Frequently asked questions

When will findependent also be available in English and French?

We expect to launch an English and French version of the findependent app including the onboarding before the end of this year.

Most of the content on the findependent website is already available in German, French and English.

Sign up for our waiting list now and be among the first to know when we launch our onboarding and findependent app in the new language versions:

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 daily 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.

Example:

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.

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.

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.

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 via the profile area of the app.

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.

 

What would happen if findependent went bankrupt?

Thanks to your personal account with our partner bank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (HBL), your money and investments are kept safe.

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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 service@findependent.ch. 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.

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 – we make investing as easy as possible for you. Focused on the essentials and what really gets you ahead.

Costs: 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 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 can I increase my allowance to save on fees?

With findependent, you invest 2’000 francs without management and custody fees – 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.

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