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FAQ

Here you may find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

ETFs?

ETFs are exchange traded funds. Most ETFs simply try to replicate a certain stock market index (e.g., the Swiss Market Index, SMI) and achieve the same returns. Unlike actively managed investment funds, ETFs do not aim to outperform the index (while most actively managed funds don't succeed anyway).

ETFs have the following advantages:

  • Low management cost (see TER below).
  • High liquidity, i.e., easy to buy and sell on the stock exchange, therefore no front-end or back-end load.
  • Diversification across a number of individual risks (stocks, bonds, etc.).

Not all ETFs meet these criteria to the same extent – choosing the right ETF is crucial.
At True Wealth, we find the best ETF for you.

TER stands for total expense ratio, i.e., the ratio of all costs of the investment fund or ETF (e.g., fund management, portfolio management, auditing, custody) in relation to the amount invested. Depending on the complexity of a given asset class, this ratio typically ranges between 0.05% and 1%. At True Wealth, we try to find ETFs with the lowest TER, provided they still meet the other aforementioned criteria. Our average TER is around 0.18% (a little more for the sustainable investment universe).

We select the best ETFs issued by the large, well-known global ETF providers that we think are optimal for our clients. We are independent in our ETF selection. For some asset classes we use US-ETFs, which often are highly liquid and cost efficient. Our ETFs are domiciled in Switzerland, in Europe (Ireland, Germany) and in the US.

My account

A test account allows you to familiarize yourself with True Wealth and test our offering for as long and in as much detail as you wish – at no cost and without any further obligations.

Create a login, answer the survey questions for determining your risk profile, log in and start investing! The default asset allocation is set according to the risk profile determined when you answered the initial questions. You may now readjust the asset allocation in line with your personal preferences or your assessment of the market. Sit back and watch the performance of your portfolio.

Asset allocation in the test account is very similar to the real account. In a real account, you can see the ETF instruments that are behind the chosen asset allocation. Should you change the asset allocation mix, it will be implemented immediately in the test account while execution normally takes 1-2 trading days in the real setting.

Your assets are deposited under your name with the custodian bank. As an asset manager, True Wealth will only execute transactions of the investment instruments relevant to you and collect the management fee. You may withdraw funds, but the funds may only be remitted to an account that is exactly in your name.

In a real account, if you change your asset allocation mix, the change will not be executed immediately. Find out more in the “Portfolio” section.

You open an account by taking the following steps:

  1. Fill out the registration form online. You will receive a password-protected user account.
  2. You will receive our asset management contract as well as the documents of the custodian bank prepared for electronic or handwritten signature. A selfie and a photo of your ID or passport are sufficient for electronic confirmation of your identity.
  3. Use your new IBAN to transfer the amount you want to invest with True Wealth. You will find the information for deposits and withdrawals in your login area on truewealth.ch
  4. In the login area, we determine your risk profile using a questionnaire so that your portfolio risk suits you well. You can adjust the target weights of your portfolio in the different asset classes at any time within the framework of your risk profile.
  5. We will build your portfolio in the following days.

Any natural person aged 18 or older who is a resident in Switzerland may use True Wealth and open an account, provided there is no suspicion of money laundering or terrorism financing.

True Wealth AG is authorized to provide asset management services in Switzerland only. The relationship between the client and True Wealth is exclusively governed by Swiss law. Unfortunately, we can't offer our services to U.S. persons (U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, or persons with "resident alien" status).

The minimum investment required for a True Wealth portfolio is CHF 8,500. This allows us to offer you a tailored portfolio with a sufficiently diversified asset allocation mix.

Once you have invested the minimum amount of CHF 8’500, there is no minimum amount of additional deposits. If you invest very small amounts below roughly CHF 200, then please note that we may keep your deposits in cash until the amount is sufficient to buy additional shares of investment instruments (ETFs).

Your assets will be held in an independent, separate (securities) account with our custodian bank. True Wealth may only execute transactions in the investment instruments selected for you and collect the management fee due. Withdrawals are only wired to a bank account in your name.

You can choose between an international banking group and a Swiss cantonal bank with a government guarantee:

  • Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank (BLKB) has a government guarantee from the Canton of Basel-Landschaft.
  • Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd, with Swiss banking license and deposit protection up to CHF 100,000.

No. If you are investing for yourself, we do not recommend dispersing your investments over multiple strategies. We implement your portfolio with a broadly diversified strategy which best suits your risk tolerance and financial targets was a whole.

Should you have more than one saving goal in mind, our free withdrawals allow you to access your money at any time.

If you would like to invest money belonging to other family members, they must open their own True Wealth account. Please note that we do not support accounts for minors yet, but we are working on providing children's portfolios.

Currently, the minimum age for you as the account holder is 18 years. We are working on children portfolios.

A True Wealth portfolio can currently only be opened in the name of one person.

If you want to setup an investment plan with recurring deposits, say a certain amount every month or quarter, simply set the recurring money transfer order in your e-banking of your bank. Please find the IBAN of your True Wealth portfolio in your login area at True Wealth.

There is nothing more you have to do, we will automatically invest your deposits according to your True Wealth investment strategy.

Please note that we do not offer a savings plan like banks do, but rather a digital investment solution.

At this point we do not support automated recurring orders for withdrawals.

Yes. You can download our App for smartphones and tablets here: Apple Store Download for iOS and here Google Play Download for Android.

A subsequent change of the account-holding bank (Saxo Bank or BLKB) is associated with a high level of complexity and time. Among other things, it requires a complete liquidation and reinvestment of your portfolio. Please contact our support if you should consider this.

It is possible to change the investment universe at a later date by selecting global or sustainable under "Investment universe" within the client area of True Wealth. Please note that during the implementation a large part of your securities (ETFs) will have to be sold and bought again in another form. This incurs Swiss stamp duties.

Taxes

There is a tax statement ready in your client area (click on you name in the top right corner, then tax statement) for the previous tax year. It includes the collective entries for your schedule of securities and assets. In addition, we calculate for you the collective entry for the form DA-1, which you may use to get a tax credit for the foreign withholding taxes.

No: for the time being, we only provide tax documents suitable for Swiss tax authorities.

When selecting ETFs (exchange traded funds) we consider cost as well as liquidity and counterparty risk, among other things. We also use US domiciled ETFs, some of which have extremely low costs and high liquidity. Hence our clients benefit from a very low bid-ask-spread.

From a tax perspective these ETFs are treated favorably regarding US withholding tax on the dividends and interest payments of the securities they hold. At the same time our clients can, in many cases, reclaim parts of the US withholding on the dividends of the ETF itself (see the True Wealth online tax statement). It should be noted, however, that if the investor dies, US securities may be subject to US estate tax in certain cases.

Deposits

After opening your account with the custodian bank, you will find your account information in the "Payments" section in the password-protected area. Just remit your funds to the required account. The sender account must be in your name. You may make additional deposits into your True Wealth account at any time.

Currently it is not possible to transfer specific securities from an existing custody account to your True Wealth account.

We will invest the additional funds you deposit pro rata according to your asset mix in order to retain the asset composition as close as possible to your target allocation.

At True Wealth, you'll receive four IBAN bank accounts in your name (in CHF, EUR, GBP and USD). Hence, you do not need to exchange existing foreign currency holdings when transferring money to your True Wealth account. All incoming deposits will be invested according to your investment mix. Very attractive foreign currency conditions apply: markups of only 10 basis points or 10 pips (percentage in point), that is approximately 0.10% on the foreign currency transaction volume.

Withdrawals

Log into the customer area and go to the "Payments" tab, where you can enter and confirm the amount you want to withdraw. We may then sell part of your portfolio and transfer the requested amount to your reference account.

Please note that you cannot make withdrawals that would take your account balance below the minimum of CHF 8,500 (unless you want to close your account).

Log into the customer area and go to the "Payments" tab, where you can request to have your account closed and confirm this request. We will then sell the contents of your portfolio, charge our management fee, and transfer the full amount to your reference account.

Please note that your account will be closed for good after that.

You have access to any amount you require from your True Wealth account. Please note that you cannot make withdrawals that would take your account balance below the minimum of CHF 8,500.

We check how much of your portfolio will have to be sold to meet your withdrawal request. Subsequently, this portion is sold pro rata to retain your asset mix.

No: If you want to withdraw money, the target account must be in your name.

Security

  1. All communication via our website is encrypted.
  2. We only store your password in an encrypted fashion.
  3. Your securities and cash are not kept with us, but in the custodian bank.
  4. Withdrawals are only possible to an account in your name.

Yes, in order to further protect access to your True Wealth account, you can activate two-factor authentication for your True Wealth account sign in. You can enable two-factor authentication in your True Wealth user settings. True Wealth uses the time-based one-time password (TOTP) standard. Please note that True Wealth does not support text message (SMS) based two-factor authentication.

You will need an authentication app installed on your mobile phone. We recommend for example Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator. Check the user settings for detailed instructions on how to set-up two-factor authentication for your account.

Note the following points:

  • Keep the password you use to log into True Wealth secret and do not use a password that is easy to guess.
  • Use a password that you don't use anywhere else.
  • Never disclose your password. We will never ask you for your password.
  • Do not follow any links that do not start with www.truewealth.ch. The best way to access our platform is to go via https://www.truewealth.ch.
  • The same applies to your e-mail access. Contact us immediately if you believe unauthorized persons have gained access to your e-mail account.

Your investments are not held in custody by True Wealth AG, but by the custodian bank. This applies to both your cash and your securities (ETF). If True Wealth is taken over, your account with our custodian bank will continue as before, and you will have access to it at any time. Should True Wealth discontinue its operations, your account at our custodian bank will likewise remain intact until you close it or you assign the asset management mandate to a different asset manager.

If True Wealth AG goes bankrupt, your investments will remain in custody at the custodian bank until you instruct it to close your cash and securities accounts, or you assign the asset management mandate to another asset manager. Your securities are held as special funds at the custodian bank. If the custodian bank goes bankrupt, your securities, i.e., all ETFs, will not be included in the bank's bankrupt estate, but will remain your property. Only the amount of cash would be included in the bank's bankrupt estate. In that case, deposit protection would apply to the first CHF 100,000 of your cash holdings.

Cash held with our custodian bank BLKB is even protected by the unlimited state guarantee. This means that the canton of Basel-Landschaft would bail-out all cash deposits booked at BLKB.

However, if there is systemic bankruptcy of several major banks at the same time, deposit protection may reach its limits. For this reason, our portfolio proposals mostly contain only a small proportion of cash (around 2%), which we need for portfolio management purposes. For risk-averse investors, beside cash deposits protected by the state guarantee of BLKB, we use the ETF on short-term Swiss government bonds.

Yes, we have contractually excluded securities lending with BLKB and Saxo Bank (Switzerland). Beyond our control, an institutional investor such as a large ETF provider might have an internal desk that handles their own securities lending program.

Investment process

True Wealth uses a questionnaire to determine your risk tolerance very accurately. We believe that our focused catalogue of questions is a very effective tool for determining our customers' true risk tolerance. The questionnaire allows us to assess each customer objectively.

Your risk tolerance has two aspects:

  1. Your subjective risk acceptance, which determines the risk level with which you are comfortable.
  2. Your objective risk acceptance, which determines the risk level that matches your personal circumstances and your financial situation.

Our questionnaire determines both aspects of your risk tolerance and leads to a matching portfolio proposal, optimized for you situation. Find out more about why your risk tolerance is of critical importance to your portfolio.

Our main objective is to recommend to you the asset mix that matches your risk tolerance on the basis of modern, scientific methods and to give you the best, most cost-efficient access to the asset classes used there. That is why we currently only use ETFs to implement your portfolio strategy.

When selecting ETFs, we search for the lowest fees and adequate liquidity. We are independent and do not have any business relationship with a specific ETF provider so that we are in a position to objectively select the best investment products for you. Find out more about the optimal composition of your portfolio or the selection of suitable investment instruments.

We carefully select each investment instrument we use because we believe that it is the best instrument for investing in the corresponding asset class. We provide an asset management service that aims to meet your investment needs holistically. This means that we may not always be the right solution for people who want to select securities on their own.

No. We believe that we can best meet your investment needs by recommending an asset mix that is optimized for your risk tolerance. We then implement, monitor, and regularly adjust this strategy with carefully selected instruments.

To deal with deposits and withdrawals, your portfolio is adjusted as soon as possible, although this also depends on external factors, such as stock market holidays.

Otherwise, the most efficient method is to readapt your portfolio to the asset mix as soon as its current composition differs from this mix by a specified amount. Fixed intervals (e.g., monthly or quarterly adjustments), by contrast, tend to entail higher costs. For this reason, we continuously monitor your portfolio and adapt it to the requested asset mix whenever necessary. We cannot provide any advance information about the timings, as they are influenced by the performance of the individual asset classes.

To provide maximal cost efficiency and fair treatment of all our clients, we pool trades across client portfolios.

Currently we typically perform these trades every 1-2 business days, except for holidays (including holidays during which Swiss, European and US stock exchanges are closed) or extraordinary circumstances. After buying and/or selling necessary investment instruments (ETFs), we do the foreign currency trades necessary to balance your foreign currency positions in your True Wealth portfolio.

When you withdraw money from your portfolio or close your portfolio, we then instruct our custodian banks once the securities (ETF) trades and currency exchanges are carried out to transfer the money to your external bank account. Please do allow for a couple of days for this process.

True Wealth's optimized asset mix uses Swiss and global asset classes. It has been optimized for investors whose future financial needs and expenses are primarily expected to be denominated in Swiss francs. We report on your portfolio in Swiss francs.

Investment risks

Investing involves risks. A detailed summary is given here: Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments.

Apart from the doumcent Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments the custodian bank refers to the following document in their account opening forms: Risk Disclosure Statement For Foreign Exchange And "Contracts For Difference (CFDs)".

Costs

True Wealth charges an asset management fee of 0.25-0.50% a year of your assets managed by True Wealth. The calculation is based on the average daily assets at the end of the day.

The annual management fee includes: trading commissions, rebalancing, changes to the investment mix, determination of risk tolerance, deposits / withdrawals, liquidations, custody fees, Swiss tax register and the statutory VAT. The management fee is 0.50% for investment portfolios up to CHF 500,000, and 0.25-0.50% for amounts beyond this (depending on the investment amount). External product costs (TER) and federal Stamp duties are not included. Very attractive foreign currency conditions apply: markups of only 10 basis points or 10 pips (percentage in point), that is approximately 0.10% on the foreign currency transaction volume.

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