Where to park $50K for short-term?


I recently received $50,000 USD, which my parents worked hard to save. To secure these funds, they brought them to me here in CH, as keeping them in our home country seemed risky. My parents are nearing retirement, and although they don’t need the money right away, there’s a chance they might require it in USD in the short term. Our primary goal is to protect the funds from losing value due to inflation, and secondary to that, explore opportunities for growth.

What would you say is the best option to do with that money and why? here below some of the alternatives I am considering but I’d love to hear your feedback:

  1. Exchange USD to the stronger CHF and simply keep the cash - if so, any advice on a safe place to exchange?
  2. Exchange to CHF and put that in Neon Spaces at 0.9% - anyone with experience here?
  3. Put those USD into IB and get that ~4.85% yield - what’s the fastest way to get from cash to IB balance? any minimum timeframe to be considered?
  4. Buy US T-Bills at ~5% yield

Any feedback on the options above? any other alternative you’d consider?

Besides wealth tax, any other impact you’d consider?

Many thanks, everyone!

Basically you have to decide if you want to keep them as USD or exchange to CHF. I am not aware if banks in Switzerland would accept USD for a deposit to your account, but you can ask Postfinance, which seems to me a good chance. Another question is what are USD withdrawal options.

If you have to give back USD notes, another option is to just rent a safe in a bank and put them there.

If your parents would be satisfied to get EUR cash, that gives you more options including EUR withdrawal from a common Swiss ATM.

How short is the short term when they might need money?

Furthermore, you should think about setting it up as a loan from your parents to you that you are going to repay. For at least 2 reasons.

  1. An appearance of excessive 50k in your wealth most probably won’t go unnoticed in your tax declaration. There will be questions.

  2. When you have opened an account at IB or any other account, there is a question about the beneficiary of the assets that you are depositing. 99.99% chance that you have answered that you are the sole beneficiary. To deposit your parents’ money on your account is a tricky move.


If those are USD banknotes, there’s going to be fees (and AML questions) if you try to deposit them.

I’d expect a swiss bank to ask for a single digit percent fee (if they accept the deposit).


Is the inflation you are trying to ward against linked to the USA or to another country? (Some types of assets, like short term TIPS, will not protect equally against both and no be equally available to US citizens (if your parents are) and other people).

Moving money around in actual banknotes may be a sign of other kinds of distrusts from your parents (or a lack of access to banks). Would they be ok with it being invested at a broker or deposited at a bank? Would there be limitations as to wich ones you could use?

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Thanks guys!

Great point, any idea where to look guidance on how to set up such a loan?

It’s Argentina, where the USD is the reserve currency people have to ward against +100% inflation of the local currency. I am trying to help them ward against the USD inflation too.

Would opening a new sub IB account, under my main one, and with their name be an option? Or just a new one under their name? They are not residents here and I guess this will pose other implications too :slight_smile:

Thanks again, everyone!

You make a contract in writing. Not really complicated.

Keep in mind that your parents still may have to declare that claim as part of their personal wealth (if they were resident in Switzerland in the same situation, they‘d have to!).

The alternative is, of course, gifting these funds to you.

That sounds as if it is cash. As @Dr.PI already mentioned above, the first question would be if and how you (or they) can deposit or exchange them in Switzerland at all.

If your parents brought them over from Argentina as cash, I‘d also assume they would have needed to declare them to Argentine customs on leaving the country.

Given that it’s apparently prohibited I assume that’s not an option.

I don’t know what a swiss bank typically requires when they have concern regarding cash deposits, maybe try and see what happens (though worst case can make your account flagged for increased money laundering risk I assume :frowning: ).

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Cash, foreign currency, securities.

Taking cash in or out Switzlerand Surprisingly, the limit is 10k . I thought it was 20k.

You don’t have to declare it tho, unless answer questions if asked.

I read it differently.

If they somehow find out that you carry more than 10k, they will put on you “poor” people list. Not that I know, but I guess millions are smuggled differently…

Assuming the money is legitimately in the banking system I would keep any cash in USD to match spending.

A large cash holding is not a good long term solution in whichever currency but as a short term solution US inflation is on a downwards trend and IB interest rate is > Fed target inflation rate (if not the current inflation rate)

If set up like this it would be necessary to demonstrate to the tax authorities it is not just a ruse to reduce you taxable wealth. I assume interest would need to be paid to your parents at a market rate, and your parents would need to pay tax on the interest … not sure how that would work in practise

There is no change in taxable wealth of the OP. 50000 on bank account -50000 as loan = 0.

A zinsloses Darlehen is very common practise between family and for such smallish amounts. Don’t complicate things, at least “officially”.