Asset Management & Financial Advisors

Swiss Asset Management Comparison 2024

Find the right Swiss asset management or financial advisory service and request free quotes using the free comparison. Compare Swiss asset management services now

The data is updated on a regular basis. Last update: February 5, 2024.

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Enter the amount to be invested, and select the service and investment strategy you want.

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Asset Management: More Information

Asset Management and Financial Advisory

The unbiased comparison of Swiss asset management and financial advisory services makes it easy to find the most favourable option. Costs are the most important factor to consider because past performance is difficult to compare and is no guarantee of future performance. Use the asset management comparison to find the most affordable bank which offers the services you need.

The asset management comparison on automatically calculates applicable costs based on the amount of assets to be invested, as well as the services and investment strategy you need. You can compare both asset management mandates and financial advisory mandates. Numerous filters help you find mandates which meet very specific criteria.

In Switzerland, the term private banking is often used in reference to asset management and financial advisory services. While asset management is the primary focus of private banks, Swiss retail banks and universal banks often refer to their asset management and financial advisory services as private banking.

In keeping with the Swiss usage of the term, sometimes refers to banking services related to asset management and financial advisory as private banking.

Asset management services, in their simplest form, invest your assets on your behalf. You grant the bank or independent asset manager the right to make investment decisions, purchases and sales without needing your consent for every transaction.

Financial advisory and investment advisory services, on the other hand, only make recommendations as to how you should invest. Depending on the service, you either perform the transactions yourself or your grant your consent ahead of each transaction.

Strategies range from standardized canned solutions to highly-personalized investment strategies, depending on the asset manager and mandate. The vast majority of asset management services from Swiss retail banks use standardized investment strategies. Some provide a certain amount of customization. Personalized strategies are generally only offered to high net worth individuals who place very large amounts of assets under management.

Most Swiss asset management services offer multiple investment strategies, which generally represent different levels of investment risk. The rule of thumb is: the higher the stock component, the higher the risk associated with the investment strategy. The flat fees charged by asset managers are generally higher for investment strategies with high stock components.

The investment profiles in the asset management comparison follow the same logic. You can choose to compare asset management services based on these general investment strategies:

  1. Minimal risk (0% stock component)
  2. Low risk (10-15% stock component)
  3. Limited risk (25-40% stock component)
  4. Balanced risk (40-60% stock component)
  5. Substantial risk (60-80% stock component)
  6. High risk (80-100% stock component)

Important: Risk, as used in relation to stock components, primarily denotes risk of short-term losses in your portfolio’s value. Historically, broadly diversified stock portfolios have performed well over the long term. But it can take many years for stock portfolios to recover from major dips and return to positive performance.

In other words, the higher the short-term risk, the longer the investment term has to be in order to minimize long-term risk.

You can find detailed information about comparison risk profiles here.

When you use an asset management service, the service invests your money for you. Once you have been designated an investment strategy, your involvement in the management of your assets is minimal. When you use a stock broker, you have to make all decisions related to investing on your own, and place trade orders yourself. The broker only executes your orders.

The advantage of investing on your own using a stock broker: Purchasing shares in company stocks or in ETFs yourself using an affordable online trading platform typically works out cheaper than asset management over the long term. If you have enough investment experience to invest on your own, you can compare Swiss stock brokers using the interactive online trading comparison.

The disadvantage of investing on your own is that you need to have a certain amount of know-how. You also have to be ready to invest some time into setting up and monitoring your investment portfolio.

Swiss asset management services are generally expensive. However, services from some asset managers cost much less than similar services from other asset managers. Comparing is key to finding the most affordable options.

The most important cost criteria to consider are asset management fees and product fees.

  • Asset management fees. Also called administrative fees or mandate fees, these are the fees you pay to have an asset manager invest your money for you. Many Swiss banks now charge asset management fees at flat rates. The flat fees typically cover consultation, administration, custodial fees, performance reports and tax reports. The flat rates generally vary between individual investment strategies: the higher the stock component, the higher that flat fee.
  • Investment vehicle costs. Some investment vehicles have their own administrative costs, and you generally pay these on top of the asset management fee. The most common investment vehicle costs are the fees charged by investment funds, including mutual funds, ETFs and index funds. It is very important to review the TERs and sales charges of any funds included in investment portfolios. Avoid strategies which make use of expensive mutual funds. The costs of ETFs are often significantly lower.
  • Taxes and duties. You typically pay taxes and duties on top of asset management fees. These include value added tax, stamp duties and withholding tax on foreign dividend and interest yields.
  • Foreign transaction fees and currency exchange spreads. These apply when your investment portfolio includes investment vehicles denominated by foreign currencies. You often pay these in addition to the flat asset management fee.
  • Brokerage fees and stock exchange fees. These are often charged in addition to the flat fee.
  • Other incidental costs may include account closing fees and charges for exceptional tasks.

Retrocession fees and rebates: Banks may receive commissions from investment vehicle providers (fund managers, for example) for onboarding new capital. Many Swiss banks now only include investment vehicles which do not pay retrocession fees in their asset management services. The asset management comparison clearly shows whether or not an asset management service uses products with retrocession fees on product information pages.

Conventional asset management services generally offer face-to-face consultation with consultants. With robo advisors, on the other hand, the onboarding and profiling of clients is done through digital channels – often without any personal consultation.

Digital asset management services typically invest passively and frequently make use of ETFs. Conventional asset managers often actively manage investments.

Important: In many cases, robo advisors are significantly cheaper than conventional asset managers.

You can find more information about the differences here.

The biggest advantage of asset management is that it requires little involvement on your part. You do not have to choose how to invest your money or monitor your investments.

The biggest disadvantage of asset management is that it costs money. The costs of asset management can be high, particularly in the case of actively-managed mandates from conventional asset managers.

You can find more information on the advantages and disadvantages of asset management here.

The risks of asset management correlate largely with the specific investment strategy used and the investment vehicles making up the investment portfolio.

Examples of risk in asset management: Over the long term, stock investments have historically delivered significantly higher yields than savings accounts. However, over the short term many stock investments lose value. Products which typically bear much higher risk include alternative asset classes and structured products.

Example of risk strategy-based risk: Many banks still actively invest your assets instead of investing them passively. In addition to generating higher costs, active investment also bears risk because the asset manager may pick the wrong investment vehicles.

A risk which is directly associated with asset management is the risk posed by the asset management fees. The higher these fees are, the more they cut into potential returns or – when investment performance is negative – even your capital. That is why you should use an asset manager which charges low asset management fees.

Many asset management services have high minimum capital requirements and only make sense if you have a substantial amount of wealth. Some mandates require minimum capital of 1 million Swiss francs, while others require 100,000 francs or 50,000 francs.

The exception: Digital asset management services (robo advisors) target a broader audience and typically have minimum capital requirements of just several thousand francs.

For capital investments of less than 5 million Swiss francs, Swiss asset management services largely offer standardized solutions only. Some asset managers give you the option of customizing your investment portfolio for an additional fee, and some robo advisors in particular give you the option of changing investment strategies or selecting between available ETFs.  

Many investors allow themselves to be sold on a particular asset management service based on its past performance. But there are two problems with this approach:

Firstly, the performance figures used are often untransparent and difficult to compare. It is often unclear what methods are used to reach the performance figures.

Secondly, past performance figures do not enable accurate predictions of future performance. Just because an asset manager delivered good performance in the past, that does not mean they will continue to perform well in the future.

Costs are a much more important factor to consider when choosing an asset management service. Choose the most affordable service provider that offers your preferred investment strategy.

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