Double revenue (France & Switzerland) double investments?

Hi guys,

Thank you very much for the worthwhile sharing in all your posts. I am learning so much from y’all, Mr RIP and The poor swiss.

I am 40 yo with a long investment horizon (about 25 years). I will soon be a swiss fiscal resident (just got here). I’m approaching the stock market investment world: my idea is to put as much as I can but I am still cutting my teeth. That is why I am reaching out the community.

I have some fluctuating revenue in France and I opened a DEGIRO account where I bought the SWDA early February 2022 (got 6000 euros on it).
I have a full-time job in Switzerland which makes most of my annual and constant revenue.

I got a 2nd pillar with FINPENSION (Yourpension) where I asked to invest with maximum risk (80% actions).
Now thanks to what I learnt on the mustachian posts, for 3rd pillar, I will open 5 FINPENSION portfolios with the same strategy (Action 100) where I am planning to put 1376 chf within each since day 1, every year in the first quarter.


Provided that France won’t tax my capital gain as I reside in Switzerland (looks like real :smile: ).

  1. would you keep investing the euros I got in France through DEGIRO France? Or would you sell the SWDA I have there and transferwise the euros to CHF each month to invest them through a Swiss broker I will open (DEGIRO or IB)?

  2. the other way around: transferwise the CHF, I save each month from my Swiss salary, to euro in order to invest them through DEGIRO France?

  3. Open a Swiss broker account to invest the CHF and keep investing the euros through DEGIRO France.

  4. Do not open a swiss broker account and put all the CHF and euro I save in the FINPENSION funds (apparently these are tax advantaged funds).

  5. Put only the CHF in Finpension 3rd pillar portfolios and keep feeding the ETF (not tax advantaged for retirement) I got in France with the euros there.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts, suggestions and criticism.


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Check other threads, currency of investment won’t matter, it’s the same result (just with potentially extra conversion cost).

In any case make sure you update your tax residence at each financial institution (e.g. your other banks in France, esp. if you have some livret-style accounts).

Pillar3 vs. regular broker, it’s up to you. Pillar3 is pretty decent this days (low fees, tax advantage), but money is locked until leaving/retirement/real estate purchase.

If you have high income, 3a becomes a no brainer since it’s a small part of your saving (6k ish limit per year).


If you already had investments while you were in France I would double check if a capital gain tax is not due as if you had sold on the date on which you you stopped being a tax resident.

I would be very surprised if it wasn’t, otherwise it’s too easy: leave, sell, come back, buy again.

I think it’s called an exit tax, and usually triggers only after some amount.

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Nice! This is for the link. Very informational. I’m surprised the thresholds are that high (and that the French administration has a site in English!)

Limits were upped (and less things are in scope) by the current (right leaning) government.

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Thak you all for what you pointed out.

However, my question remains.

Would you concentrate all your money (CHF and euros) on one broker (either in Switzerland or France) or would you keep them separated with 2 different brokers (one for euro and the other for CHF) for the investments?

The currency of your investment doesn’t matter, so it’s not really a question that can be answered (as mentioned earlier). Except maybe for minimizing FX fees (but then it’s hard to beat IB).

Personally I’d use a non-EU broker because for Swiss resident it’s more flexible (e.g. access to US ETFs).

Thank you Nabalzbhf.

I saw you mentioned the potential extra conversion costs. You meant USD to euro ?
My understanding for having read multiple threads here is that the US-Swiss treaty allow perhaps better advantages.

I am thinking of opening an IB account in Switzerland. Thank you for strengthening the idea of more flexibility on this side of the borders.

The guy running wrote in the blog that he recommends a following rule to find out how much you should “diversify” (more like spread) your investments: 1 ETF for 50k EUR portfolio size. If you have less than 50k, buy VT or VWRL only, if it is 50k to 100k, a split for example between Msci world and MSCI emerging markets may make sense to optimize a bit fees/taxes, and so on. This rule of thumb might help you to decide how much to spread your investments.

My main portfolio is IB, but I also have Flatex where I buy an emerging markets ETF. And finpension for 3a investment.

There are not many cases where a European ETF is more fee/tax efficient than an analogous US ETF and emerging markets is one of these. At least it isn’t clearly worse.

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Thank you Dr. PI this is very useful information.

I understand that a Swiss resident it is best to use perhaps domiciled US funds/ETF for fiscal advantages.

Pardon my ignorance: what do you mean by IB ?

Interactive Brokers.

Thank you very much.

Thanks for the link to the website. It’s great to have an overview about the TD of different ETFs! Can you share where you saw the recommendation for portfolio sizes up to 50k and between 50k and 100k? I checked the blog, but didn’t find any post at first glance.

It’s interesting to see that most EM funds have a bad TD. Another thing I noted is that he is only using the european fund versions in his comparison, not the US ETFs (considering he’s German speaking, that makes sense).

Edit: the guy is from Switzerland :slightly_smiling_face:

It was in comments here and looks different than I remembered:

Wenn ich eine Faustformel nennen müsste, dann wäre das
Anzahl ETFs = abrunden(Portfoliogrösse / 50000 EUR) + 2.

Bis 50k Portfolio maximal zwei ETFs.
Bis 100k sind drei ETFs OK.
Im Millionenportfolio kann man sich dann ruhig mit über 20 ETFs austoben.

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I read some of his blog posts, and I like the down-to-earth and stoic approach.

For the part you quoted, I don’t agree though. I don’t really see a big advantage in having more ETFs, just because you have 100k or 1 Million. I know he split his allocation between US, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Emerging Markets. He slightly overweighted Europe in his portfolio, which can also be done by buying more VEA next to VT.

I like that he honestly disects his own portfolio in the blog post you linked. He’s mentioning that gold and real estate are actually too small to make an impact on the overall portfolio, plus managing the different funds is more work.

I think sticking to VT or using VTI+VEA+VWO is still a very good, regardless if you have 100k, 1M or 10M. The only advantage of adding more ETFs to a 10M is to try to gain more than the average market, e.g. investing 5% in small-cap frontier markets (just an example).

I don’t have a clear opinion on this, but I guess he also includes sectoral and factor ETFs as side bets in this number. I gave it as an example for low portfolio size meaning that it doesn’t have much sense to invest 10k in 10 different ETF positions.

Seems quite arbitrary.

For a 2M portfolio you “should” somehow identify 40 ETFs that still make sense (allocation-wise)?

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My interpretation is that he considers this the maximum. E.g. if you have a 1M+ portfolio, defining an investment strategy that requires 10 ETFs may well be reasonable. However, if you’re just starting out and have less than 50k, a strategy with 10 ETFs is overkill and an indication that you worry too much about tiny allocations. If you’re happy with a 2M portfolio and just 1-3 ETFs, that’s fine as well, though.

At this level, should you not also diversify the etf provider and mix with other like Avantis, Investco, blackRock ?