Wealth Management Switzerland Study
115 Portfolios On The Test Bench

Why 71% of Swiss investment firms underperform (including banks) instead of creating the results you deserve. Discover 17 tips you must know BEFORE investing money.

Case studies show that most investors discover their wrong investments ONLY AFTER having suffered substantial losses with their portfolio. The wrong choice of the bank and wealth manager is the main reason for substantial losses. Learn from the mistakes of others.

I show you the right test questions and criteria to easily discover IN ADVANCE a good asset manager and unmask wealth destroyers. The nice thing is that you’ll be able to test money managers out BEFORE you start investing.

Thanks to my connections as the former CEO of the Swiss Association of Wealth Managers (https://www.vsv-asg.ch/) I got access to very confidential information. I analysed 115 existing portfolios based on a track record of 10 years. The 115 portfolios are managed directly by a Swiss bank or an external asset manager Switzerland.

The results of my studies will surprise you. Here is my promise.

“With the following insider information you will

  • Never pay excessive banking fees and make substantial losses again;
  • Make sure that your money comes and stays in safe hands.”

Your

Autor: Enzo Caputo
Banking Lawyer since: 1986

Position: Founder & CEO of the
Boutique Law Firm Caputo & Partners

Updated on: 05.04.2021

Important information on the content & the Covid-19 crisis 2020

Schweiz-Covid-19Rising markets over the past 11 years made poor performance invisible. Only the Corona Crash during the first quarter of 2020 (in the middle of the Corona crisis) revealed which asset managers in Switzerland did not professionally hedge their assets creating substantial losses.

What are the 4 main mistakes causing substantial losses?

  • High fees (hidden fees)
  • Leveraged investment portfolio with a Lombard loan
  • Risky financial products promoted by Product Pushers
  • Lack of hedging strategies

We collected reliable data and meaningful criteria from 115 real existing portfolios representing wealth management Switzerland. This information allows me to give clear answers to questions that you always wanted to know, but your banker kept secret.

Here you find the most frequently asked questions of non-resident investors that I am asked every day:

  • How much return per year is realistic?
  • Banks vs. independent asset managers: Who makes higher returns?
  • How much cost wealth management services in Switzerland?
  • Who lost more money in the Corona Crisis, the banks or independent asset managers?
  • Which investment strategy has been successful and which should you avoid?
  • How can you find a proven asset manager performing over the long term?

Independent financial advisor Switzerland – Study
As a boutique law firm, we are independent. We are not on the payroll of the big banks like the big law firms and consulting firms. That is why we can afford to speak the plain language.

Here you get an Exclusive Insight into:

  • Fact & Figures that have never been published and are difficult to access
  • little-known but meaningful criteria to secure your wealth
  • secret inside information on 115 portfolios covering the last 10 years
  • simple test questions for comparing asset managers vs Swiss private banks

📌 [1.] How to find a Best-in-Class Swiss wealth management company?

When choosing the best bank in Switzerland and wealth manager, do not rely on chance, coincidence or the well-intentioned advice of a good friend or family member. When it comes to your money, only hard facts and long-term data should influence your decision.

The Swiss wealth management ratings published by the Swiss magazine “Bilanz”, which received much attention in the Swiss press, only goes back to 1, 3 and a maximum of 5 years. Our data cover 10 years. We start where others give up. We analyze long-term records. After all, a Swiss bank account is opened for an average duration of 17 years. Foreign investors are coming to Switzerland to protect their assets long-term.

In the last stock market crash in March 2020 in particular, it became clear who masters the profession and who is only good as a fair-weather captain. Only those who can deal with exceptional situations in difficult markets and who can professionally hedge their assets will deserve our qualification as Best-in-Class Wealth Manager.

Very soon, I will give you 3 test questions. You can test your portfolio performance and test your financial institutions, family offices and external asset managers immediately (within 5 minutes).

Immediately after testing, you will know how well or badly your investment has been managed. The test result will tell you whether you need to switch the asset manager, family office or private bank involved in wealth management Switzerland.

Pay attention. Now comes the crucial question.

📌 [2.] How do I test a private bank or a Swiss wealth management company in Switzerland (in 5 minutes)?

Here are the 3 Test Questions you need to ask yourself about your investment return.

  1. Has my portfolio (reference currency in CHF, EUR or USD) achieved a positive return of 5% from January 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, despite the Corona Crisis?
  2. Has my portfolio (CHF, EUR or USD) achieved a positive return of at least 40% in the last 5 years, from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2020?
  3. Are my total costs per year for my portfolio in CHF, EUR or USD less than 1.2% per year of the number of assets under management?

Here you can see the components of the costs

Total costs:

  • custody fees +
  • transaction fees +
  • costs for asset management services +
  • hidden costs in the products (funds / ETFs / certificates)

If your answer is YES to all 3 questions, then you don’t need to contact me. You have the right bank and the right wealth manager for your portfolio. I congratulate you.

If you answer NO to any of these 3 questions, you should contact us now.

Together as a team, we analyze how you can keep your costs low and sustainably improve your returns with one of our Best-in-Class Swiss wealth management companies.

The return should never be eaten up by excessive costs!

Thanks to institutional pricing with the custodian banks and their proven skills, our Best-in-Class Swiss wealth management firms achieve above-average results (above benchmark).

Using strict selection criteria, we filter out the Best-in-Class asset manager. We would be happy to show you our data and facts in a personal meeting.

  • If you are not happy with the results,
  • if you think you are overcharged,
  • If you would like to have a second opinion on the quality of your investments,
  • if you have the suspicion something went wrong with your portfolio,
  • If your relationship manager or private banker employed in the bank changes all six months,

you should let us do a Portfolio Health-Check.

📌 [3.] Swiss wealth advisors comparison

This is how we tested:

Our studies in connection with “Wealth Management Switzerland on the Test Bench” compared and analysed financial institutions and wealth management service companies with 115 real existing securities portfolios (no backtesting).

115 investors from all over the world have given us very confidential portfolio statements and fund data from the last 5 to 10 years for analysis and testing of Swiss investment firms. Analyzes of a period of below 5 years are not reliable enough. That is why the period analyzed is 5 – 10 years.

Cost comparisons that are prominently posted on the Internet do not take into account the hidden costs. The Swiss private banking industry is very intransparent. Intransparent costs hidden inside the financial products are very difficult to calculate.

Sharpe Ratio Definition

The Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe invented the Sharpe Ratio. The Share Ration helps investors to qualify the return of the investment compared to its risk. The Sharpe Ratio is the ratio of performance to the risk taken. The risk is measured by the actual fluctuations of the prices of the securities in the portfolio, better known as Volatility. The greater the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return. The Sharpe Ratio is based on the assumption that investment returns are normally distributed, which is not true.

The takeaway is:

“Who can realize a better return with the same level of risk; of course, including the costs and fees.”

Maximum cost transparency is fundamental. Custody fees, transaction costs, hidden fees for products and the fee for the asset management service are deducted from the return. The net before-tax performance is crucial for a Swiss wealth management company to be qualified as a Best-in-Class asset manager by our Boutique Law Firm Caputo & Partners.

Our calculations are based on the classic 4 risk classes:

  1. Income
  2. Balanced
  3. Growth
  4. Equity

The risk classification is based on the real price fluctuations of the portfolio values.
The volatility is calculated based on the effective market fluctuations.

  • 19 asset managers with in-house portfolios, so-called “managed accounts”
  • 15 asset managers with flexible asset allocation in mixed funds
  • 81 asset managers with equity portfolios

We explored this non-transparent market. Here is a surprising fact among our findings:

  • Only 29% of asset managers work above-average (above-benchmark).
  • This means that 71% of asset managers generate below-average returns.

📌 [4.] What is a good rate of return on your money?

Only 29% of all wealth managers deliver above-average results. Therefore, only 29% of all wealth managers are good wealth managers (above-benchmark).

Only half of the good wealth managers are very good wealth managers. Therefore, 14,5% outperformers deserve our rating: “Best-in-Class Asset Manager”.

According to our criteria, only 14,5% of all wealth managers can be considered as Best-in-Class Asset Managers.

❓ How much return can you expect from a good asset manager?

❓ How much return is realistic?

If your portfolio (with reference currency CHF, EUR or USD) has still achieved a positive return of 25% overall in the last 5 years, i.e. from May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2020, despite the Corona crisis, then you made a realistic return you can expect from a good asset manager. If the return is far over 25% in the same period of 5 years, then a “Best-in-Class Asset Manager” is at work. Your fortune is in the best hands of the guild.

A very good external asset manager that we have on our Best-in-Class asset manager platform is managing the private assets of the owners of a well-known Swiss wealth management company and multi-family office. If professional wealth managers engaged one of our Best-in-Class asset managers for their private assets, this means something. Best-in-Class asset managers are almost as difficult to find as needles in a haystack.

One of our Best-in-Class Swiss wealth advisors is a medical doctor; not an economist or financial analyst. This medic is so successful in managing the stocks of healthcare and biotech companies that even proven asset managers have entrusted the management of their private wealth to the medic in his new role as asset manager of a hedge fund.

Another of our Best-in-Class wealth managers realized an 11% return on average per year for the last 13 years (2008 – 2021, incl. Subprime Crisis and Corona Crash) with a portfolio with max. 40% equities. Past results are not a guarantee for future results. Nevertheless, long-term track records exceeding 5 years are important for our selection process.

“The truth is, in this business, all that counts is results.”

In contrast, 71% of all asset managers (mainly banks) provide below-average results. They can destroy your wealth. They have produced unacceptable losses during the Corona Crash. That means a red flag for diligent investors. Similar events such as the Corona Crash will come again.

“Sooner or later, a fair-weather captain without a proven hedging strategy will produce heavy losses.”

What surprised me is:
Of the 29% of 115 asset managers that deliver above-average results, only 20% are banks. Of the good assets managers (= 29%) 80% are independent asset managers, while 20% only are banks.

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Let’s take a closer look at the results of the banks!

A general assessment of the banks:

Our studies show that most banks are charging excessive fees and produce poor results.

In other words:

“Good asset managers are 4 times more likely to be found among independent asset managers (80%) than among banks (20%)”.

What does it mean for you?
If you leave the management of your assets to the bank alone, you are 4 times more likely to end up losing money.

“You should deposit your assets with the safest Swiss private bank, on your account, in your name, BUT you should always outsource the asset management services to a Swiss wealth management company (money stays always with the bank). That’s the main reason we always propose an external asset manager. That’s the main reason why all family offices have outsourced the asset management services to an external asset manager in Switzerland.”

External-Asset-Manager

Many banks want to place their financial products. Many bankers are not consultants. They act as “Product Pushers” of their products, which are not always suitable for the investor. The banker is in a conflict of interest situation. Should he act in the interest of the bank (employer) selling as many financial products as possible or in the interest of his client? Should he buy the best financial product for the bank or the most suitable product for his client? That’s the reason why banks are producing modest results for their clients.

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🎞️ ⬇️Content of the Video⬇️

00:00​ 👉 What are the most frequent mistakes made by non-resident investors?
00:45​ 👉 I analysed the history of successful portfolios. Here is what I discovered.
01:54​ 👉 Why are Swiss bank accounts so popular?
02:21​ 👉 How you benefit from the Swiss bank account advantages?
03:25​ 👉 Do not walk in a Swiss bank alone
03:41​ 👉 Why are all-in fees so important to safeguard your Swiss bank account
05:07​ 👉 Find out if your banker is a job-hopper or product pusher
07:49​ 👉 How can I find a Best-in-Class asset manager?
09:06​ 👉 Not considering Switzerland for asset protection is a mistake
10:12​ 👉 Very successful private bankers often become independent asset managers
10:56​ 👉 How much will cost my asset protection setup
11:53​ 👉 How much money do you need to open a Swiss bank account?
12:55​ 👉 Why is an offshore bank account so important for asset protection?
13:17​ 👉 Rapacious tax authorities shoot first and ask later

📌 [5.] How do I find the best sustainable wealth management services?

Acting as your Asset Protector, we ensure that your assets come and stay in safe hands – in the hands of the safest Swiss private bank and managed by a Best-in-Class wealth manager in Switzerland. Only the Best-in-Class, who can hedge assets even in turbulent markets (as we had during the Corona Crash in March 2020), are good enough for us.

Our mission as your Asset Protector is to:

identify, monitor and filter the best asset managers in Switzerland and the safest Swiss private banks. It’s an ongoing process.

I’ll give you a brand new example.

If a Swiss bank like UBS suddenly has to face problems with the bank’s appeal against the horrific French tax penalty of EUR 4.5 billion the outcome of the appeal can hurt the bank’s capital and thus on the security of the clients’ liquidity. UBS clients will be closely watching the bank’s appeal against a EUR 4.5 billion tax evasion penalty in France. The French court decision is expected before the end of March 2021. Other Swiss banks were suspected to have hidden embezzled Venezuela funds.

Check the article dated 8 March 2021 on UBS French Tax Evasion Appeal :
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/what-s-at-stake-for-ubs-s-french-tax-evasion-appeal/46416072

This is where our Asset Protection Service comes into play.

If the Swiss banks of our clients are involved in big scale tax evasion and international corruption scandals, we would recommend our clients to change the bank. Thanks to the rumours among the Swiss private banking industry, we are often updated before the headlines appear within the financial media. Asset managers don’t always shine with excellence either. Should an asset management company be sold to the Chinese, we would advise you and recommend a replacement.

Past returns are no guarantee of future returns. Sustainable asset management in Switzerland is geared towards the long term. We don’t like speculation. We protect the assets of our clients. If you want to speculate, you should ask the Wolves of Wall Street in New York for help. The fine art of Swiss banking is tailor-made to better protect your assets.

We strive for sustainable asset management in Switzerland, which is always coordinated with the investor in advance. We clarify all expectations, suggestions, wishes and comments from the client right from the start.

In many cases, we were able to discover the hidden needs of the client that he did not even know. It was only in conversation that we discovered the latent needs of the client. Subsequently, we offered useful vehicles for optimizing the estate of the client. Before the conversation, the customer had no idea that such useful corporate vehicles even existed.

Example: The ecologically thinking investor with a social streak

If an investor wants to invest sustainably (ecologically and socially), he will not be successful alone. The mistakes are around the corner.
ecological, social, entrepreneurial, measurable by the ESG Score (Environment, Social, Governance).

The layman is simply overwhelmed in this opaque market. This has been proven by the many inquiries we received at Caputo & Partners from disappointed investors who blindly entrusted their money to a test winner from Bilanz magazine.

Anyone who, as a layperson, wants to make comparisons among the test winners and thinks that they can identify the Best-in-Class asset manager alone risks losing their assets. We have had many clients who single-handedly destroyed large parts of their assets. An independent consultant is worth its weight in gold. Especially when clients are looking for sustainable asset management.

📌 [6.] Best Swiss Wealth Management Company – “Bilanz” Rating 28 Feb. 2020

The largest asset managers in Switzerland are not always the best. We only trust our figures. Our numbers go back to 10 years. We have real numbers from real existing investment portfolios. Our results are not based on third-party figures, such as the rating of the magazine Bilanz, which uses figures from Firstfive or the rating of the Handelszeitung, Zurich, which in turn uses the figures from the magazine Bilanz.

A disappointed investor from Switzerland asked me for legal advice. He blindly trusted the rating of the magazine Bilanz and invested his money with one of the 3 test winners, Lakefield & Partners, wealth management Zürich. Unfortunately, he did not achieve the expected return. He was frustrated.

He considered taking legal action against Lakefield & Partners. He was only invested for a short time in an investment fund proposed by the test winner Lakefield & Partners in Zurich. He was convinced that with the test winner nothing can go wrong. Successful asset management in Switzerland is a marathon, not a sprint. Even test winners cannot make miracles.

We convinced our client to not take action against Lakefield & Partners in Zurich. We prevented him from spending a lot of money for an adventure with no results. Usually, the litigation costs for legal proceedings against a bank or an asset manager are mind blowing. The risks involved are unproportional.

In the following chart, I copied the results (Return, Risk, Sharpe) from the Magazine Bilanz Rating 2020. Some of my clients told me that asset managers paid money for being published in the Magazine Bilanz. Other clients told me that the Bilanz numbers are contradictory. The magazine justifies the payments. They argue that the asset manager’s contributions are used for running the platform. Today, platform costs are negligent. The last Magazine Bilanz Ratings published in February 2021 are based on a point-system and not anymore on absolute numbers.

I don’t know exactly what the truth is but I know for sure that you need an expert for analysing and comparing portfolio performance results. Be careful BEFORE investing your money.

Best External Asset Manager Switzerland
Magazine “Bilanz” Rating 28 Feb. 2020 (Source: Firstfive)

Top 3 Swiss Investment Firms over 12 months

Return Risk Sharpe Ratio*
1. Tareno 15,61 3,93 4,16
2. Milesi Asset Management 12,45 3,80 3,47
3. Lakefield Partners 31,57 10,96 2,95

 

Top 3 Swiss Investment Firms over 36 months

Return Risk Sharpe Ratio*
1. Oddo BHF Trust 36,29 9,80 1,18
2. Milesi Asset Management 40,28 8,56 1,48
3. Zugerberg Finanz 16,90 6,39 0,95

 

Top 3 Swiss Investment Firms over 60 months

Return Risk Sharpe Ratio*
1. Zugerberg Finanz 38,19 10,72 0,69
2. Lakefield Partners 52,40 9,53 1,00
3. Oddo BHF Trust 36,47 10,27 0,70

*Return to Risk Ratio (Volatility)

The goal of a successful asset manager is to generate a better return by taking the same amount of risks.

📌 [7.] Largest asset managers in Switzerland – are they the best?

  • The number of licensed banks in Switzerland: 220 (March 2021)
  • The number of licensed independent wealth managers in Switzerland: approx. 1’500

(Source: Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, www.finma.ch)

Alert: Our data and facts are processed in statistics, but we do not claim any scientific accuracy with our statistics.

Our experience as an international boutique law firm with unhappy investors shows every day how important it is to carefully select a performing wealth manager. Providing successful wealth management in Switzerland from day 1 is our goal.

Many investors realize that the wrong asset manager or bank has abused their trust. Unfortunately, the discovery came too late; after having suffered painful losses. Many investors are reluctant to admit that their private banker is losing money with impartial advice based on unsuitable financial products (financial products of the bank with hidden fees). Many bankers have poor knowledge. They are just Product Pushers. Product Pushers are taking advantage of the illimited trust of non-resident clients. Their goal is to increase their bonus payment diminishing the value of the client’s portfolio.

Known brands such as IG Wealth Management, Fidelity Wealth Management, Carson Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, UBS Wealth Management have the advantage of illimited trust. Clients are reluctant to believe that big brands can make mistakes.

Due to the strong relationship with the private banker over the years, investors refuse to recognize the losses. Despite the costs, banks are inviting clients to prominent events such as formula one racing events in Monza or Monte Carlo. Financial institutions are fully aware of the outcome of such events. The largest financial institutions are masters in building up illimited trust.

Instead of giving a break to the relationship with the bank, they continue suffering losses. They refuse to accept the reality because of strong emotional ties to their private banker.

“Do not underestimate the magic power of emotional ties created by psychologically trained private bankers & illimited trust of big brands.”

Let me give you an example (coming out of my daily business):

I have a client who lost 12 million USD during the last 4 years. In the same period, other investors made good money. The portfolio was intransparent and full of structured products. I tried for 2 years convincing him to take the asset management away from his bank and pass it over to my Best-in-Class Wealth Manager. Only after an impartial portfolio health check made by a neutral asset manager, he admitted the disaster with his portfolio. He was blocked by the illimited trust of big brands. Sometimes, human beings are strange creatures.

Therefore, we offer an impartial portfolio health check to our clients.

To the best of our knowledge and belief based on a 10 years track record of our Best-in-Class asset managers, we ensure that your assets are in safe hands, where they can grow step by step.

Our mission is:
Monitoring the best asset managers in Switzerland + safest Swiss private banks.

The goal is a moving target. The quality of asset managers and the safety of banks are changing.

We identify, monitor and recommend:

  • the safest private banks in the world
  • the Best-in-Class asset managers in Switzerland

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🎞️ ⬇️Content of the Video⬇️

00:00​ 👉 Introduction: Which country has the most secure banks in the world 2021
00:29​ 👉 How to protect what’s yours?
02:08​ 👉 Why are compliance officers reluctant with offshore banking business?
03:15​ 👉 Since March 2013, Cyprus is doing a lot for attracting new investors
04:25​ 👉 The European Union attacked Cyprus for attracting criminal money
05:01​ 👉 The European Union legalized confiscation since 2017. What does it mean for you?
05:30​ 👉 Only 3 countries in Europe are no indebted
05:58​ 👉 Lebanon’s Zoombie banking sector
06:26​ 👉 Since August 20219, clients of Lebanese Zoombie banks can’t take money out of Lebanon
06:45​ 👉 Look at the credit rating of the country first before checking the credit rating of the bank
06:48​ 👉 How many countries have a AAA credit rating?
07:56​ 👉 Corporate bank accounts in Bulgaria for non-resident owners
09:02​ 👉 Will Hong Kong remain a financial hub
09:46​ 👉 Investors leave Hong Kong before it’s too late
10:43​ 👉 Banking in Singapore has become difficult
11:57​ 👉 Not all banks are safe in Dubai – investors lost their money
12:33​ 👉 Don’t use fictitious residence in Dubai for tax evasion – the OECD is aware of it!
13:52​ 👉 Banking in Austria has become difficult for non-resident investors
14:11​ 👉 Banking in Liechtenstein
14:33​ 👉 Miami is the hub for untaxed money owned by European tax dodgers
15:48​ 👉 Avoid international payments in USD because of stupid questions of US bankers
16:07​ 👉 Your money can remain locked with Caribbean banks
18:01​ 👉 Winner of the beauty contest: Swiss banks are the best for asset protection
19:12​ 👉 How much money do Swiss banks have under management?
20:20​ 👉 Why is your money safe in a Swiss bank?
21:14​ 👉 Do not go to a Swiss bank alone for account opening
21:47​ 👉 How to deal and negotiate with Swiss banks?
22:01​ 👉 If a bank takes your money without asking questions you should go away immediately
22:15​ 👉 Internet is full of fake banks

📌 [8.] What are the advantages of having an Asset Protector like Caputo & Partners?

Since the Corona Crisis, the number of smart investors choosing Swiss banks for better asset protection increased drastically (mainly Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and the Gulf region).

Since the Corona Crash in March 2020, Swiss banks broke all record numbers. They reached more than 9’000’000’000’000 CHF (9’000 billion CHF) assets under management. 30% of all privately owned offshore money on the planet is managed in Switzerland.

The world has become more insecure. Endless money printing, helicopter money, no trust in the EUR and USD, the strong Swiss franc etc. made Switzerland the safest place for asset protection. Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway are the 3 countries without budget problems. The rest of Europe is indebted. Smart investors do not trust their governments at home. They want to geographically diversify their assets with the safest banks on earth opting for a secure and politically stable country like Switzerland.

The daily business experience in my law firm shows that non-resident investors have a misconception. They think that engaging an external asset manager is expensive. Therefore, their assets are often managed by Swiss banks.

Here is the truth. Engaging an external asset manager is more convenient than having the assets managed by the bank. They think that they have to bring the assets to the asset manager instead of the bank. That’s not true. The funds are always deposited with the Swiss private bank. Only the asset management activities are outsourced based on a limited power of attorney in favour of the independent asset manager.

Let me summarize the advantages of engaging a Swiss wealth management company cooperating with Caputo & Partners:

  • We help you to choose the safest Swiss private bank for depositing your assets
  • Strong capitalized bank with core business wealth management Switzerland
  • The Swiss bank should not be involved in derivatives trading, no investment banking, no trade finance, no letters of credit, no credit lending activities, no risky activities at all
  • Negotiation of contracts with the bank and the asset manager based on transparent pricing
  • Above-average returns thanks to Best-in-Class wealth management services
  • Low costs with “all-inclusive” fees, max. 1.2% per annum from the assets under management
  • For assets under management above 5 million CHF you will pay less than 1% fees
  • No churning activities with unjustified transactions
  • Lower costs thanks to institutional pricing with preferential treatment
  • No conflicts of interest situations
  • Fair cooperation model with our Asset Protection Agreement with a fairness clause
  • All discounts from financial services companies are credited to the client
  • Better risk diversification through a combination of specialized asset managers for big fortunes
  • Triple control of assets by the bank, asset manager and us, acting as your Asset Protector
  • As shown, only 29% of all wealth managers deliver above-average results. Good asset managers have hedging strategies. The Corona Crash in Q1 2020 showed how valuable hedging can be in caso of a crash. The next crash will come for sure

Make sure that your money comes and stays in safe hands.

Further facts, data and measurement criteria on asset management will follow later based on my practical case study on wealth management Switzerland.

What I can tell you with certainty is:

“Anyone who performed excellently in these difficult times (Corona crisis 2020) will continue to perform even after the stock market crash.”

“Take some of your wealth out of your country (to Switzerland) before your country takes it out from you!
We are approaching uncertain times. It’s never too early, but often too late. Act today because transfers to Switzerland could be banned in the future.”

Achieve peace of mind. Take the first step for protecting your wealth by booking an appointment with me. We offer you a personal meeting or a Zoom video call. Give us a call now.

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🎞️ ⬇️Content of the Video⬇️

00:00 👉 The world is becoming more insecure
01:30 👉 Why Switzerland is attracting so much new money since Covid-19 crisis?
02:17 👉 Most countries are sinking deeper and deeper into insolvency
03:12 👉 How to circumvent Lebanese capital export restrictions?
04:14 👉 The last will be bitten by the dogs
04:27 👉 Capital export restriction are coming overnight – no announcement!
05:10 👉 Having a Swiss bank account is not illegal – hiding money is!
05:16 👉 How to circumvent OECD reporting obligations?
07:00 👉 How to tell if a bank is safe?
08:32 👉 Smart investors have a plan B
10:12 👉 The best asset managers of the world are located in Switzerland
11:04 👉 Why is the Swiss Franc so strong?
12:30 👉 Swiss asset managers achieve better results than banks
13:35 👉 Why you will make more money with your Swiss bank account?
14:25 👉 Since Covid-19, US investors are buying a second passport
15:00 👉 Here is the typical performance of a Swiss best in class asset manager
18:02 👉 A Swiss bank account guarantees a much better medical treatment
20:50 👉 Asset protection must take place before bad things take place
20:58 👉 Geographical diversification of assets is more important than diversification of investments
22:22 👉 How to avoid the risk of financial kidnapping?
23:20 👉 How secure are banks in Georgia?

📌 [9.] How to open a Swiss bank account for non-resident

The most important documents for opening a Swiss bank account are:

  • Passport
  • Short CV or Resume (max 1 page)
  • Utility Bill showing the place of residence
  • Documents showing the source of your funds

However, not all banks open a Swiss bank account for non-resident. Today, it has become more difficult to open a Swiss bank account. Unfortunately, more banks than ever are rejecting foreign clients who are not resident in Switzerland. International regulations (FATCA, the SEC in the USA) that are imposed by foreign regulators are increasing the pressure on Swiss banks.

Let me give you an example:
US clients can only be accepted if the Swiss bank has the SEC license (US Securities and Exchange Commission) and the US client maintains a discretionary asset management agreement with a Swiss wealth management company having an SEC license. Similar restrictions are in place for Canadians and Australian clients.

If you are a US person, please watch the following video: Six Banks That Accepts US Clients

It can be very difficult for a non-resident client to find the right Swiss private bank.

Only certain banks are eligible for non-resident clients. We know exactly which banks are accepting non-resident clients from specific countries. Regulations are changing on a continuous basis. Good consultants are worth their weight in gold.

Here is another example: Most Swiss banks are currently terminating client relationships from Iran, Africa and Venezuela.

Iranians complained to us about it, because they were complimented out of the bank after more than 40 years of account relationship. We then found a bank for our clients despite the Iran sanctions. We were able to document that the fortune was made before the revolution in Iran in 1979.

“We always find a solution, even in apparently hopeless cases.“

UBS and CS closed the Nigeria Desk. Compliance requirements have increased. FINMA took action. Fear and horror have spread among the banks.

It is particularly difficult for investors from Africa to open an account in Switzerland. We offer tailor-made and creative solutions for our African clients, under the imperative condition that the origin of the assets can be fully documented.

For reasons of international compliance and its complexity, our advice is particularly valued by foreign clients. We are specialists for guiding non-resident investors with Swiss private banks.

It’s incredible, but it’s true. There was no list with all banks in Switzerland offering private banking services. We changed that by creating the largest Swiss banks list offering private wealth management in Switzerland.

Everyday investors from all over the world ask me:

  • Which Swiss banks do you recommend?
  • How to tell if a bank is safe?
  • What criteria do I use to assess the security of a bank?

Watch this video: How to tell if a bank is safe?

Click on the Play Button (Red Play Button) to start the Video

🎞️ ⬇️Content of the Video⬇️

00:00​ 👉 Only a few Swiss banks can onboard US resident investors legally.
01:42​ 👉 Can a US citizen have a bank account in Switzerland?
02:15​ 👉 Bring your money out of the influence of the authorities at home
03:13​ 👉 The best 6 Swiss banks that accept US citizens are taking care of your tax reporting obligations
03:42​ 👉 Swiss banks will protect your money from greedy spouses, lawyers and rapacious creditors
04:28​ 👉 Opening a Swiss bank account means better asset protection with Swiss banks
04:59​ 👉 How can a foreigner open a bank account in Switzerland?
05:39​ 👉 Here are the names of the 6 Swiss banks that accept US citizens
07:16​ 👉 Don’t engage an asset management entity controlled by the Swiss bank
08:01​ 👉 An asset manager being a product pusher can destroy your wealth
09:55​ 👉 How much is the Swiss bank account opening minimum balance?
11:16​ 👉 We have Swiss banks asking for a minimum balance of only 500,000 EUR
12:31​ 👉 Verify the track record based on bank statements. Don’t accept excel sheets
13:22​ 👉 What do Swiss banks look for before approving the account?
14:40​ 👉 Don’t fabricate missing documents
15:13​ 👉 List with examples of the origin and history of funds documents
16:40​ 👉 90% of non-resident clients can’t tell if a bank is safe
17:12​ 👉 The average duration of a Swiss bank account is 17 year
17:40​ 👉 Non-resident investors will pay less with our introduction services

📌 [10.] How to choose the best private banks in Switzerland

The largest private banks in Switzerland are not always the best. Large banks are not a guarantee for safety. We mostly avoid Americanized universal monster banks.

Successful international business people are looking for peace of mind with the safest Swiss banks. Therefore, maximum security when choosing banks is important to us. For our international private customers, we exclusively identify and monitor Swiss private banks not involved with high-risk activities.

We are targeting banks who are not involved in:

  • Not with derivatives trading

  • Not with investment banking
  • Not with trade finance activities (no letter of credit, no bank guarantees)
  • Not with risky lending activities
  • Not with scandals, legal procedures for international corruption and tax evasion

We propose well-capitalized Swiss private banks having a Tier One Capital Ratio exceeding 20%. If a bank no longer meets our requirements, it will be replaced.

The core business of our Swiss private banks should be wealth management and nothing else.

History shows that universal banks are more susceptible to blackmail than private banks that are only based in Switzerland. In order not to lose the banking license abroad (especially in the USA), certain banks have betrayed their clients (tax dodgers) in the past providing compromising bank account information to the USA.

With us, you will find the best and safest bank for your hard-earned money. We look for the safest place for depositing your liquidity and your assets.

Above all, our private banking guide helps non-resident investors to draw their first conclusions about the security of private banks in Switzerland. But first conclusions can’t replace a personal conversation with Swiss private banking industry experts like us.

Should a Swiss bank file for bankruptcy, the client’s investments do not fall into the bank’s bankruptcy estate (under Swiss law). Rather, the customer has the privilege and the benefit of segregating and taking out his investments from the bank’s bankruptcy estate. The client’s assets are not part of the bankruptcy estate of the bank (already known as “Beneficium Excussionis Realis” in the pandects of Roman law, Emperor Justinian 482 – 565 AD).

The Swiss Bankers Association takes a close look if a Swiss bank slips into the red numbers. Before it files for bankruptcy, the Swiss Bankers Association will find a strong bank to take over the ailing bank. The Swiss Bankers Association knows exactly that it takes decades of years to build up an impeccable reputation but only one day to destroy it.

📌 [11.] What are the private banking net worth requirements

We ask for a minimum investment of CHF 500,000 as we suggest our clients to outsource the wealth management services to our Best-in-Class Asset Managers. This is the only way external asset managers in Switzerland can diversify their investments accordingly and thus reduce the risks.

The private banking minimum requirements imposed by the Swiss private banks start from a minimum investment of one million CHF to two or more million assets under management in case the Swiss private bank takes care of the wealth management services. As our Best-in-Class asset managers have already the assets of other clients placed with the Swiss private banks, we are in a privileged position to offer a CHF 500’000 start capital only.

Small assets under CHF 500,000 can only be broadly diversified through investment funds or other collective investments. This causes increased fees, which reduce the return. That is why we advise investors with assets of less than CHF 500,000 only in exceptional situations.

We analyze your goals, your current situation regarding business, taxes, real estate, inheritance, pension planning, insurance, migration planning, asset protection, citizenship by investment, golden visa, lump-sum taxation regimes. Together, we will develop your financial planning so that you can achieve your financial goals step by step.

“We make sure that your money comes and stays in safe hands.”

Financial planning and investments should not be done alone. Even the greatest financial genius should be open to advise. We often get additional external advice from specialists for our clients. All family offices of super-wealthy families have engaged external asset managers. Family offices do a consolidated analysis of all their portfolios managed by different asset managers and booked with different banks. You should do the same and let very good professionals manage your money.

📌 [12.] 3 Standard Agreements offered by a Swiss wealth management company

Here are the 3 Standard Agreements that have to be approved by the Swiss regulator.

a. Investment Advisory Agreement with order execution

Our clients are predominantly internationally oriented entrepreneurs. You are already a financial professional with significant market experience. You want to benefit from our market knowledge and, above all, from our network, but want to retain full control over investment decisions.

Regardless of whether you are well educated in the financial world or want to make money with simple investments, the input of qualified advisors is of great added value. There is an Investment Advisory Agreement for these clients. The customer is advised with honest views on current market situations, developments and forecasts and supported in the pre-selection of possible investments, but he alone decides on the investment to be made. The investment advisor carries out the client’s investment decision at the bank based on a limited power of attorney.

b. Discretionary Asset Management Agreement

Discretionary managed accounts are accounts on which the asset manager can manage the assets at his discretion in accordance with a risk profile agreed in advance. The asset manager makes investment decisions alone. Clients with managed accounts delegate investment decisions to the external asset manager or the bank.

The asset manager has a limited power of attorney on the investor’s account. He is authorized to manage the assets. However, he is not allowed to withdraw funds from the account.

After a thorough analysis of the financial situation, assessment of the risk profile and personal circumstances, an individually structured investment portfolio is designed that corresponds to the client’s expected return and risk tolerance.

International business people who do not want to interfere in the investment decision process sign a Discretionary Asset Management Agreement.

c. Agreement for FX Advice with Order Execution

International clients who sign contracts for investment advice on FX accounts are typically financial professionals and/or international commodity traders. You appreciate the high security of a first-class Swiss custodian bank to deposit large liquidity positions. You will receive professional advice from one of our FX specialists combined with first-class order execution.

You can professionally execute cash transactions, forward transactions, FX swaps, futures, options and structured products in all leading currencies. We help with the optimal selection of the custodian bank so that our clients can also enjoy first-class advice and execution of FX transactions in some emerging countries.

Our Best-in-Class asset manager strives for a higher return with the same risk level.

📌 [13.] Five common misconceptions about Swiss wealth management you shouldn’t believe

Non-resident investors avoid an independent asset manager because of common misconceptions.

Non-resident investors keep making the following misjudgments:

  • Why should I also pay the independent asset manager if I can leave asset management to the bank?

  • External asset managers are expensive
  • My money is deposited with the asset manager and no longer with the Swiss private bank
  • I trust the bank more than the asset manager
  • Swiss private banks generate higher returns than independent asset managers

Client situation BEFORE the meeting with Caputo & Partners

A group of business friends were clients of the same bank X, one of the biggest Swiss banks everybody knows if I would disclose the brand (we can’t disclose the name of the bank for obvious reasons).

Here is what the clients complained about:

  • frequent changes among private bankers (job hoppers)
  • poor return (often even loss of wealth due to negative returns)
  • portfolio with predominantly internal products sold by the bank (product pushers)
  • low-quality services delivered by product pushers (not experts)
  • portfolio leverage with Lombard loans to increase the assets under management
  • churning activities (overtrading for the sole purpose to generate commissions)
  • exorbitant and intransparent costs, broken down into:
    • Custody fees
    • Excessive transaction costs (churning)
    • hidden costs embedded in structured products, ETFs and funds
    • Asset management fees

Some even complained of losses without knowing the reasons because of intransparent portfolio presentation. The true reasons are risky investments with overcharged structured products, hedge funds and private equity (cluster risks, overtrading inside of hedge funds). Others complained about the modest return, which, after deductions for the costs, was close to zero! Frequently, clients have difficulties discovering the reasons for their losses.

One of the group of friends came to my office asking for help.

Continue reading and discover what we did.

Client situation AFTER the meeting with investment advice from Caputo & Partners

Here is what we did to solve the problems forever:

On our recommendation, we placed one of our best external “Best-in-Class” asset managers. We kept the account but we cancelled the asset management mandate with the bank. We diminished the fees with the same big bank. We agreed on institutional pricing with the big bank X, namely “all-inclusive” fees with the same big bank X and the new asset manager. The funds remained deposited with the bank.

Since the asset manager already has many other customers with large assets at the bank, he agreed much better fees with the big bank for his clients. We sold all the expensive products.

We left the account with big bank X and we have reached a very attractive institutional pricing due to the intervention of our wealth manager. If you have a look at the many family offices based in Zurich you will see that all family offices are working with an independent financial advisor in Switzerland.

Here is what we achieved for our clients:

The account remains with the same big bank acting as the custodian for the assets deposited. Only the wealth management services were outsourced to our wealth manager. The results are incredible.

  • much lower fees (50% less) with the “all-inclusive” fee model
  • institutional pricing with better conditions

  • no additional administrative effort
  • the assets remain in the name of the client, at the same big bank
  • much better service with the external asset manager

  • significantly better performance
  • no job hoppers
  • no retrocessions or kick-backs
  • no conflicts of interest
  • no product pushers
  • no low-quality inhouse products of the bank in the client’s portfolio anymore
  • the bank account number is the same
  • monitoring of the bank and asset manager by Caputo & Partners
  • quarterly reporting from Caputo & Partners
  • compliance support from Caputo & Partners for complex transactions
  • Asset Protection Agreement with Caputo & Partners, including fairness clause

Today, our clients are paying 50% less and they get better results, the results they deserve.

The external asset manager has a limited power of attorney for external asset management. We cancelled the asset management agreement between the big bank and the client and we made a new asset management agreement with the external asset manager. Impressive results with minor changes.

Attention – important legal notice!

You have the right to immediately terminate asset management contracts with your bank and/or asset manager without notice and at any time.
This is imperative law (ius cogens).

Cancellation periods agreed in the contracts are not valid.

Our Best-in-Class wealth managers are generating returns that other investors can only dream of.

Let me give you an example.

Over the past 13 years (including the Corona Crisis and the 2008 subprime crisis), one of our asset managers realized an average return of 11% per year and this with a portfolio with an equity component limited to max. 40%.

We offer you long-term value creation above the market-average (above-benchmark return).

We do not charge upfront fees for account opening services. Caputo & Partners shares the fee with the asset manager. Profit-sharing is disclosed in the Asset Protection Agreement. Thanks to fairness and transparency, we haven’t lost a single client to date.

📌 [14.] The 3 most fatal mistakes that non-resident investors make with Swiss banks

Mistake No. 1: Never go to the bank alone

If clients go to the bank alone to open an account, it can get really expensive.

How come?

Most clients tacitly accept expensive standard terms and conditions instead of negotiating all-inclusive pricing models. The few clients who negotiate with the bank are not aware of the industry standards. They are overcharged because of their lack of knowledge. Their illimited trust in the Swiss private bank does not help them. They sit across from a banker who knows exactly the terms and conditions of the Swiss private banking industry. The pricing is very intransparent.

“You are negotiating with unequal weapons.”

If you go to the bank alone you will be overpriced. The results of the negotiations are not fair.

“Let us accompany you to the bank and obtain fair pricing. It will pay off.“

Mistake No. 2: Never sign account opening forms without a full understanding of the content

Non-resident clients in particular blindly sign ca. 100 pages of account opening forms without understanding their content.

It becomes particularly dangerous when clients, without being aware of what they are doing, pledge their entire assets to the bank by signing the “General Pledge Agreement”. According to my experience, this always happens when the client signs ca. 100 pages of account opening forms without understanding the content. Often, the client does not want to admit his lack of knowledge. Hesitating posing questions can be very dangerous. You need an expert beside you. It’s imperative.

This general pledge agreement permits the bank to sell the assets at inconvenient price conditions (on the same day) based on a so-called Margin Call. A Margin Call is a simple phone call, e-mail or fax asking the client to put substantial amounts on his account within 24 hours. In my opinion, Lombard loans based on pledged assets are increasing the assets under management and therefore the profits in favour of the bank but at the same time starting the financial ruin of the investor. If you need a loan from the bank let us negotiate for you.

The devastating consequences of the leverage effects as a result of pledging assets came to a peak during the Corona Crash in March 2020. Dozens of clients who have fallen victim to the Margin Call have turned to us for help. Many have “leveraged” themselves into financial ruin as a result of such pledge agreements.

Mistake No 3: Do not accept the advice of Product Pushers

Private bankers are suffering the tremendous pressure of the management. They have to place the bank’s financial products in the portfolio of their clients. Otherwise, they are at risk of losing their jobs. They are in a conflict of interest situation. Very often, their advice has no value. Do not trust them. Let us engage an external asset manager for you. This will eliminate conflict of interest situations. If you think that something is wrong with your portfolio give us a call or send us an email. Let us do a Health-Check on your investments in the portfolio. We will help you to restructure your portfolio.

📌 [15.] Never go to the bank alone

There is too much money involved. You need an expert. It’s a big mistake if you don’t want to spend money on consulting fees. That’s the wrong place for saving money.

The private banking industry in general is known for being an extremely intransparent market. The knowledge advantage of a private banker is too great. The bank has an unfair advantage. You are negotiating with unequal weapons!

Negotiating with the bank alone is like having an unequal boxing match.

You don’t get into the ring for the first time as an amateur and box with a professional heavyweight boxing champion, do you?

We are happy to accompany you and negotiate for you. We are happy to help negotiate the terms. The larger the assets, the more attractive the scope for negotiation.

The following chart shows the right place for saving money. Read the next Chapter 16. You can see the enormous savings potential. You can save 50% or sometimes even more with an external asset manager. Discover where saving money makes sense.

📌 [16.] Private Banking Fees Comparison with Caputo & Partners

How much will a Swiss bank charge you for asset management services in Switzerland for 1’000’000 CHF (assets under management)?

  • Asset management fee: Expenses for asset management services
  • Custody fee for a deposit: Expenses for the custody services for your assets
  • Product costs (funds, structured products, ETFs): disclosed and hidden costs
  • Transaction costs: Expenses incurred per transaction

Cost comparison:

Swiss bank vs Best-in-Class asset manager introduced by Caputo & Partners

The following chart shows the average costs of Swiss private banks vs Caputo & Partners for a typical portfolio.

We assume that 50% of the assets are invested in funds, ETFs and structured products and 50% with direct investments (stocks, bonds).

Fees Private Bank Caputo & Partners
Custody fees 0.35% 0.20%
Transaction fees 0.65% 0.35%
Hidden fees with structured products, funds and ETF’s 0.70%* 0%
Asset management fee 1.10% 0.65%
Total fees 2.80% 1.20%

Classic Swiss asset management services with a Swiss private bank cost an average of 2.8% per year of the assets under management (1 m CHF). If the Swiss bank will manage your assets you will pay 28’000 CHF per year for 1’000’000 CHF (assets under management).

If we will negotiate for you we will reduce the total costs to a maximum of 1.2% for assets under management of 1’000’000 CHF. Instead of spending 28’000 CHF, you pay 12’000 CHF only. When it comes to assets of several million, you come to less than 1.0% all-inclusive costs. Excessive costs can destroy your performance. You save money with us.

Important Advice:

“More assets under management means lower fees.“

Since the automatic exchange of information came into force the private banking fees became more attractive for investors. For 5 million assets under management, as an example, you should not pay more than 1% all-in fee per year.

We (almost) always negotiate all-inclusive fees per year. Excessive fees have already broken the neck of many investors. With us, the same asset management package costs just CHF 12,000 per year for CHF 1 million.

So that we can compare asset management, we have collected real data over the past 5 to 10 years. Only data from real clients can be used in the first place.

Believe me. It was not an easy job collecting real data of existing portfolios. Our efforts have paid off.

We concentrate on Swiss wealth advisors who show long-term and above-average returns (above the benchmark). We eliminate asset managers with poor results.

Private banking minimum requirements

Private banking minimum requirements are fulfilled with 1’000’000 EUR assets under management. Some Swiss banks ask for a few million as private banking net worth requirements. We at Caputo & Partners ask for 500’000 EUR to start the Swiss bank account opening process. Our Swiss investment firms have substantial assets already deposited with the best private banks in Switzerland.

📌 [17.] Swiss bank vs Swiss wealth management company – Who makes more money?

Our studies show what we already suspected:

Of the 29% of 115 wealth managers that deliver above-average returns, only 20% are banks, while 80% of the outperformers are external wealth managers and sector specialists.

A general assessment of the banks:

“A lot of Swiss banks are generally noticed for charging excessive fees and delivering below-average returns.”

In other words, this means that good wealth managers are 4 times more likely to be found among independent wealth managers (80%) than among banks (20%).

Here is the take-away:

“If you do not outsource the asset management services to an external Swiss asset management company leaving the asset management services to a Swiss private bank, you are 4 times more likely to end up with below-average returns.”

Most banks are focused on placing their financial inhouse products. Many bankers are not consultants, but predominantly “Product Pushers” for their banks to sell a financial product or instrument. Do not be a victim of a Product Pusher.

As shown, only 29% of all wealth managers deliver above-average results. Good asset managers have secured assets with suitable hedging strategies. The Corona Crash in Q1 2020 showed how valuable these hedging strategies are.

Make sure that your money comes and stays in safe hands.

“Take some of your wealth out of your country (to Switzerland) before your country takes it out from you!”

“We are approaching uncertain times. It’s never too early, but often too late for protecting your assets.“

“Governments channel funds from the private sector to themselves as a form of debt reduction. Financial repression is around the corner. Nobody can exclude that transfers out of your country to Switzerland could become illegal in the future.”

Have your assets protected by one of the safest Swiss private banks, managed by a Best-in-Class Wealth Manager in Switzerland and achieve peace of mind. Take the first step for protecting your wealth by booking an appointment with me. We offer you a personal meeting or a Zoom video call. Give us a call now.

Click here now and submit your request

* DISCLAIMER: The returns shown in the article are past returns based on 115 portfolios. Past returns are no guarantee of future returns. There is no guarantee for future performance. Caputo & Partners assumes no liability for losses that arise from the use of this information.