Wealth Management Platform Idea

Online Wealth Management platforms seem to become more and more popular nowadays, also in Switzerland:

  • TrueWealth
  • Selma
  • Findependent
  • Finpension (Soon™)
  • Inyova

Although I would personally like such products, I can’t use them because of their high “management” fees (from 0.39%-1.2%) and limited investment options. In essense, you give them 0.5% of your assets every year so that they buy ETFs for you. You still have to pay ETF costs, swiss stamp tax duty, (high) FX fees and potentially some other hidden costs.

It’s totally clear that the fees of these platforms are never going to decrease, because it’s just not economically viable. TrueWealth has about CHF 1 billion AUM [1]. On average I’d say users have less or up to 100k invested with them (0.5% fee). So 1bln * 0.5% = CHF 5 million revenue (only)… And it took them about 10 years to reach this number.

Now, what this post is about… I like the idea of an easy wealth management platform with low fees. So over the last few weeks I did play around with a few ideas and have now come to the conclusion that it would be possible, but with a small twist…

A wealth management platform/ui you just connect your broker account with. This means, the platform would visualize the information better (drill-down in ETFs, what asset class, currencies, sectors, regions, etc.) give users some presets if they don’t want to choose ETFs themselves and tell them (or help) when they should rebalance and how.

In addition, since the platform has access to the holdings, it could generate an eSteuerauszug (if the broker doesn’t offer it already), DA-1 forms [2] and maybe some other things.

Now, what’s the advantage to other platforms (assuming you’d connect IBKR to it)?

  • No AUM fees. 0%
  • No swiss tax stamp duty 0% (if it’s a non-CH broker)
  • No high FX fees
  • Invest in whatever ETFs and even single stocks you want (low ETF fees since you can buy US ones)
  • Easy-to-use UI (probably™)

So it would be just a nice and more intelligent wrapper/UI around each platform you connect to basically, that’s why fees would be non-existent. You still pay the trading fees at your broker.

From a technical perspective I don’t really see a problem, it’s doable and has already been done by others [3], but the rest I’m not really sure about as there are some “problems”:

  • Since this platform is just a wrapper/custom client portal, you still need to have an account at e.g. IBKR and send your money there. So it’s an additional step for new users.
  • Trust. Are you going to trust a random middleman? Obviously your money can’t be stolen, since it’s just visualization and requires manual action from you to rebalance. But you would still share your portfolio data with the platform.
  • Is there a market for it? Ideally the platform would cost something like CHF 100-150 per year, flat. It would also work worldwide, not only for Switzerland. The eSteuerauszug/DA-1 would just make sense for Swiss investors, obviously…

From an economical perspective, running that platform “basically” costs CHF 0. Don’t need to be licensed by FINMA or whoever, because the platform doesn’t manage/hold any assets, so no big legal expenses. The only thing the platform does is to consume APIs from the brokers (free), give the user a drilldown into the holdings and tell him when he should rebalance. Generating the eSteuerauszug I already know how it works (free), still investigating the DA1 (also free), but I’ll get there.

Do you have any thoughts? Is it worth for me to invest a bit more time into this idea or nah?

[1] Strong growth at True Wealth
[2] Reclaim withholding tax on Irish based ETF? - #40 by oswand
[3] https://passiv.com/, https://wealthica.com/

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What’s the business model? Or just a hobby project?

What’s the differentiator with e.g. passiv.com (if part of the project is to not be swiss specific).

Does the Auszug/DA-1 make sense if you’re not the actual broker? (don’t think the tax office expects random provider to give those).


Isn’t that more or less what Investart does?
I know they are not free (it’s 0.3%/year).
But iirc they open an account at IB on your name, and you can buy at Investart.

Right now just a hobby project.

the eSteuerauszug is just a document to make it easier for people to file their taxes. Why shouldn’t it be accepted if it’s correct? But yeah, if it’s signed by Swissquote the tax office will trust it more than from some random company.

I guess it’s more or less the same.

This tool would just connect to your IBKR account. Meaning you can choose to use the product and later on stop using it. I don’t think it’s possible with Investart. It would also be a lot more complicated, because you give your personal information to Investart (idenity → SumSub).

I don’t see the target audience for this. The typical user of a real broker doesn’t need it (or don’t want to pay fees) and the beginner doesn’t want to register in two places and fiddle with api keys. I’m not saying there isn’t a market, but it sounds like a niche to me.


I see big liability problems here. Just imagine the tool fucking up a trade during rebalancing.


I like it personally.

I doubt though that Switzerland is the place for finding lots of people that are price sensitive, especially amongst those with money to set aside for investing. Let alone these people having trust in a hobby project (as you describe it). Even among this forum’s slice of the population with a statistically elevated sense for looking at costs (see e.g. the topic around IBKR and whether they’re trustworthy …).

More generally, as others have already suggested, this lacks a business plan … since …

The costs are nowhere near zero. Apart from the liability issue* already mentioned you’ll have e.g. these costs (your time or $ for someone else’s time or services:

  • developing the platform

  • running the platform. E.g.

    • running the hardware (or paying the cloud running it)
    • paying for connectivity
  • maintaining the platform. E.g. updating it

    • as backends change their interfaces
    • as software packages you use on your platform provide updates, e.g. for security reasons
    • as white hat hackers generously make you aware of vulnerabilities of your platform
  • getting regular 3rd party security audits for the platform

This list isn’t exhaustive, but I already see several 10k CHF piling up every year for this alone?

* Which you could possibly try to work around with terms & conditions, but then (a) good luck with trust and (b) have fun paying the lawyers fleshing out these terms so they are actually water-tight … or maybe the lawyers suggesting – after having thought about it for many billable hours – that this is too risky and that you should not pursue it. :wink:


Developing and running the platform wouldn’t cost me, except for the time invested, I’ve done full-stack projects. You obviously wouldn’t run hardware on your own, cloud is better (Exoscale, etc.) and really not that expensive. If you think about it, you’re not really doing a lot of compute.

But yes, the legal things are a problem, you are right. Thanks for the input.

I’d be in (as dev ) if you try to build up something slowly.
For example you can start to build a platform that gives you only a “to-do list” as end result.

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