Experience with RoboAdvisors: TrueWealth, Selma, Finpension, Avadis

Hi,

I have a relative who is going to retire soon. They will take part of the 2nd pillar + 3rd pillar as capital.

So far they have let UBS manage what they had and it is … as you could expect.

They are not knowledgeable and don’t want to deal with investing themselves but would be ok to try something else than UBS.

I saw a few old posts but was wondering if anyone had recent experience with TrueWealth and Selma ?

Thank you

If ease of use is important and they require an automatic de-investment (i.e. withdrawing a monthly “pension” from the portfolio), finpension might be worth a look. They also have the lowest fees of the three and are the only ones with a true passive, market-cap-weighted strategy.

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I was a fairly early “investor” with TrueWealth. During my time there I had a subpar return on my investment. This was not only due to the fees, which aren’t that bad compared to other similar products. I then moved on to Avadis, which has about the same costs, but better returns for pretty much the same (although quite a bit of home bias). It’s not my only portfolio now, but i let it run there as my personal benchmark :slight_smile:

But to your question: Avadis offers exactly what my previous poster mentioned. It offers various deinvestment plans. E.g. Gewinnmitnahmeplan (to my knowledge not all options are adverstised on the website). Also you won’t get a fancy online portal to check on your investment. It’s pretty old school with mail in your mailbox.

Bad experience with Selma.
Performed worse than VT in the last years and never catched up from the pandemic loss. I think mainly because they rebalanced/shifted ETFs quite often and I guess that didnt help in the long term. And of course: the fees are just too high.
One positive thing: Customer service was always great and quick.

I’m doing things myself now, but if I would choose a roboadvisor I would probably look at Finpension.

Hey, hey!

Well, there are three different things:

  • The choice of the strategy. Unless they use some expensive actively managed funds, the performance of the portfolio just reflects the market performance of the chosen allocation. Nothing really to blame Selma.

CH heavy, I guess? Can you adjust the strategy?

  • Fees are also clear: they should be avoided, but in this case they are clearly communicated. And of course a robo advisor is more expensive than DIY.

  • Customer support is a positive point. In the end, this is what you pay for.

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I think we need to differentiate between what kind of advisory services they need. To me it looks like cheap roboadvisory is mainly enabling defined asset allocation with rebalancing. If you need more, the fees are more as wel.

If they are looking for a person who keeps changing asset and regional allocation depending on market then I don’t know if services like Finpension would work. Then they need to go for higher fees funds but that doesn’t always mean higher performance.

However if the objective is to have a index funds based self defined strategy , then following are options

  • Finpension if regional weights different than market cap are preferred. But this comes with a custody fees.
  • Two ETF strategy ( Buying world ETF for equity and a simple hedged bond ETF for bonds) at a reasonably priced broker (with zero or capped custody fees) they are comfortable with. This works best if they don’t want to play with regional allocation and don’t need a strict rebalancing.

For both of these options - I recommend they should talk to a financial advisor who can recommend a best allocation for their needs. If they have never managed money themselves, defining a strategy can be daunting task specially during retirement.

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Remember that you can’t win anything if their assets perform 0.5% better. But you lose if either the operator stops business, they are confused like heck with the tax declaration or they drown in complexity.

Most robo advisors are terrible, when you have a look at the tax declaration complexity. At the same time, their user interface is complex and still gives opportunity to tweak the AA (and thereby lose money). Hence, I would go for Avadis. Risk of anything going wrong is by far the smallest and their return is not excellent but ok.

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A big advantage of Avadis is actually that no way exists to quickly check on your portfolio. This is a huge behavioural advantage. They give out a statement on your balance every 3 months and also give you a quick market overview on what has happened the last months.

It’s oldschool, but it definitely has its advantages.

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Disagree here. They adjusted lots of things because of market XY is promising now and market Z less. And each time you pay stamp duty when they readjust.

And if after 5 years you see that their strategy performs worse than a diversified ETF AND you pay lots of fees because they readjusted things, its clearly not a good deal.

The fee does not include stamp duty which becomes relevant if they do lots of readjustings. I don’t say they cheated with the fees, one just has to be aware that it can become closer to 1% fee with these additional fees (service fee alone 0.68% for small portfolios).

Was ~40% CH, very limited adjusting options (you can adjust your risk profile but not manually override allocations afaik).

Kind of. I was a fool back then and also thought that their ‘clever’ algorithm will prevent some stupid mistakes in a DIY solution which would give me below market performance. :wink:

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Agree, but ideally one that does not get any commissions and hence you have to pay him directly for the advisor service. It’s more expensive at the beginning but waaay cheaper in the long run.

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Yeah I meant someone who just advise on a portfolio and then disappears :slight_smile:

Perhaps they are called “consultants “

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