FAQs – Frequently asked questions

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

ETFs?

  • What are ETFs?

    ETFs are exchange traded funds. Most ETFs simply try to replicate a certain 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 (although most actively managed funds don’t succeed anyway!).

  • What are the advantages of ETFs?

    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.

  • Was does TER mean?

    TER means total expense ratio, i.e., the ratio of all costs of the investment fund or ETF (e.g., fund management, portfolio management, auditing, custody) to the actual amount invested. Depending on the complexity, this ratio typically varies between 0.05% and 1%. At True Wealth we try to find the ETF with the lowest TER for you, provided it still meets the other criteria mentioned above.

  • Which ETFs do you use?

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

My account

  • What is a virtual account?

    A virtual 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 needed to create 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 view of the market. Or just sit back and watch your portfolio perform.

    Asset allocation in the virtual account is very similar to the real account. In the real account, you can see the actual ETFs that are behind the chosen asset allocation. Should you change the asset-mix, it will be implemented immediately in the test account scenario, but execution takes a bit longer in the real setting.

  • What will work differently once I get a real account?

    Your assets are deposited under your name with the custodian bank. As an asset manager, True Wealth will only execute transactions in the investment instruments selected for you and collect the management fee due. You may withdraw funds from True Wealth or the custodian bank, but the funds may only be remitted to an account that is exactly in your name. Any other remittance requires your signature.

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

  • How do I open an account?

    You open an account by taking the following steps:

    1. On filling in the online subscription form, you will get access to a password-protected user account.
    2. You will receive our wealth management contract and the prepared documents of the custodian bank ready for signature by mail. Please sign these documents and return them to us. For legal reasons, we will ask you for a proof of residency such as a copy or electronic photo of a utility or phone bill. To electronically confirm your identity you may simply send us a selfie and an electronic photo of your passport or ID and transfer an arbitrary amount from your existing Swiss bank account to your new bank account as intial deposit. Alternatively – if you don't have an existing Swiss bank account on your name – you may send us a certified copy of your ID or passport (available at any Swiss post office, at your notary, or at any major SBB desk). You will then get status updates with regard to the account opening process by e-mail until you receive your personal IBAN.
    3. Using your new IBAN you deposit the amount you wish to start investing with True Wealth. Information on deposits and withdrawals of funds can be found in your password-protected customer area at truewealth.ch once the bank account has been opened.
    4. We then assess your risk profile for the real account and suggest an asset mix in line with your risk tolerance. You may make adjustments at any time within the limits of your risk profile.
    5. We implement your asset allocation using the remitted funds.
  • Who may open an account?

    Any person who has reached the age of majority and is legally 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, it is currently not possible to open accounts for people with a United States background (US citizens, US residents, or persons with "resident alien" status).

  • What is the minimum amount to open an account?

    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 broadly diversified asset mix.

  • Where will my investments be held?

    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. Any transfers to an account that is not in your name will require your signature.

  • Who is the custodian bank?

    True Wealth AG has entered into an attractive collaboration with Saxo Bank (Schweiz) AG, which allows us to offer our customers an extremely favorable fee model. What is more, highly automated trade execution provides maximum reliability and cost efficiency.

Taxes

  • Who will provide me with the necessary tax documents?

    There is a tax statement ready in your client area (my portfolio>holdings>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.

  • Will I get tax documents if I am not tax-resident in Switzerland?

    No: For the time being we may only supply tax documents for Swiss taxpayers.

  • Are your investments tax efficient?

    When selecting ETFs (exchange traded funds) we consider costs 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, recover part of the US withholding on the dividends of the ETF itself (see the True Wealth online tax statement). Please note, however, that in some cases upon death of the investor the US estate tax may apply on US securities.

Deposits

  • How do I deposit funds to my account?

    After opening your account with the custodian bank, you will find your account information in the "Deposit/Withdrawal" 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.

  • Can I transfer existing securities?

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

  • What will happen to my asset mix when I deposit funds?

    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.

Withdrawals

  • How do I withdraw a partial amount from my account?

    Log into the customer area and go to the "Deposits/withdrawals" 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).

  • How can I close my account?

    Log into the customer area and go to the "Deposits/withdrawals" 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.

  • How much can I withdraw from my account?

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

  • What happens to my asset mix when I withdraw money?

    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.

  • Can I also transfer funds from my account to third parties?

    If you want to withdraw money, the target account should be in your name. In exceptional circumstances, you can specify a different account, but for your own protection we then have to forward a written transfer instruction with your signature to the custodian bank.

Security

  • How secure is True Wealth?

    1. All communication via our website is encrypted. Always make sure your browser displays the green address bar. We only store your password in an encrypted fashion.
    2. Your securities and cash are not kept with us, but in the custodian bank.
    3. For any transfer of funds from your account to an account that is not in your name, our custodian bank requires your personal signature – on paper.
  • Can I also use two-way security (SMS, mTAN, token, etc.) to log in?

    If you like, we are happy to activate two-channel authentication for your True Wealth account sign in. Simply send us a brief request at support@truewealth.ch to arrange it.

  • What else do I need to know?

    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 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.
  • What will happen to my account, if True Wealth is taken over or discontinues its operations?

    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 (ETFs and ETCs). 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.

  • Are my assets protected against bankruptcy?

    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 and ETCs, 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.

    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 5%), which we need for portfolio management purposes. For risk-averse investors, we use the ETF on short-term Swiss government bonds – in other words, a bankruptcy-protected substitute for cash.

Investment process

  • How does True Wealth determine my risk tolerance?

    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. Click here to find out more about why your risk tolerance is of critical importance to your portfolio.

  • How does True Wealth select the investment instruments?

    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. Click here to find out more about the optimal composition of your portfolio or the selection of suitable investment instruments.

  • Can I use other ETFs than the ones you recommend?

    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.

  • Can I invest in individual stocks at True Wealth?

    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.

  • How often will you adjust my portfolio?

    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.

  • Does True Wealth also offer portfolios for investors in currencies other than Swiss francs?

    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

Costs

  • How much is the asset management fee?

    True Wealth charges an asset management fee of 0.50% a year of your assets managed by True Wealth. The fee is billed on a quarterly basis. If larger amounts are withdrawn, the fee may be billed immediately.

  • What is included in the True Wealth asset management fee?

    Our management fee includes transactions costs (creation, adaptation to target weightings, portfolio reduction); i.e., trading commission and currency exchange markups charged to you by our custodian bank will be deducted from our management fee in the next fee statement. There is no right to having the commission reimbursed.

    No fees are charged for deposits and transfers to your external bank account. There is no custody fee, no retrocession fee, no postage charge, no service fee.