Frequently asked questions
- Account Closing & Payouts
- Account Opening & Deposits
- App / Functions
- Investment goals
- Investment Solutions
What would happen if findependent went bankrupt?
Your investments legally belong only to you and would not be affected in the event of bankruptcy of findependent or HBL. This means that they would not flow into a possible bankruptcy estate.
If findependent were to go bankrupt, you could keep your account with HBL and, if you were interested, continue to hold the investments on their terms. Or, of course, you could sell your investments and cash out your money, which is always possible anyway.
Incidentally, you also have deposit protection up to CHF 100’000 on your personal account with HBL, which means that in the event of bankruptcy, the liquidity portion of your investment solution would be protected up to this amount.
Why was my deposit returned?
The reason for a returned deposit is often as follows:
The first deposit is used as the final part of the identification in the account opening process and is manually checked by our partner bank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg. The data you have entered as the recipient of your transfer must match the data stored in the bank account you used for the transfer. If they do not match, your deposit will be returned.
Please note that you are not only the sender but also the beneficiary of your deposit with your first and last name (and address). Accordingly, you should not enter findependent and/or our address anywhere. You are not transferring your money to us, but to your personal account at Hypi Lenzburg, from where we are “only” allowed to manage it.
How can I deposit towards a specific goal?
In order to deposit to a specific destination, you must enter the destination ID (in AB-1 format), which you will find when you click on “Deposit”, as a subject or comment in your e-banking. If you do not enter a subject, your money will be deposited to your main destination.
Note: Once the money is deposited to the main target, you cannot transfer it to another target.
When and how often can I pay out? How long does it take for my money to be returned to me?
You can pay out as much money as you want from your investment solution at any time. This means that you can pay out your entire investment amount at once if you wish.
However, our broad-based investment solutions can only be implemented with a minimum amount of CHF 500. If your investment sum falls below CHF 500 as a result of the payout, it is therefore unfortunately necessary for us to sell all your investments. However, you will keep your account and any remaining amount.
If you would like to close your account, you must order an account closing.
It usually takes 1-2 days until we sell your investments. After that, it can take another 2-3 working days for the money to arrive in your bank account.
What is the minimum amount I have to deposit/ the maximum amount I can deposit? Do I have to make regular deposits?
In order for our partner bank, the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (HBL), to activate your findependent account at the beginning, you must deposit at least 1 franc in the first 3 months. (If you do not make an initial deposit within this period, HBL will close your account).
As soon as you have activated your account with an initial deposit, you are in principle completely free to decide whether and when you would like to deposit further money into it.
In order to initially build up your broad-based investment solution, the minimum amount is CHF 500 per investment goal. However, you can also transfer smaller amounts and as soon as your deposits total at least CHF 500, we will invest the money.
And so that we can invest your further deposits in a cost-optimised manner, they should amount to at least 40 francs. Again, if you deposit less than this, we will simply wait for another deposit and the money will remain safely in your HBL account. Since we also use an ETF that costs around 130 francs, we occasionally wait until there is enough money to buy this ETF.
If you have put together your own investment solution in the app, this will be implemented from an investment amount of 5,000 francs. Here, too, the amount applies per investment goal.
There is no maximum amount. If you plan to invest a large amount of money, we recommend depositing it in stages. But even with a small investment sum, it is worth dividing it into regular and equal amounts. In this way, you can avoid having caught a bad moment in retrospect.
Although we recommend a regular deposit, it is by no means mandatory.
Who can open an investment solution with findependent?
Anyone who is at least 18 years old, lives in Switzerland and is liable to pay tax exclusively in Switzerland can open an investment solution with findependent.
The exception is US citizens, who cannot open an account with us for regulatory reasons.
Furthermore, you must be able to register for the findependent investment app with a Swiss mobile phone number and use a Swiss bank account for the deposit(s) into the investment solution.
Can I have multiple investment solutions (to invest for a child)?
Yes, you can do that. With findependent you can hold several investment solutions in order to be able to invest separately for different goals / purposes, e.g. for a child (to whom you can later transfer the investments).
All you have to do is create a new goal in the app, choose one of our four ready-made investment solutions (or put together your own investment solution) – and off you go!
Our four findependent investment solutions contain the same ETFs and only differ in the weighting of the asset classes (shares, bonds, real estate). Accordingly, it is best to simply take the investment solution that suits your personal risk profile or to put together your own ETF investment solution.
Attention: Even if you create an investment goal for a child, the account and the investments still legally belong to you alone!
Why is the data in the app not up to date?
The data in the app is always updated at around 10:30 a.m. and shows the values of the previous day. Since the stock exchanges are closed at the weekend and we do not receive any data then, you can still see the data from Friday (which was updated on Saturday) until Tuesday morning before 10:30.
By the way, the prices of your ETFs change every minute (they are exchange-traded funds), which means that the total value of your investment solution also changes constantly. We have deliberately chosen to update the app once a day, a common practice in the industry. There is therefore currently no “real-time” solution.
If you urgently need to know the current price of one of your ETFs, you can enter the name of the ETF (e.g. iShares Core SPI ETF) or its ISIN (e.g. CH0237935652) in the Google search field. Many websites, e.g. that of SIX (Swiss stock exchange), provide so-called intraday prices, i.e. price quotations within the day.
You can find the details of your ETFs in your app in the overview of your investments; there you tap on the respective ETF and see all the detailed information.
Basically, however, we recommend that you only check the price development from time to time. Don’t waste too much time with the ongoing monitoring and control of the development. Use this time for the really nice things in life. Your investment solution is geared towards the long term; constantly checking the prices does not bring any real added value.
Can I lose my money? How much risk/fluctuation should I expect?
Yes, investing money is always associated with the risk of loss, especially in the short term. Even though the markets go through boom and crisis phases again and again, the long-term trend is upwards. In other words, the longer you invest, the lower the risk.
It is therefore important to start investing early and to hold the investments for a long time, especially in crisis phases. In order to succeed, it is crucial to choose the investment solution that suits you. You can also reduce the risk by making your deposits and payouts gradually. In this way, you avoid having caught a bad moment in retrospect.
findependent does not rely on speculative trading, but pursues a long-term investment strategy with controlled risk. Our investment solutions are highly diversified, i.e. the investment success is not dependent on individual companies, sectors or regions.
The higher the proportion of equities in your investment solution, the higher the fluctuations.
In general, however, it is difficult to predict how much the value of your investment solution will fluctuate in the future. Historically, the biggest annual losses were in 2008 during the financial crisis. For our four findependent investment solutions, these were:
- Cautious: -19.5%
- Balanced: -27.9%
- Brave: -35.5%
- Risky: -41.8%
And during the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020, prices fell as follows within the months of February and March:
- Cautious: -11.4%
- Balanced: -13.4%
- Brave: -15.5%
- Risky: -17.3%
In the long term, however, the markets have always recovered. This was also the case during the Covid 19 pandemic, for example, where prices rose again after the low point in March 2020 and after around half a year had already returned to the level seen before the start of the pandemic.
How much does it cost me to transfer money between investment goals?
The transfer between targets with the same investment solution is free of charge and there are at most minimal transaction fees from the stock exchange for rebalancing. However, if you mix investment solutions, larger ETF shares must be sold and others newly acquired, which means that the transaction fees for you increase somewhat.
How can I withdraw money?
To do this, simply tap on “Withdraw” directly in the app at your goal. Then you simply select the desired payout amount and can also check the IBAN of the payout account.
It usually takes 1-2 days, but a maximum of one week, until we sell your investments. After that, it can take another 2-3 working days until the money arrives on your deposited bank account.
Do I have a fee-free amount on each target or only on my total investment amount?
The fee-free amount refers to your entire investment sum and is divided proportionally. So if you have two goals and goal A has 2000 francs and goal B has 8000 francs, 20% of the fee-free amount is allocated to goal A and 80% of the fee-free amount is allocated to goal B.
Can someone else also deposit money into my child’s account? Can more than one person have access to the target?
No, unfortunately that is not possible. Although the children’s account is intended to be given away at some point, all the money belongs to the person who opened the account until it is given away. For this reason, only this person can pay into the account.
How do I transfer the investment goal to my (god-)child once he or she has reached the age of majority?
For the transfer, your (god-)child must first open an account with us. Then you can click on the name of your investment destination in the app and order the transfer by clicking on the “Transfer” button. To do this, select “other account“, which will inform us that you would like to transfer your investment solution. You will then be contacted by email and informed about the next steps.
Can I combine two investment goals? Can I transfer only part of my goal to another goal?
You can easily combine two investment goals on your own in the app. To do so, click on the name of your target and select “Transfer” and then the desired target.
It does not matter whether you use the same investment solution for both goals or not. Note, however, that when combining different investment solutions, units must be sold in order for the target investment solution to be fulfilled.
Example: You transfer your units from a target with the investment solution “Risky” with only shares to a target with a considered investment solution. In order for the “Cautious” investment solution to be fulfilled for the entire investment amount, units of equity ETFs must be sold and, for example, real estate ETFs must be purchased. This causes transaction costs!
What is not possible is the partial transfer of your target. You cannot move half of the 10’000 francs in your target A, i.e. 5’000 francs, to target B. This would trigger a rebalancing, which in turn causes costs. Therefore, it is “all or nothing” and, as always, we recommend few changes for the most successful investing.
Can I pursue different investment solutions or do I have to commit to one of the 4?
Yes, you can choose a different investment solution for each of your investment goals. From a strategic point of view, it may even make sense for you to choose different risk profiles for different investment goals and different investment horizons.
Please note, however, that for each investment goal you must pay in at least CHF 500 for your money to be invested, and the minimum amount of CHF 5000 applies to the choice of your own investment solution.
How can I delete a target?
You can easily delete your investment goal in the app. To do so, tap on the name of your goal at the top and you will be taken to the corresponding page of your investment goal. Then just click on “Delete goal” at the bottom and your investment goal will disappear.
But be careful: Before you can close a goal, all money must either have been transferred to another goal or the entire amount must have been paid out. If your balance on the goal is not 0.00 francs, you cannot remove the goal.
Your ‘main goal’, i.e. the first goal that is automatically generated at the start and is located on the far left, can also never be deleted.
How can I change the name or the image?
You can change the picture and the name of your investment solution by first clicking on the name of the investment goal, which will take you to the page “Your goal in detail”. From there, the menu opens with a click on the photo and you can first select the picture and then freely choose the title.
Why do I have to answer questions again when I want to create a new goal?
In order for us to suggest the right investment solution for you, you must answer the question about the investment period and the risk tolerance for the specific goal. We keep the questions about your financial knowledge and previous experience the same as when you registered, as this usually cannot change fundamentally.
Why can’t I see my deposit in the app yet?
As our partner bank, the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, still has to check your first deposit manually by law, it may take 2-3 days after the direct debit until it is booked to your findependent account and you see it in the app. We will inform you by e-mail as soon as this is the case.
For all further deposits, it usually only takes 1-2 days. These deposits will also be confirmed by email.
Why do the profit and return in % not match?
You have a positive profit but a negative return, or vice versa? This is a bit confusing, but it can happen because of the way the return is calculated.
findependent calculates the return in the app as a time-weighted return (TWR). With this type of calculation, all deposits and withdrawals are ignored and the return corresponds to the return that would have been achieved if the same amount had always been invested from the beginning. Ignoring all deposits and withdrawals makes it possible to compare different investment solutions and strategies with each other. This is why this type of calculation is considered standard in the financial industry. In this way, you can compare the return you have achieved with findependent with your friends who have invested completely different amounts at completely different times.
The big disadvantage of this method of calculation is that the return no longer corresponds to the intuition (profit or loss divided by the total value of the investment solution) as soon as you have made more than one deposit in your investment solution.
Depending on when you made your deposits, it can even happen that your profit is positive but your return is negative or vice versa.
How can I adjust my IBAN for payouts?
For security reasons, you cannot change the IBAN for payouts in the app, but you can use the corresponding letter template here. You have to print out the letter, enter your new IBAN, sign it and send it to us as a scan to email@example.com.
Why was I charged fees even though my investment sum is even smaller than my fee-free amount?
For technical reasons, the quarterly management and custody fees are charged to all clients regardless of the fee-free amount.
The fees on the investment sum below the fee-free amount are subsequently refunded (usually on the next working day).
You will also find this refund in the transaction overview in your app. The transaction is called “Reimbursment of fees from findependent” and is marked in green. You can also easily and conveniently call up the corresponding receipt for this transaction as a PDF.
How can I increase my allowance to save on fees?
With findependent, you invest 2’000 francs without management and custody fees â€“ for life. You also have the option of increasing this fee-free amount up to 10’000 francs by recommending findependent to others.
This is how it works:
Share your referral code with your friends. For all your friends who invest with findependent, we will increase your personal fee-free amount. And they will also benefit and start with a higher fee-free amount. You can find more about this and your personal referral code in the app.
How (frequently) can I adjust my investment solution? Does it cost anything?
You can change your investment solution or redefine your investment profile at any time without any additional costs on our part. You can do this conveniently directly in your investment goal.
Since ETF units are sold and others are bought when you change your investment solution, this always incurs certain transaction costs such as stamp duties and stock exchange fees and, if applicable, currency conversion fees. For details, see here.
If your life situation changes significantly, i.e. if your details regarding investment goal, investment term, investment wealth, financial situation, experience and knowledge or risk tolerance change, you will have to reassess the investment profile.
What we do not recommend is to adjust your investment solution in response to any developments on the markets. The danger is that you will always be one step too late. Instead, choose your investment solution in such a way that you can personally bear the losses in value in the next crisis and do not have to sell your investments at rock-bottom prices.
Is now the right time to invest?
No one knows with certainty whether it is a good time to invest, because no one can reliably predict the development of the financial markets. Instead of trying to hit the “right” moments, it is better in the long term to hold the investments during all market situations. Such an investment strategy pursues findependent. Although it requires stamina in a crisis, it leads to higher returns in the long term.
In principle, however, it is worthwhile to start investing as early as possible, because the longer you invest, the lower the risk of loss. Moreover, the longer you invest, the more you benefit from the compound interest effect.
However, you should not invest your entire investment sum all at once, but distribute it out over the next 1 to 2 years, for example (1/8 per quarter). In this way, you can avoid having caught a bad moment in retrospect.
Who are findependent’s investment solutions for? Is investing something for me?
findependent wants to make investing accessible to those who previously thought they were not suitable for it. With us, you don’t need to have a lot of prior knowledge or wealth.
Our ready-made findependent investment solutions are available from as little as CHF 500 and, due to the compound interest effect, it is generally worth starting to invest early. However, because the risk of loss decreases with the duration of the investment, it is crucial that you can hold the invested sum for a long time. In other words, only invest as much money as you can quite safely do without in the next five years â€“ the money for your planned holidays the year after next, for example, is not part of this. In addition to your investment solution, you should always have a certain reserve in your bank account for unforeseeable events â€“ as a rule of thumb, at least three to six months’ salary.
But even if you are already experienced in investing, findependent is the right place for you! If you want to dive deeper into the world of ETFs, you can put together your own ETF investment solution with us.
It is important to understand that findependent is not about speculative trading, but about long-term investing. If you want to gamble on the stock market or actively trade yourself, then findependent is not right for you.
Is it possible to transfer ETFs from an external (Pillar 3a) account to my findependent account?
No, this is not possible. You cannot transfer your investments from other accounts to findependent. This also applies to investments or money from pillar 3a accounts.
It is also not possible to transfer ETFs from your investment solution at findependent to another account. The exception is in the case of bankruptcy of our partner bank or findependent, because your investments legally belong only to you and would be protected in this case.
The Federal Law on Private Retirement Provision only provides for the possibility of withdrawing funds from Pillar 3a for a few exceptional situations (e.g. house purchase, emigration, retirement). Mixing it with the free assets of your findependent investment solution therefore does not work. By the way, we have written a blog about the distinction between pillar 3a, pension fund and free assets. It is entitled “Pillar 3a, free assets or pension fund? Where and how to save the smartest” You can find it here.
What is the difference to other investment solutions / providers?
Low starting amount: At findependent you can start investing with as little as CHF 500.
Simplicity: From the digital account opening to the clear selection of investment solutions to the uncomplicated control â€“ we make investing as easy as possible for you. Focused on the essentials and what really gets you ahead.
Costs:Â On average, our comparable management and custody fees are almost 70% cheaper than offers from traditional banks. We have optimised all other costs in the interest of our clients, e.g. we paid attention to low product costs when selecting ETFs. With us, you only pay for what is useful to you and are guaranteed not to be surprised by extra costs (no balancing charges, no fee for the tax statement, etc.).
Comprehensibility: Our investment solutions enable you to build up a basic understanding of investing and saving so that you can make the right decisions for your financial well-being on your own. Guaranteed to be jargon-free and understandable even for financial novices.
App: Our investment solutions can be conveniently tracked and controlled on your smartphone.
Transparency: Transparency is also very important to us. That’s why you’ll find all the details about fees on our website and can track all transactions with the app, so you’ll always know how much you’ve earned and what fees you’ve incurred.
Flexibility: We give you a high degree of flexibility. You are free to decide how long you stay with findependent and can pay in or pay out as much money as you want at any time.
Independence: We always act in your interest and do not accept any payments from ETF providers, so-called “retrocessions”, so that we use their (expensive) ETFs.
Own investment solution: With us you can also put together your own personal investment solution from CHF 5,000 by selecting from around 30 pre-selected ETFs according to your wishes and weigh them individually. We take care of sufficient diversification and everything else.
Can I invest in a specific ETF or in a specific individual equity like Tesla?
At findependent you have two ways to invest your money:
- With one of our four findependent investment solutions from the same nine ETFs. The ETFs have been selected and combined in such a way that together they achieve an optimal risk-return ratio. With these ready-made investment solutions, you are automatically broadly supported and don’t have to worry about anything.
- With your own investment solution, which you put together yourself from a selection of around 30 pre-selected ETFs. You can weight the selected ETFs individually. You invest according to your personal preferences, while findependent ensures that you are sufficiently diversified and takes care of the rebalancing.
Are you missing an ETF? Then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are constantly reviewing the selection of ETFs and will be releasing more ETFs in the future.
We deliberately do not focus on single shares such as individual equities, but invest in the entire market thanks to the ETFs.
How exactly does findependent monitor the investment solution? (Rebalancing)
On the one hand, we review the allocation of your investment solution to equities, bonds and real estate on a dailyÂ basis and, if necessary, restore the original allocation by means of rebalancing.
Secondly, we constantly analyse the ETF market and see whether we can replace an existing ETF with a better, more favourable one in our ready-made findependent investment solutions and whether we want to adjust our ETF selection for putting together an own investment solution.
This is how exactly rebalancing works:
If an asset class (equities, bonds, real estate) deviates more than 5% from the original target weighting, we buy and sell the corresponding ETFs to restore the original allocation. In this way, we ensure that your investment solution is permanently in line with your investment profile.
How often we actually have to rebalance depends on market developments. The more different the individual asset classes develop, the more often corrections have to be made. Since each new deposit is also invested in such a way that the asset allocation of the investment solution comes as close as possible to the target allocation, rebalancing is less frequently necessary when deposits are made regularly.
You have chosen the investment solution Balanced and your allocation looks like this at the beginning (target allocation):
- Equities: 60%
- Bonds: 28%
- Real estate: 10%
- Liquidity: 2%
If the value of the equities increases significantly more than the value of the bonds and real estate, it is possible that the equities suddenly account for more than 65% of your investment sum. In this case, we sell certain equtities during rebalancing and buy bonds and real estate in order to return to the target allocation.
With small investment sums (< CHF 2’000), a deviation of more than 5% can also occur.