INVESTING IN SWITZERLAND
Switzerland has always been a marketplace for international trading. Its stable economy, secure environment and traditionally excellent banking services have contributed to its ongoing growth as a major international financial center.
Many major companies maintain offices in the financial centers of Zurich, Basel and Geneva. Although small in size (15,000 square miles), four different languages are spoken in Switzerland, with English being the official business language.
The political and economic climate is ideal: There have been no military conflicts for more than 150 years, there are no labor strikes and unemployment is a low 0.6 percent. The combination of these unique factors make Switzerland an excellent environment for international diversification.
In addition to this ideal investment climate, there are many good reasons why you should investigate Switzerland’s potential as it applies to your particular investment needs. For example, the stable Swiss franc is a proven investment hedge against the fluctuation of the U.S. dollar.
Banking privacy is a major feature of Switzerland’s banking system. Its tradition of banking secrecy protects individuals from all over the world. The rules are strict and the punishment severe. Any bank employee convicted of disclosing information concerning accounting transaction or bank clients is punished by imprisonment and/or a heavy fine.
Through a numbered account, the identity of any client is known only to very small group of bank employees, thereby maintaining total privacy for a client.
Beyond the privacy advantage, Swiss banks offer the following:
Swiss bankers are conservatively educated to target their client’s assets toward capital preservation. The assets you assign for safe investment outside your home territory will be treated with the utmost care.
Unlimited money transfers are possible anytime in and out of Switzerland. No individual is required to declare cash, bank or check transfers while conducting business with a Swiss bank. Accounts may be opened by mail. Only an approved signature authentication form will be requested.
Banks in Switzerland specialize in diversifying assets into various currencies. This can be in stocks, bonds, money market funds, government notes or even cash in the denomination of another country. It serves the very important purpose of keeping your money evenly distributed in different investment and political environments.
The same technique applies to the chosen investment forms. A typical portfolio will consist of Treasury bills, short and medium-term straight bonds (free of withholding tax), convertible bonds, AAA stocks and gold coins or bars.
There are no sales or withholding taxes claimed on transactions involving straight and convertible bonds issued by non-Swiss companies or entities. The same applies to gold transactions. There is 35 percent withholding tax claimed on stock dividends.
Brokerage fees here are considered to be the lowest in the world. Storage costs for securities are very competitive also.
Portfolio management is an integral part of Swiss banking.
Under one roof, several banking activities may be conducted. Unlike U.S. banks, where a mixture of commercial, savings and loan, investment management banking and other activities are not permitted, Swiss banks may combine all of these various operations. The portfolio management service includes the automatic adjustment of portfolios without any delay.
Through the availability of adequate account opening forms, a client may authorize family members or lawyers to fully conduct business on his or her behalf. This includes the sale of assets and the closing of accounts once the Power of Attorney form has been signed. This form remains valid even after the death of the account holder and therefore allows the beneficiary or authorized individual to discreetly take possession of the funds by either maintaining the account or transferring it.
Deposited securities are not maintained in the bank’s balance sheet and therefore are not vulnerable to any financial difficulties a bank may suffer.
Within this wide range of knowledge and diversification, your portfolio manager will do everything possible to achieve a good solid return, keeping capital preservation uppermost in mind.