This be Fliss here, nice meeting you all

#1

Well, this where I ended up, looking to introduce myself.

I’ve been lurking here for a bit, after finding this niche on the web. I’ve been familiar with MMM for a couple of years now, and have been a semi-mustachian for a long time. Lived in a couple of countries on both sides of the pond, but we have been back in good old CH for quite a while now. Living in Zurich has its pros and cons, but it seems we’re in for the long haul.

Being mustachian in nature, we’ve had some cashed stashed away several times in the past. Identifying save and profitable ways to invest, we’ve always gone for ‘stone’ 'till now. Not surprisingly, we have ended up with a robust RE portfolio. We own a house in Zurich, which through persistence, patience and luck was acquired for quite a bit less than the asking and bank estimated value. Additionally, we own a couple of handfuls of apartments in France where RE prices and ROI are a bit more to our liking. We have also invested in a REIT in the past, and keep putting in a couple of buck each month.

So far, I have been intimidated by, and hence hesitant to invest in, stocks and bonds – seems to me that often the associated cost are higher than the returns, especially for small players like us. However, our RE exposure is rather significant at the moment, and having a cash cushion that could sustain our current live style for 2+ years on no-interest CH bank accounts isn’t very mustachian. Thus, we’re looking into getting into some ETFs – which probably explains why I ended up here.

My current idea, based on what I’ve read here and at other places is to go with CornerTrader and invest ~10k in some Vanguard World Fund. I intend to keep adding to it once or twice a year until we get our RE to stock ratio a bit more in balance.

Evidently, happy to get any advice and input from the various experts here!

F.

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#2

Welcome on the forum Fliss! It is nice to have someone onboard with a good experience with Real Estate!

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#3

Welcome @Fliss!

If I may give you the benefit of my recent experience, I decided to move away from VWRL:xswx (held in the Swiss stock exchange) in favor of VT:arca (held in the NYSE) mostly because of much lower commissions (compare 160 CHF to buy 60000 CHF, compared to 2 USD to buy 60000 USD) and slightly higher dividends. You can find more info in this thread.

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#4

Thanks for the welcome.

With regards to RE, I’d definitely consider myself a beginner still. It seems every purchase comes with its own unique issues so far and a new hidden cost appears out of nowhere once I think I’ve done all the appropriate calculations.

About the NYSE ETF – is it feasible to get the US dividend tax back for small amounts?

#5

Well, the good thing is that regarding fees and costs on the stock market, we have already found out quite good solutions :slight_smile:
-Regarding your broker, I would recommend Interactive Broker (the absolute cheapest) or Corner Trader (if you want a swiss broker). Note that if you have a swiss broker you will also have to pay the swiss stamp tax.
-If you want to do indexing, then a low cost ETF on the Total stock market will do the trick. VT seems to have the preference of the forumers here, with very low management fees (0.11%).

But overall, you’ll find out that fees on the stock market are anyway much lower than fees and costs you could have on the Real Estate market :wink:
For instance, this post seems to agree with you regarding the hidden costs of RE (i am aware this describes the canadian market, but it would be the same in the French market, and quite possibly the swiss one).

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#6

No. US will not reimburse its withholding tax. But if you have to pay swiss taxes on this dividend income, you can get a reimbursement or tax credit from the swiss towards your swiss taxes. This is only done to prevent double taxation, you’ll effectively pay the higher of US or CH taxes on it. Minimum amount 50 Fr to apply for it though

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#7

Hello @Fliss!

If you’re planning to invest in USD (and you earn your money in non-USD currency), don’t use CT. Two months ago I started with that option and I learned that additionally to the commission (0.02%) + Swiss stamp tax (0.15%), you have to pay insane 0.5% for exchanging CHF into USD. Currently, I’m in the process of opening IB account for trading and Swissquote account for cheap transfering money to IB. I’ll still keep CT, but I’ll use it only for CHF investments.

#8

I was also thinking of keeping CT for CHF investments, but considering that with CT you pay stamp tax and IB you don’t (for the exact same investment), it’s hard to justify it. I guess the only reason would be diversification of brokers.

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