Swiss American looking to start investing

Hey everyone,
Great forum, thanks for the content.
I’m 30 years old, born and raised in Switzerland and I’d like to start investing. I’m also a US-person but I live in Switzerland and I intend on staying here. I file taxes for both CH and US.
I want to start with 10k CHF and increase by 3-4k CHF every quarter or so. Portfolio would be something like US ETFs, US stocks and Swiss stocks.
I’ve been reading quite a bit about IB vs IB Lite vs DEGIRO but still can’t seem to get a solid grasp of what would be best for my situation in terms of keeping fees to a minimum. Any guidance would be highly appreciated ! : )

I am an American (32) about to move to Switzerland (via marriage) from Germany. I invest in American stocks regularly, with my strategy of developing a baseline of great “blue chip” stocks…such as Apple/Dollar General/Home Depot…etc. For ETFs, I would look into Vanguard ETFs that follow the markets (SP500/DJ) or maybe sectors. I think once you have a solid blue chip foundation that earn steady over time, then you can start investing into more risky stocks. For example, my Apple stock is still preforming even during the market downturn. Are you able to invest with US websites such as charles swab, fidelity?

Good luck being American in CH since the fiscal war between our 2 countries after the 2008 crisis. Some banks will refuse opening a simple account for you. Sad but the direct consequences of DoJ actions :wink:


I guess you’re familiar with US issues, since there’s worldwide taxation in the US, what people seem to recommend is to simply ignore most Swiss specific advice (don’t do pillar 3, don’t do any investment in non US funds, etc.)

So you probably won’t find this forum very useful :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input. Yes I’d be able to open accounts at Schwab, TD Ameritrade etc but since my earnings are all in CHF I believe IB would be the best option in terms of currency exchange. Unfortunately, IB just confirmed me that you need to have an active residence in the US to be eligible for IB Lite. To my knowledge, DEGIRO doesn’t accept US persons. So I guess IB Pro is the way to go for me.

Another option is to give up American passport… A friend of mine did that in order to avoid taxes and many issues being a US person in Switzerland.

Do you often go to USA ?

I find it useful because my fiance is swiss, and therefore seeing what we as a family can leverage in switzerland, vice just myself. She will not get a green card and therefore should be blind to US tax, thus only I will be targeted.

And when you will be married you will have a single tax form… Both targeted ?

Not for the US, but for switzerland, yes I believe so.

Hi thomas08. Would you care to provide an update on what you ended up doing with your investments? As a fellow US citizen I would be interested to know if you don’t mind sharing : )

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