Trust the Swiss to Keep Your Money Safe

Zürich, Switzerland, ranks first, or a close second, in all the many quality of life surveys during recent years. This beautiful city by a lake is also the wealthiest city in Europe, home to many major financial institutions and banking giants.

What recommends Zürich to me always has been its people, personified by my longtime friend, Rob Vrijhof.

On my first visit years ago, I flew overnight from Miami to Zürich, nine hours nonstop. The six-hour time difference had my body clock telling my stomach “breakfast.”

But my genial host, Rob, insisted on the perfect cure: a bracing drive up into the Jungfrau, with lunch in a mountain chalet.

It was June, a sunny, comfortable 75 degrees by Lake Zürich, as we ascended the Alps in Rob’s top-down convertible. Speeding around precarious, twisting curves, the higher we went, the colder it got.

Who knew that daily temps are 50 degrees or lower up in those impressive Alps?

But even as I shivered, I experienced a curious, alarming, almost obscene feeling: My top half was freezing cold, but my bottom was getting toasty.

As a Miata owner, this was my unexpected introduction to the luxury of heated Mercedes car seats!

You too can discover comforting surprises in Switzerland. Ones that will warm your heart and heat up your investment returns – with the right guide at the wheel.

Your Money’s Welcome in Switzerland

Switzerland today still stands as the world’s best all-around offshore banking and asset protection haven despite the compromises the Swiss have been forced to make under international pressure.

Swiss financial privacy laws still are the world’s most protective, so long as you pay your home country’s taxes.

Many people would love to have a Swiss passport and enjoy the benefits of Switzerland’s unique, sovereign and politically neutral status. Sadly, it’s one of the most difficult to obtain.

You can visit and even stay a long time, but to become Swiss without being born there is next to impossible.

Many wealthy foreigners do make their homes in Switzerland. Over 3,500 of these take advantage of individual fiscal forfait tax deals offered by Swiss cantons (provinces), paying agreed upon annual taxes.

It’s become fashionable to say that American clients are unwelcome at Swiss banks. But that’s simply not true.

Your money is most welcome there, so long as you have enough to make managing it worthwhile… which is less than you may think.

The current estimate is that Swiss banks manage at least one-third of all assets held offshore by the world’s wealthy, an estimated $3 trillion to $4 trillion.

An Alternative to the Dollar

There is another good reason to consider Switzerland as a base for your investments: the mighty Swiss franc.

Traditionally, when world trouble flares, such as with tweets about North Korea threatening annihilation, financial anxiety mounts. Money managers then turn to that usually comforting currency refuge, the American dollar.

But the dollar hasn’t been doing too well in 2017.

The alternative is the Swiss franc, long a “safe haven” currency that smart investors buy when other currencies, including the euro and the dollar, are under pressure.

The franc is a world-respected currency backed by a robust national economy, a stable political framework and enough liquidity to deal with turmoil in international trading.