Legal & Tax



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Structured Products and their Importance to Universal Banks’ Profits

The data below is from a large universal bank in Switzerland. It shows that close to a quarter of the entire banks trading profits come from structured products. The fact they make 300% more money with structured products vs equity trading and equity derivatives tells you a lot about margins and how widespread the use of structured products has become. From a client perspective investing in these instruments this can’t…


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Equity Linked Bond / Reverse Convertible Bond

Today, reading the F.A.Z, I came across this ad for equity linked bonds. These kind of products are interesting as they appeal to people’s need or demand for a high guaranteed percentage return. Everyone knows that current interest rates are close to zero, so you get a lot of regular, even university educated people who are attraced to the high yield shown in the ads (and touted with: “chance for attractive…


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How Structured Products and Active Funds (Can) Drain Your Wealth – Minimise Capital Appreciation

If you ever wonder why your bank advisor recommends active funds and structured products look no further than below. It shows that an equity fund that’s actively managed will sometimes cost you an extra 60bp (range 0-150bp), which the bank pockets. That’s in addition to transaction fees and custody fees. If we look at structured products we see that it’s not unusual for the bank to take 100bp (one time)…


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Second Homes Initiative and Ermatingen

Here’s some background by Credit Suisse research on the theme Second Homes Initiative (PDF), which is also published on the website of the Swiss Tourism Association: Ermatingen had 1240 flats according to RFP2000 data of which 84% (1046) are in use all the time, 9% (119) some of the time and 6% (75) none of time. As of 31.12.2011 the number of flats has increased to 1557 of which 82% (1269)…


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Importance of the Swiss Vote on 1:12 Salary Range Legislation

Looking at 2009 data published by the US government (IRS) on what the source of the top 400 wealthiest citizens income is, it’s a fair statement to say that salaries don’t account for a big slice of wealth generation: [table]Source, % Salaries/Wages, 8.6 Interest, 6.6 Dividends, 13 Partnerships and corporations, 19.9 Capital gains, 45.8 [/table] Judging by this there is a large likelihood that any legislation limiting salaries will just lead…



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Multinational Corporations & Pleonexia (Tax-Dodging)

Daily-Mail headline today: Google and the £6billion Bermuda tax shelter: Web giant’s haven revealed as Cameron urges global crackdown The ancient Greeks had a word for it – pleonexia – which means an overreaching desire for more than one’s share. Aristoteles named pleonexia as one of three forms of injustice. Zuberbühler Associates advises corporate clients against elaborate unethical tax-dodging as the likelihood of a sharp backlash is rising and will…


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Swiss Tax Map

Red = negative deviation from the mean Blue = positive deviation from the mean White = neutral