bad, but we need to compare apples to apples. There are some better alternatives available.

If you want to learn more about Robo-advisors, I have an article about Robo-advisors.

What do you think about Simplewealth?

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Baptiste Wicht started thepoorswiss.com 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. In 2019, he is 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.

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10 thoughts on “Simplewealth Review 2024 – Pros & Cons”

  1. I’ve simply given up on Swiss financial service providers – especially for investment management. Recent debacle with Credit Suisse speaks enough about how much Finma can be trusted.

    Once assets start to go above 40K, plain bank accounts with a good European bank beats these fees. Upfront the fees may look scary (e.g. 20 EUR / month account maintenance fees) but that’s just 240 per year or 0.6% on 40K.

    All investment activities are either free of cost or at extremely dirt cheap brokerage, compared to Swiss brokers or “product costs” as they like to call it.

    Most ETFs are a joke.. with very obvious exposure to Apple, Microsoft, Tesla or Nestle, Roche (if you go for swiss-ness). Monkey can also pick such stocks.. not sure why we should pay obscene “TER” for it.

    I’d say, at 40K+ levels, a European provider is awesome.

    At 400K levels, things can change as a Swiss provider may be able to offer good “research service” a.k.a tips on what to invest in 😏 for example, many of them somehow “knew” about Tesla’s upcoming surge in December 2022

    1. I am not sure I get your points about ETFs. The TERs are far from obscene. My main ETF has 0.07% TER, this is much lower than most funds you could find. And if you tried to replicate the index yourself, you would pay much more than that unless you had millions.
      And the exposure to large companies is simply because index are market-capitalization-weighted generally and these companies are very large.

      1. As the blog earns commissions from referrals to Swiss financial service providers, clearly above comment won’t go down well :) The criticism wasn’t on ETFs in general, but Swiss ETFs and Swiss FinTechs.

        I think it will be very very hard to find a Swiss ETF with 0.07% TER. Secondly, TER does NOT include brokerage, bid-ask spreads, so plenty of opportunity to cheat a naive investor.

        For a true financial advice with best intentions at heart, perhaps the blog should also cover European Neobanks and Neobrokers like GetBux (and many more) which are unbeatable. Yes, there’s the “EUR” currency risk, but if someone is ultimately anyway buying stocks, it doesn’t matter where the custodian is.

      2. I agree that Swiss ETFs are often too expensive, but CHSPI my only Swiss ETF is at 0.10% TER which is quite fair.

        And I completely agree with you that Swiss brokers (even cheap ones) are too expensive. But this is a moot point because you can buy Swiss ETF with foreign brokers, I buy CHSPI with IB.

        As to your point with commissions, you are free to doubt my partiality, but I only recommend service I use or would use.

        The problem is that I cannot compare everything, it’s pretty much impossible for a single person doing that as a side hustle. If you don’t like my intentions, feel free to read another blog, there are plenty out there.

  2. It used to be the 0.50% fee applies only to accounts with over 48K CHF on deposit – is this no longer the case?

  3. Monsieur

    Since your assets are with IB outside Switzerland, what reporting is done by IB for Swiss residents.

    Merci

    1. Hi Jack,

      That’s a good question. I would believe that simplewealth will provide some reporting for taxes. But even if that’s not the case, that should not be an issue since I am using IB myself and never had issues with simple annual statements for taxes.

  4. Thanks a lot for a thorough review!
    I really appreciate that you are not afraid to post reviews which end in “I would not recommend XYZ”.

    I started using Selma last year after reading your review and I’m really happy so far (not with the performance lol, but that’s not up to Selma given current market).

    Have a great week!

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