Postfinance and strategies for FIRE: withdrawal

I know some of you have moved ETFs to PF for diversification reasons or are afraid of the US Tax Office.

I wonder if those person also have a strategy for withdrawal. PF ask more than 100 chf for selling ETFs worth around 30-50k chf, so it seems cheaper to just move them out rather than selling them there…

Yeah personally I don’t trade there. With decent positions it’s almost always cheaper to transfer to IB (100 CHF per position).

I don’t understand the question. How does the answer differ for someone who’s with PF? You sell, you get the cash in your account. You can even do it while waiting for the branch to open, so you can take from the cashier, go home, spread it on the bed and crawl on while fantasising of Margot Robbie. Can’t do that with IBKR!

Or, reversed, what is a “withdrawal strategy” for someone in IBKR? You sell, you send the cash to your account, you get the cash in your account.

Yes, withdrawal with PF seems like reverse-compounding :joy:


I don’t undestand what you don’t understand. Everyone else got it. Anyway have a look here:

You are going to pay 100-160chf if you withdraw your whole expense all at once. You’d pay less if you split it (12x per year or 4x or whatever). Those are “strategies”.
Another strategy is to send the ETFs you want to sell to IBKR; you’d pay 105chf per ETF so it’s better if you do it all at once.

See that suddenly there might be different ways to do it?

It wasn’t a well-formulated question. The question I think you’re really asking is “Is the fear you have of the US/Uncle Sam/IRS/online brokers bigger than the costs of PF?”, to which the answer is yes, in my case.

I know the fees, they are clearly described. I switched from UBS to PF exactly because UBS’s transaction and custody fees are %-based, while PF’s are flat. That’s the break even point of effort/reward/stress for me. After that it’s diminishing returns.

Peanuts, not worth my time to even put it on a piece of paper, or excel. Just looking into Migros/Coop costs more than that, actually parking and going in easily costs at least double that per week.

So I’d need to make a form, print it, wet sign it, physically take it to a branch, wait 2-3 weeks for the transfer to IBKR (transferring my positions from UBS to PF took 4 weeks!), then sell them and send the cash back to PF… Too much effort man, not worth it to me!

A strategy is more than that, it’s considering where I want to live and when, where and how will my kids be at the time. Will they be in university? Ausbildung? Working? Will they even be in Switzerland? If I am not in Switzerland - don’t plan to live here forever! - then what’s the tax status of capital gains (in Greece where I am from capital gains from UCITS ETFs are tax free, today, will this still be the case in 15 years from now?)? What’s the tax status of dividends (e.g., in Greece they are taxed a flat 5% if they are from UCITS ETFs, today)? What brokers are there? Can I keep everything in Switzerland and just draw from time to time? What about tax liabilities in Switzerland? What about double taxation? What about inheritance planning? What about gifting cash vs securities to my kids? What about adding their names to my account?

There are a ton of questions, all of which are more important than whether liquidating will cost me 300CHF or 10CHF. When the time comes I will simply pay - a bad word for FIRE people - a couple of professionals to answer all these questions for me in an efficient and lawful way. Then the answers will help me formulate a strategy.


Thank for your answer, but the question was correct (apart for the choice of putting a specific broker instead of just saying “swiss broker”, since they share the “problem”). The reason you have a swiss broker is already known. I really just wanted to know how you get money out of it.

You method (if strategy is too much of a big word) or better, your opinion is that it doesn’t make sense to waste time for max. 160chf or so. @nabalzbhf doesn’t think so, but I suppose he didn’t really think about the future but instead about what he/she does now.

One other thing to mention is that PF (or whatever broker you pick) might/will change their fee in the next 20-30 years. Or we might even change broker alltogether.

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That’s fair enough, and I appreciate your answer. Thing is, I am only adding, not taking at the moment :slight_smile: I am expecting that brokers will be bringing their fees down more and more, down to near zero like in the US, even boomer Swiss ones.


Yeah everyone optimizes differently. FWIW I just sent the request from the app, position was transferred 3 days later. (Happy to spend a couple of minutes to save those hundreds of francs)

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IBKR to PF is easy. Are you saying it’s that easy PF to IBKR?

Yeah, was fairly simple for me as mentioned above. I wouldn’t do it every month tho :smile:

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My strategy is to have only one ETF at PF.