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Mr. The Poor Swiss



Articles by Mr. The Poor Swiss

Your FI Number – How much do you need to retire?

9 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

We have already covered a lot on the subject of Financial Independence (FI). However, we need to go into more detail about the FI Number. Your FI Number is an essential Personal Finance Metric.
Your FI number will tell you how much money you need to be financially independent or retire. It is essential to know this number precisely if you want to see where you stand in your journey towards Financial Freedom. It sounds straightforward. But it is not as simple as it looks.
If you want an accurate view of your FI number, you need to estimate how your expenses will be once you are financially independent. And you also need to consider your future income. There is also a second more straightforward strategy where you only consider

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Frugality is personal – Spend based on your needs

10 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

These last few years, we have not spent a lot of money. Both me and Mrs. The Poor Swiss have been quite frugal. We try to spend less to grow our wealth faster.
Every month we are sharing our level of expenses. But this is not to show that people should spend as we do. We do this to keep us accountable. There is no reason for everybody to spend the same. In fact, spending is a personal matter and will depend on many personal factors.
We would not be comfortable spending as much as some people. And many people would not be comfortable spending as little as we do! And this is fine!
In this article, I want to discuss different levels of spending and reasons why some people may spend less or more than others.

Personal Frugality

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March 2021 – Splurging the bonus

15 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

March 2021 was not a very special month. We could see some friends and family, which is always good. But of course, everything has to be done in small groups, so we do more invitations than usual.
But there was no significant event during this month. It was a good month, though.
Financially, March is always the month I receive my bonus. So this adds a lot to the income. And it is generally the best month of the year in terms of savings rate. This month, we managed to save 78% of our income.

March 2021
March 2021 was a good month for us. We invited friends and family over several times in small groups. It was a lot of fun, and it was good to see more people again.
On the other hand, this is getting taxing because we would

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March 2021 – Splurging the bonus

15 days ago

March 2021 was not a very special month. We could see some friends and family, which is always good. But of course, everything has to be done in small groups, so we do more invitations than usual.
But there was no significant event during this month. It was a good month, though.
Financially, March is always the month I receive my bonus. So this adds a lot to the income. And it is generally the best month of the year in terms of savings rate. This month, we managed to save 78% of our income.
March 2021
March 2021 was a good month for us. We invited friends and family over several times in small groups. It was a lot of fun, and it was good to see more people again.
On the other hand, this is getting taxing because we would prefer to invite more friends at the same

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Introduction to short selling: How to bet against a stock?

17 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Many of you have probably heard of the Gamestop saga. A lot of hedge funds were short selling Gamestop stocks. And some investors found out about that and decided to fight against the big hedge funds by massively buying into this stock.
But what is shorting a stock? When you are shorting a stock, you are betting against this stock. But why and how to do that?
Even though I am not a short seller, I think it is interesting to learn about this. And I know many of my readers are interested in some more advanced investing techniques. So, let’s delve into short selling!

Short Selling Stocks
The concept of short selling is actually relatively simple. It is also sometimes called shorting a stock. So, shorting and short selling are

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Introduction to short selling: How to bet against a stock?

17 days ago

Many of you have probably heard of the Gamestop saga. A lot of hedge funds were short selling Gamestop stocks. And some investors found out about that and decided to fight against the big hedge funds by massively buying into this stock.
But what is shorting a stock? When you are shorting a stock, you are betting against this stock. But why and how to do that?
Even though I am not a short seller, I think it is interesting to learn about this. And I know many of my readers are interested in some more advanced investing techniques. So, let’s delve into short selling!
Short Selling Stocks
The concept of short selling is actually relatively simple. It is also sometimes called shorting a stock. So, shorting and short selling are the same thing.
But first, let’s start

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The Three Axes of Personal Finance

22 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

There are three main axes of personal finance: your expenses, your income, and investing. These axes are the ones on which you can work to improve your personal finance.
In the end, you want to improve your wealth or improve your state of living. Whether you want to retire early or afford an expensive vacation to Hawaii, you can work on these three axes.
In this article, we will see what you can do to improve your financial situation by using the three axes of personal finance.

Expenses
The expenses are a very interesting axis. If you reduce your expenses, you will increase your savings. But by lowering your expenses, you will also reduce the amount of money you need to be financially independent.
The duality of the expenses

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What is the best Swiss broker in 2021?

24 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

When you want to invest in the stock market, you need a broker account. And many Swiss investors only feel comfortable having a broker from Switzerland, or at least a broker with an office in Switzerland.
So, we need to compare these Swiss brokers and see which one is the best to invest in the stock market for a Swiss investor.
In this article, I will compare five Swiss brokers with different scenarios and see which one is the best (the cheapest!).

What makes the best Swiss broker?
Swiss brokers are extremely similar. They are all regulated in the same way, and most of them have the same features. What matters most in choosing the best Swiss broker is the price!
Some people will argue that we also need to look at their tools

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Best places to buy second-hand in Switzerland

29 days ago

When you want to save money on something, buying it second-hand may be a great way to pay less! Over the years, I have bought many things second-hand, and I could save a lot of money by doing so.
But the question remains as to where to find second-hand items to buy. In this article, I will go over the best places to buy second-hand items in Switzerland. Some places are online, while other places are brick-and-mortar shops.
Emmaüs Shops
My favorite place to buy second-hand items is Emmaüs shops. There are plenty of them in Switzerland. For instance, there is one in Geneva, one in Fribourg, and one in Bern.
Emmaüs is a solidarity community created in France. They are collecting items based on donations. Then, they are refurbishing them (if necessary) and selling

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Best places to buy second-hand in Switzerland

29 days ago

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

When you want to save money on something, buying it second-hand may be a great way to pay less! Over the years, I have bought many things second-hand, and I could save a lot of money by doing so.
But the question remains as to where to find second-hand items to buy. In this article, I will go over the best places to buy second-hand items in Switzerland. Some places are online, while other places are brick-and-mortar shops.

Emmaüs Shops
My favorite place to buy second-hand items is Emmaüs shops. There are plenty of them in Switzerland. For instance, there is one in Geneva, one in Fribourg, and one in Bern.
Emmaüs is a solidarity community created in France. They are collecting items based on donations. Then, they are

Read More »

How to work out at home for free in 2021

March 16, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Until COVID-19 started in Europe in 2020, I was going to the gym regularly to work out. But when I started working from home, I completely gave up on working out. This is definitely not ideal for my health.
In 2021, I decided to start working out at home. And I found out that this was actually easier than I expected. You can start working out with very little equipment (even zero if you want). And you can actually save a lot of money by doing so.
In this article, I will go over a few ways to work out at home for free.

Work Out
I am definitely not the best example to follow to work out. I have always hated working out. But I could generally keep the habit of going to the gym a few times a week to get some exercise.
But I am

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Should You Contribute to Your Second Pillar in 2021?

March 10, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

In Switzerland, you can make a voluntary contribution to your second pillar. These contributions come with some tax advantages since you can deduct that from your income. Therefore, you have a return equal to your marginal tax rate. And this return is almost instant.
However, the money is then blocked into the second pillar. And the returns on that blocked money have been very low in recent years. Finally, you can only withdraw the money from your second pillar if you retire, buy a house, or start a company.
Many people ask whether they should contribute money to their second pillar or continue investing in stocks.

In this article, I am going to answer this question.

Second pillar contribution
So how does a voluntary

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What is the best third pillar in Switzerland for 2021?

March 9, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

In Switzerland, contributing to your third pillar is one of the best ways to save on taxes. I recommend everybody to contribute to their third pillar.
But contributing to your third pillar is not enough. You should invest the money in your third pillar. That means you have to pick the best third pillar for your money. Since there are many options, it may be difficult to choose the best third pillar for your needs.
So, this article is here to help you! We will see how to choose the best third pillar!

What makes the best third pillar?
First of all, we have to think about what makes the best third pillar. It is essential to decide which factors will drive the choice.
I am going to assume

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VIAC Review 2021 – Excellent third pillar in Switzerland

March 6, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

There are many third pillar providers in Switzerland. Some of them are good, but most of them are too expensive. You do not want to waste your retirement bank on fees. Therefore, you need to choose the best third pillar provider.
In 2018, VIAC started on the market of third pillars. VIAC is the first mobile third pillar. And they are really interesting! VIAC has very low fees and lets you invest up to 97% exposure in stocks. It is significantly better than what I have found before in other third-pillar providers.
In this post, I am going to do an in-depth review of VIAC! Among other things, we will look at the investing strategies and the fees of this service.

VIAC
VIAC LogoVIAC is a

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How to file your taxes with Swiss and foreign securities

March 4, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

One question I get often is how to file taxes with stocks and dividends. And this especially gets popular when we add foreign stocks and foreign dividends into the mix.
Many people are afraid of investing because they think it will make it complicated to file your taxes. But in practice, it is not complicated to file your taxes even with a large ETF portfolio.
In this article, we will see how to file your taxes with Swiss Stocks and dividends, which is very simple. And with U.S. Stocks and dividends, which is slightly more complicated.

Filing taxes
In Switzerland, taxes are different for each state. Each of the states has its own software and forms to complete your tax form. However,

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How to file your taxes with Swiss and foreign securities

March 4, 2021

One question I get often is how to file taxes with stocks and dividends. And this especially gets popular when we add foreign stocks and foreign dividends into the mix.
Many people are afraid of investing because they think it will make it complicated to file your taxes. But in practice, it is not complicated to file your taxes even with a large ETF portfolio.
In this article, we will see how to file your taxes with Swiss Stocks and dividends, which is very simple. And with U.S. Stocks and dividends, which is slightly more complicated.
Filing taxes
In Switzerland, taxes are different for each state. Each of the states has its own software and forms to complete your tax form. However, most of the forms are very similar and have similar names. So, if you can file

Read More »

February 2021 – More and more taxes

March 2, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Overall, February 2021 was not very eventful. We had some dinners with friends in small groups. Other than that, we did some walks around the wife and me. But nothing special.
Financially, we had to pay some extra taxes related to the withdrawal of our pension money for the house. And we had a few extra other large expenses this month.
In this article, you will find all that happened to us and our money in February 2021.

February 2021
Overall, February 2021 was an okay month. There was not much special. We have invited a few friends at home and could visit a few more too. We still have to do everything in groups of a maximum of five. So basically, we invite a couple, and that is about it. This is getting a little boring to

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How Much We Spent in 2020 – Full Expense Report

February 28, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

I keep track of all my expenses. And monthly, I publish my expenses on this blog. But once a year, I also a full analysis of my expenses for the past year. It helps me put things in perspective. And it also gives me an idea of where my expenses are going for an entire year.
For me, it is an essential part of the way I am managing my money. I do not really budget, but I track all our expenses. And seeing expenses summed for an entire year help us realize how much we spend in some categories.
So, let’s see the expenses of The Poor Swiss family for 2020.
Expenses 2020
In 2020, we spent 93735 CHF. This is 28932 CHF more than in 2019, a 44% increase in one year! Since we are trying to reduce our expenses

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How Much We Spent in 2020 – Full Expense Report

February 25, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

I keep track of all my expenses. And monthly, I publish my expenses on this blog. But once a year, I also a full analysis of my expenses for the past year. It helps me put things in perspective. And it also gives me an idea of where my expenses are going for an entire year.
For me, it is an essential part of the way I am managing my money. I do not really budget, but I track all our expenses. And seeing expenses summed for an entire year help us realize how much we spend in some categories.
So, let’s see the expenses of The Poor Swiss family for 2020.

Expenses 2020
In 2020, we spent 93735 CHF. This is 28932 CHF more than in 2019, a 44% increase in one year! Since we are trying to reduce our expenses over time, this does not

Read More »

Emergency Fund – Do you Really Need One in 2021?

February 22, 2021

If you are interested in personal finance, you probably have come across the concept of emergency funds. An emergency fund is simply some money available directly that you can use for emergencies. Most people will advise you to get such an account. And they will insist heavily on this subject.
It is an interesting subject since not everybody agrees on the importance of the emergency fund. Some people have an emergency fund that can cover one year of expenses. And some people think you do not need one.
An emergency fund is a good thing. But you should be aware of its cost. It also has disadvantages. And you may not need an emergency fund as big as some people tell you. Too many people put too much emphasis on their emergency funds.
In this article, we are going to

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Emergency Fund – Do you Really Need One in 2021?

February 22, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

If you are interested in personal finance, you probably have come across the concept of emergency funds. An emergency fund is simply some money available directly that you can use for emergencies. Most people will advise you to get such an account. And they will insist heavily on this subject.
It is an interesting subject since not everybody agrees on the importance of the emergency fund. Some people have an emergency fund that can cover one year of expenses. And some people think you do not need one.
An emergency fund is a good thing. But you should be aware of its cost. It also has disadvantages. And you may not need an emergency fund as big as some people tell you. Too many people put too much emphasis on their emergency

Read More »

What makes U.S. ETFs so great?

February 18, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

I mostly invest in U.S. ETFs, and I have recommended these ETFs many times on this blog. I consider U.S. ETFs to be the best available ETFs. I have talked a few times about what makes them great in various articles. But since I still get many questions, I will now go into all the details of these U.S. ETFs.
I will not talk about Exchanged Traded Funds (ETFs) that invest in the United States. I am going to talk specifically about ETFs from the United States. What matters here is the domicile of the ETF. This is more important than many people realize.
So, let’s see what makes these U.S. ETFs great.

Availability of U.S. ETFs
First, we need to address the issue of the availability of U.S. ETFs, or lack thereof.
If you are in

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How to manage your finances as a couple?

February 16, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Today’s post is a guest post by Yasi Zhang from Fast Track, talking about the very important subject of how to manage your finances as a couple. I am very happy to have her as a guest writer today.
Money is a topic most people avoid talking about, so do newlywed couples. It is awkward to discuss money with your partner, but it is an essential exercise to do together as a couple because you are building a financial future together!
Some people have asked me about how to manage finances as a couple, and I find it might be a common struggle for many if you avoid talking about it with your partner.
Without a structure couple finance system, the consequences might be:
Conflicts of interests: competing in

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How to manage your finances as a couple?

February 16, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Today’s post is a guest post by Yasi Zhang from Fast Track, talking about the very important subject of how to manage your finances as a couple. I am very happy to have her as a guest writer today.
Money is a topic most people avoid talking about, so do newlywed couples. It is awkward to discuss money with your partner, but it is an essential exercise to do together as a couple because you are building a financial future together!
Some people have asked me about how to manage finances as a couple, and I find it might be a common struggle for many if you avoid talking about it with your partner.

Without a structure couple finance system, the consequences might be:
Conflicts of interests: competing in spending..
Feeling of

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Investart Review 2021 – Pros and Cons

February 11, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Investart is a new online Robo-advisor service that lets you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for free! And not only that! They actually let you invest with custom strategies. So, you could use it either as a Robo-advisor or as a broker for ETFs!
I only recently discovered this service. But it looks exciting. I even started investing some money myself. So, it is time I review Investart.
In this article, I will review Investart in-depth, with its advantages and disadvantages, and compare it against similar services!

This article was written in collaboration with Investart.

Investart
Investart is a Swiss company founded in 2016 by Richard Toolen. The service was publicly launched in 2019. And in 2021, they announced that

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Investart Review 2021 – Pros and Cons

February 11, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Investart is a new online Robo-advisor service that lets you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for free! And not only that! They actually let you invest with custom strategies. So, you could use it either as a Robo-advisor or as a broker for ETFs!
I only recently discovered this service. But it looks exciting. I even started investing some money myself. So, it is time I review Investart.
In this article, I will review Investart in-depth, with its advantages and disadvantages, and compare it against similar services!
This article was written in collaboration with Investart.
Investart
Investart is a Swiss company founded in 2016 by Richard Toolen. The service was publicly launched in 2019. And in

Read More »

Keeping It Simple – Book Review

February 9, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Last year, I reviewed Path To Independence, a book by Elias Noschis. The author recently wrote a new book, more practical, into investing: Keeping It Simple – How To Invest Efficiently.
This book is about the most simple and efficient way to invest your money. By investing only in a few ETFs (ideally one), the author tells you that you can reap the stock market’s benefits.

In this article, I will share my review of the book, Keeping It Simple by Elias Noschis.

Keeping It Simple
Keeping It Simple is a book by Elias Noschis. This book is all about investing in the stock market and keeping it simple.
The author published the book himself on Amazon. The book is available on Kindle and in paper book format. I have read this book

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Your Marginal Tax Rate and all you need to know about it

February 4, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Your marginal tax rate is an important metric. But it is also a complex and misunderstood concept. Many beliefs about the marginal tax rates are wrong.
So, in this article, I want to clear out as much as possible regarding the subject. By the end, you will know how to estimate your marginal tax rate and what it means.

Marginal Tax Rate
Let’s start at the beginning: what is a marginal tax rate?
Your marginal tax rate is the rate at which new income is taxed. It is important to note that it is not your actual tax rate. Your actual tax rate is the rate at which your current income is taxed.
For instance, if you earn 100’000 CHF per year and pay 20’000 CHF in taxes, your actual tax rate is 20%. But if you earn an extra 1000 CHF

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Your Marginal Tax Rate and all you need to know about it

February 4, 2021

Your marginal tax rate is an important metric. But it is also a complex and misunderstood concept. Many beliefs about the marginal tax rates are wrong.
So, in this article, I want to clear out as much as possible regarding the subject. By the end, you will know how to estimate your marginal tax rate and what it means.
Marginal Tax Rate
Let’s start at the beginning: what is a marginal tax rate?
Your marginal tax rate is the rate at which new income is taxed. It is important to note that it is not your actual tax rate. Your actual tax rate is the rate at which your current income is taxed.
For instance, if you earn 100’000 CHF per year and pay 20’000 CHF in taxes, your actual tax rate is 20%. But if you earn an extra 1000 CHF per year, your tax bill may go to

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January 2021 – Starting the new year in force

February 2, 2021

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

We are finally done with 2020! However, 2021 did not change much so far. We are still full in COVID-madness. However, one thing changed significantly. We are now living in our new house. And this changes things a lot for us! For the better!
We have settled very well into our new house. And it is much better to have nothing to do in a great house than in a small apartment.
Financially, it was also a good month! We had to buy a few more things for the house. And we blew our groceries budget with some invitations. But, we had no large expenses and managed to save more than 60% of our income!
In this article, you will find all that happened to us and our money in January 2021.

January 2021
Overall, January 2021 was not a very

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