Automatic ETF buying from Switzerland


I currently buy manually ETFs on DeGiro, but I’m not happy about constantly looking at my brokerage account. It stresses me.

Can you recommend a cheap automatic ETF buying broker?
I’ve seen Smartbroker in Germany, but I’m not sure if there’s a catch.

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FWIW Interactive Brokers has an API for trading. But setting it up and worrying about mistakes will stress you even more for sure

Don’t have time for this. Need a ready made solution.

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Oh there are plenty ready made solutions, but the going rate for such convenience is at least 0.5% of your assets, per year

If that’s too much I’m afraid you’re gonna have to find time. Not a lot but still.

Start by downloading IB TWS. It has Portfolio Builder feature that might be enough for your use case, you just need to run it every now and then and approve rebalancing orders. For any more complicated stuff use the API, you need TWS either way for API access

I know I shouldn’t log in often.
But it’s a bit like an addiction. I hope it passes.
I’ve tried site blockers, but I find ways around them anyway.

Instead of adding yet another tool I should probably just wait for the addiction to pass.

I’d love to have a more automatic buying process too.

Possible workaround for the mean time: Give your Broker Password to someone else. You don’t have to say for what the password is if you don’t feel safe, but that should be sufficient to control your impulse :slight_smile:

I guess that SmartBroker would be good for me, but I’m not going to open another account. Promised my wife :upside_down_face:

I hope I’ll grow out of it and develop better impulse control.

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Yeah, humans are geared for action. Passive investing goes against our nature. Brokers play on it. As does every other business.

I wish I could just set auto invest for a world wide fund and look at it after 20 years and say “wow, look at all that money”. I wish I could ignore financial news and forums for the same amount of time.


You can do that with VIAC :smiley:

Or you can ask someone you trust (with username & password) to execute your “cold” monthly buys, for a small fee, and review/rebalance together once a year.

But that would technically be illegal, as one shouldn’t trade with other people’s money.

The usual German suspects, if you can handle the language - i.e., open and handle the account in German:

  • comdirect
  • Consors
  • Flatex
  • DKB (somewhat picky opening up for non-residents, and/as you will need to apply for their “Cash” payment account - though the included VISA card has got excellent conditions, if you have 700€ or more flowing into the account each month)
  • ING (harder or impossible to open as non-resident)

I’ve had (or still have) accounts with all of them.

As usual, the penny pinchers here on the forum will tell you how many fractions of a percent cheaper IBKR will be (on spread and currency conversion) once you’ve reached the 100k balance threshold.

Apart from dealing through a reseller:
Absolutely hideous and outdated user interface.

The HTML/CSS/JS is so bad, I couldn’t properly click on some buttons recently (while using an up-to-date browser on a non-windows platform). But hey, it’s cheap…

Edit: since it is being discussed below: I‘m talking about one-time costs with spreads and currency conversion. For recurring costs, the differences between different fund choices can be substantiated long-term

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Avadis may be worth considering. They don’t charge an asset management fee like robo advisors do. It’s more like a fund saving plan where you just pick a portfolio and that’s it. Grant it, investing with a broker could work out cheaper. Avadis stock funds are partially CHF hedged and the TERs are not the lowest at 58% to 64% for stock portfolios. But if you want your money invested without any involvement and don’t want to pay an asset management fee, then this is an option.

The only other Swiss fund investment plan without asset management fees that I know of is Strateo Invest, but the funds it currently uses are so expensive that you may save by paying an asset management fee elsewhere.

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Anyway: i dont think OP should do it, over many years it makes a huge difference.

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Let’s assume we make constant contributions for 30 years. For every 0.10% higher TER you lose 0.5 years of savings. So for 0.60% higher TER you lose basically 3 years worth of saving.

You could look at it as if the first 3 of the 30 years every CHF you invest goes into the pocket from the manager.

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Agreed, but the alternative for someone who wants to have money invested automatically without involvement is a stock/fund savings plan or an asset management service, either of which (in Switzerland) will have an admin fee of around 0.5% plus fund TERs.

A possible alternative is to give a very trusted willing third party access to your brokerage account and have them execute the ETF purchase when the money is transferred into the account each month (or whatever period). They can change the account pw so you can’t access it. I can definitely understand the addictive potential of online trading platforms and how one would want to avoid that.

If you use Swiss brokers, you can check out Cornertrader Invest. It’s made for old-fashioned investors and is much more about just buying and selling than about tracking. I can see it having less addictive potential. Fees are the same as the standard Cornertrader platform. If you have time, take a look at the demo.

Thanks for all your suggestions guys and girls.

I think I can handle logging in once a month as long as I stop reading financial news. Knowing myself I will just end up with more accounts.

Disabled all financial sites on Google News and will reduce my visits to this forum. You guys are great, but you are driving me nuts. :ghost:


you can go robo advisor, there you can set your strategy, make a recurring wire transfer and be done with it. costs ~0.5% in Switzerland, at best.

you can also go for IB, their API allows for script-based trading

I am also trying to buy stocks with their API but you need to authenticate the connection every 24hours from what I understand. So not super automated in the end :confused:

Another solution that many of you guys probably won’t like:
Front load your yearly contribution by using margin. For instance, let’s say that you’re investing 5k a month. That’s 60k a year. On the first trading trading day of the year, buy 60k worth of the ETF (or combination of ETFs and stocks) using margin. Then set a monthly wire transfer to your brokerage account of 5k. So every month you’re repaying your margin loan and at the end of the year your balance should get back to 0 and never have to long in your brokerage account before the next year.
Unless your portfolio is small relative to your contribution, margin calls shouldn’t be a problem even in the case of a sharp decrease.
You lose the temporal diversification but since markets tend to trend upwards, it’s usually a good deal to buy sooner rather than later.
You also have to pay margin interest but again: usually it is a good deal since market appreciation tends to outweigh that interest.