Scalable Wealth FAQ

Find answers to the most frequently
asked questions about Scalable Wealth.

Wealth

Account opening

What are the requirements to sign up for Scalable Wealth?
 

Our service is aimed at persons residing in Germany or Austria. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You are not a taxpayer in the USA (not a "US person" according to US tax law).
  • You have a current account that is held at a credit institution located in the SEPA area.
  • You will invest the minimum amount.

Please also note that the custodian bank only pays taxes for you if you are taxable in Germany. If you are subject to tax in Austria or another country, you must carry out the correct taxation of all securities transactions yourself. We provide you a tax reporting for this purpose.

Why do I need to verify my identity?
 

The Money Laundering Act (MLA) requires us to identify our clients. This identification is also in your interest, as it ensures a higher level of security in the client relationship.

An MLA-compliant identification is carried out conveniently via POSTIDENT video or in the traditional way at a post office in Germany.

What is the identification process?
 

The identification is done via the POSTIDENT identification procedure by by our partner, Deutsche Post. With POSTIDENT, you can choose between the identification procedures POSTIDENT Video and identification at a post office in Germany.

You can also identify yourself with your foreign ID or passport via our partner POSTIDENT. View IDs supported for POSTIDENT-Video.

If your ID document is not supported for POSTIDENT-Video, you can carry out identification at a post office branch in Germany. View IDs accepted at the branch.

You can start the identification process conveniently in our app or online by logging in to your Scalable Capital account after completing the registration.

Once you have successfully completed the identification, you do not need to do anything else. The identification data is transmitted to Scalable Capital, and the opening of both the clearing account and the securities account is initiated. It can take up to three working days to open the accounts. You will be informed automatically as soon as the account opening is completed.

If any questions arise from the transmitted identification data, we will contact you proactively.

What criteria must my clearing account fulfill?
 

The reference account that you register with us must be a current account (payment transaction account) in your name at a credit institution located in the SEPA area.

The use of a overnight deposit account is not permitted. If your reference account is a joint account, you must ensure that you are registered as the beneficial owner.

Is there a minimum deposit?
 

The minimum investment amount for Wealth starts at 20 euros - as a monthly savings plan or a lump sum.

However, partial payouts that would reduce the investment amount below 20 euros are not possible. In this case, you would have to cancel your contract and have your entire investment amount paid out, this is possible at any time.

How do you choose a suitable investment strategy for me?
 

As a regulated financial services institution, we are legally obliged to form a picture of your financial situation and other relevant circumstances. Only then are we allowed to recommend an investment strategy that is suitable for you.

At the beginning of the registration process, we will guide you through a questionnaire. Based on the information you provide, we assess which investment strategy best meets your investment objectives. Of course, we also check whether the risks associated with a particular investment strategy are financially viable for you and whether you understand these risks based on your knowledge and experience.

From this information, we determine your risk profile, recommend an investment strategy that is suitable, and implement it for you.

Are joint accounts offered?
 

No, we do not currently offer joint accounts.

Can I open multiple portfolios?
 

You can hold multiple portfolios with different investment strategies at Scalable Capital. You can add additional portfolios in the customer area under "Home". Please note that a new clearing account and securities account must be opened for each new portfolio and the minimum investment must be deposited.

Deposits and withdrawals

What criteria must my clearing account fulfill?
 

The reference account that you register with us must be a current account (payment transaction account) in your name at a credit institution located in the SEPA area.

The use of a overnight deposit account is not permitted. If your reference account is a joint account, you must ensure that you are registered as the beneficial owner.

How can I make deposits and withdrawals?
 

Deposit
Via the item "Payments" you can instruct a one-time payment in the Scalable client area at any time, which will be debited from your reference account (current account) via SEPA direct debit.

Alternatively, you can also transfer the desired deposit to the clearing account belonging to the respective portfolio. You can find the IBAN in your web client area under "Profile" and "Products" or in the mailbox document "SEPA mandates" in the top right-hand corner.

Transfers to your clearing account have to be made from your deposited reference account. Payments from other accounts are not permitted and will be rejected by the custodian bank. The amount will be automatically transferred back to you.

Regardless of when a deposit to your clearing account is received by the custodian bank, the amount will be invested immediately, at the latest with the next adjustment of the portfolio in accordance with your investment strategy.

Withdrawal
Withdrawals can be instructed via the Scalable client area on our website or via our app.

To do so, click on the "Payments" item and select "Payout." Enter the desired withdrawal amount and click on "Don't park, withdraw anyway". Check the details and confirm the payout.

Then create appropriate liquidity by selling securities in your portfolio. We will carry this out for you as quickly as possible, usually no later than the next banking day. After the proceeds of the sale have been received, we will transfer the payment to your checking account. The value date on your checking account will generally take five to seven banking days.

When will my deposited funds be invested?
 

Your deposited balance will be invested after it is credited to the clearing account, but no later than the next rebalancing of your portfolio.

Can I set up a savings plan?
 

You can create a savings plan from a monthly savings amount of 20 euros. You can set the savings plan either during the account opening or subsequently in your personal client area.

When will the deposit for my savings plan be debited from my reference account?
 

The direct debits for monthly savings plans are instructed by us on the first banking day of each month. Your reference account will be debited on the second or third banking day of the month and the amount will be credited to your portfolio at Scalable Capital on the following banking day.

Note: If you open the account with a monthly savings plan only, then the direct debit for the first savings installment will be instructed immediately after the account opening.

Can I set up a withdrawal plan?
 

You can easily set up a monthly withdrawal plan in your Scalable account. To do so, open the "Savings Plan" section, select "Withdrawal Plan" there and then set the desired amount.

The withdrawal will be initiated on the first banking day of each month. The securities sales required for the withdrawal will be ordered automatically.

What happens if my investment amount falls below the minimum investment due to a withdrawal plan?
 

A withdrawal that would reduce the investment amount of your portfolio below the minimum investment amount is not possible. Instead, your monthly withdrawal plan will be deactivated.

Where can I view individual transactions?
 

You can view every single transaction and every securities event (such as distributions) both in the login area on our website and on your smartphone using our app. In addition, the custodian bank will provide you with a monthly account statement where you can view a summary of all transactions and key figures that have taken place.

Investment Strategy

Is Scalable Capital an active wealth manager?
 

Scalable Capital is not an active asset manager in the conventional sense. We offer passive investment with active risk management. Within the various asset classes (e.g. equities or bonds), we invest exclusively in passive ETFs and, where applicable, ETCs that track a specific market at the lowest possible cost. The weighting of the various asset classes is carried out dynamically on the basis of our investment and risk management technology on the one hand - and strategically on the basis of the management of the equity quota in our sustainable strategies on the other - and is thus active in the strictest sense.

We thus only make adjustments to your portfolio if your portfolio weights deviate from the target weights (sustainable strategies). In this way, your investment risk is always controlled.

Unlike an active asset manager, we do not make portfolio reallocations based on opinions about the price performance of specific asset classes. An active asset manager selects individual stocks based on expected value growth (so-called stock picking). However, countless empirical studies show that this is not effective.

Who makes the investment decisions at Scalable Capital?
 

We use leading technology and the latest findings from capital market research and financial econometrics to manage portfolios. Unlike an active asset manager, we do not make portfolio reallocations based on subjective opinions about price developments of specific asset classes. Portfolio adjustments are essentially the result of deviations in the loss risks or target weights of the current portfolios from our clients' chosen risk category.

However, the actual trading, i.e., the execution of securities orders, takes place by a real investment team, which reviews and bundles the securities orders and finally passes them on to our trading bank.

In this way, we ensure that there is still a human control instance, which, however, does not actively intervene in portfolio management, but rather further develops, monitors and checks the system.

What types of investment strategies are there?
 

You can choose from the following investment strategies:

  • Climate
  • Megatrends
  • Allweather
  • Value
  • GDP Global
  • InterestInvest
  • World Classic
  • World ESG
  • World ESG+Gold.

Get dtailed information on all available investment strategies.

Why don't any investment strategies match my sustainability preferences?
 

Even though we at Scalable Wealth attach great importance to selecting products according to sustainable criteria (Learn more on this in the Sustainability-related disclosures), the products available on the market currently generally do not yet fulfill the specified sustainability criteria according to EU regulation 2021/1253. This is due in particular to the fact that the fulfillment of sustainability preferences is usually unclear due to a lack of data. Scalable Capital will monitor the ongoing development of the availability and resilience of the data basis and, in the event of a corresponding positive finding, will reclassify the ESG (Environmental, Social und Governance) investment strategies within the framework of ESG preferences.

How do you select sustainable ETFs?
 

Our ESG investment strategies use ETFs with strict ESG criteria (Environmental, Social und Governance). In the case of stock ETFs, products are generally used that take into account a high ESG standard (SRI: Socially Responsible Investing). Learn more in the Sustainability-related disclosures. Furthermore, a so-called best-in-class filter is used in ETF selection: companies are compared with each other within their sector - only companies with the highest ESG standards are subsequently selected.

Can I change the investment strategy after registration?
 

The investment strategy can be changed after registration.

We have determined suitable investment strategies for you based on your investment objectives, knowledge and experience and financial circumstances. If there have been any changes, you can carry out the suitability check again and adjust your investment strategy.

To do so, log in to your client area and open the "Profile" section. Under the item "Products", then select "Change investment strategy", where you can carry out the suitability check again and adjust your investment strategy.

We would like to point out that in your interest, a change of investment strategy should really only be made if your circumstances have changed. For long-term wealth accumulation, it is important that you pursue your investment strategy consistently and do not allow yourself to be tempted into short-term action by daily events on the capital market.

How often is my portfolio adjusted?
 

Your portfolio is constantly monitored and if the weighting of the asset classes and ETFs no longer matches the target weighting of your chosen investment strategy, your portfolio is automatically adjusted. For example, if you choose an investment strategy with a 60 % equity allocation, 60 % of your investment amount will be invested in equities. If share prices rise sharply due to market movements, shares are sold and bonds are bought so that the target weighting of shares of 60 % is restored.

Depending on the investment strategy, risk is managed differently and accordingly your portfolio is adjusted differently depending on the investment strategy.

What happens to distributions?
 

Distributions ( for example, from dividends or interest) from the ETFs we use are credited to your clearing account and automatically reinvested in accordance to your investment strategy.

How is the percentage return calculated in the account summary?
 

For the calculation of the percentage return, which is displayed in your personal client area, we use the time-weighted method. The time-weighted return is adjusted for deposits and withdrawals and thus allows a direct comparison with a benchmark or an alternative portfolio.

To calculate the time-weighted return, the entire investment period is broken down into different time periods. Whenever a deposit or withdrawal occurs, the return up to that point is calculated and a new period begins. To obtain the time-weighted return for the entire investment period, the returns of the individual periods are multiplicatively linked.

Why is my percentage return different from my absolute return?
 

The time-weighted return shown in the account summary is adjusted for deposits and withdrawals. Therefore, your portfolio may have a positive or negative percentage return because the underlying portfolio has moved positively or negatively over time, but your absolute return may still be negative or positive. This occurs especially if the majority of your portfolio was deposited and invested at a relative market high or low.

Two extreme examples to illustrate:
You have an initial investment amount of 10,000 euros invested with us. Subsequently, the market rises by 50 % and your portfolio increases to a value of 15,000 euros. Now let's assume you were to deposit an additional 1,000,000 euros into your portfolio and the market immediately fell by 10 %. In this case, your portfolio would lose over 100,000 euros in value (significantly more than your initial gain of 5,000 euros). Nevertheless, the percentage performance of your portfolio would be positive (50 % increased and only 10 % decreased).

You have invested an initial amount of 10,000 euros with us. Subsequently, the market crashes by 50 % and your portfolio drops to a value of 5,000 euros. Now let's assume you were to deposit an additional 1,000,000 euros into your portfolio and the market immediately rose by 10 %. In this case, your portfolio would gain over 100,000 euros in value (significantly more than your initial loss of 5,000 euros). Nevertheless, the percentage performance of your portfolio would be negative (50 % down and only 10 % up).

Investment universe & ETF selection

What exactly do you invest my money in and how are the ETFs selected?
 

Depending on the investment strategy, we invest for you with different focus in asset classes or thematic areas. The investment universe includes all major asset classes: Equities, government bonds, secured bonds (Pfandbriefe and covered bonds), corporate bonds, real estate, commodities and money market.

To realise your investment strategy, we invest exclusively in ETFs (exchange-traded funds or exchange-traded index funds), ETCs (exchange-traded commodities) or other ETPs (exchange-traded products), each of which also fits your preferences, investment objectives and other characteristics when considered individually. Eight asset classes with up to 8,700 individual securities from up to 80 countries are covered.

The ETFs are selected in an extensive, multi-stage process. The most important quantitative and qualitative selection criteria here are:

  • Low costs
  • High liquidity
  • Low tracking error
  • Appropriate diversification
  • Safe replication methods.
How much money should I invest?
 

Investing in the capital market comes with risks. We therefore advise you to keep an immediately available emergency reserve for unforeseen events which should cover all of your current expenses and obligations for at least six months.

Is there a minimum investment period or a minimum term?
 

There is no minimum holding period or minimum term. Our service can be cancelled at any time. We invest exclusively in ETFs with exchange day tradability to provide you with the best possible liquidity.

However, a longer investment horizon can be advantageous for the investment and reduce investment risks. Especially in the case of negative performance, a longer holding period increases the likelihood that the portfolio can recover.

Why are individual ETFs in my portfolio marked as "phase-out"?
 

If Scalable Capital identifies a more suitable ETF in an asset class, the exchange is carried out gradually for you. In contrast to a one-time sale of all old shares, an additional tax expense can be reduced in this way, if necessary.

Additional purchases in the event of further deposits or a higher target weighting of these asset classes are made exclusively in the new ETF, while sales always first reduce the holdings of the old product. The old fund is indicated to you by the marking "Phase-Out".

What happens if an ETF provider becomes insolvent?
 

Should an ETF provider become insolvent, the assets managed by the ETF are protected from insolvency by their status as special assets. In the course of the insolvency proceedings, the insolvency estate as well as the claims of the creditors against this insolvency estate are determined and the creditors are served according to their claim. The assets managed by ETFs do not become part of the insolvency estate and are thus protected from access by the creditors of the investment company. Only the holders of the unit certificates of the ETFs are entitled to their pro rata share of the assets managed by the ETF.

Costs

What are the total costs of Scalable Wealth?
 

The costs of the investment services consist of the remuneration of the asset manager Scalable Capital and the transaction fee for the securities trading of the custodian bank and add up to 0.75% p.a. until September 2022.

Since 1 October 2022, investment services fees are charged depending on the amount of the investment per portfolio.

The fee varies as follows:

  • 0.75 % p.a. for a portfolio value up to and including 100,000 euros
  • 0.69 % p.a. for the portfolio value above 100,000 euros up to and including 500,000 euros
  • 0.49 % p.a. for the portfolio value above 500,000 euros

The calculation is made on a daily basis on the basis of the average client assets under management, and the asset manager and the custodian bank are invoiced separately on a monthly basis. The debit is made from your clearing account at the custodian bank. There are no further costs, e.g. for account and securities account management. There are also no hidden costs, front-end loads or other commissions. For details, please refer to our list of prices and services.

The costs of the financial instruments (ETFs) are shown individually here. You can select the costs for each individual investment strategy in the drop-down list. Due to changes in the weighting, fees and costs of the financial instruments as well as the exchange of financial instruments, the product costs are subject to fluctuations.

The costs mentioned are already included in the market prices and would therefore also be borne by investors who trade in securities themselves.

How can I benefit from a reduction in the wealth management fee?
 

The costs for investment services are calculated in stages depending on the amount of the investment. The amount of the investment per portfolio is decisive. If you have investments in different portfolios, these will be considered separately for the management fee.

The management fees are calculated in the following stages:

  • 0.75 % p.a. for the portfolio value up to and including 100,000 euros
  • 0.69 % p.a. for the portfolio value above 100,000 euros and up to 500,000 euros
  • 0.49 % p.a. for the portfolio value above 500,000 Euro

Example 1:
You invest 650,000 euros in a portfolio.
The first 100,000 euros are charged a fee of 0.75% p.a., the following 400,000 euros are charged a fee of 0.69% p.a. and the 150,000 euros above that are charged a fee of 0.49% p.a.

Example 2:
You invest a total of 120,000 euros, 60,000 euros of which are invested in each portfolio.
A fee of 0.75 % p.a. is charged for both portfolios, as the investment value per portfolio is decisive.

The calculation is made on a daily basis on the basis of the average client assets under management, the settlement is made monthly separately for the asset manager and the custodian bank.

Where can I view paid fees?
 

In the respective portfolio you can view your paid fees and taxes under the menu item "Performance". For a display of the absolute values, you must first change the display from percent to euro.

Does Scalable Capital receive refunds, commissions or other financial benefits from other companies?
 

We believe that only a truly independent asset management company can act in the best interests of its clients. That is why we do not accept any hidden costs or issue surcharges. If we receive such inducements, we undertake under the asset management agreement to pay you these inducements.

We only accept non-monetary benefits if they improve the quality of asset management and do not conflict with our clients' interests. These are, for example, financial analyses, information material, training or technical services. We will, of course, disclose the acceptance of these types of inducements to you.

Reporting & Taxes

Which reports do I receive on my portfolio?
 

You will receive a quarterly report on the performance of your portfolio in your Scalable mailbox. The report includes an overview of performance, benchmark, trades made, distributions, and other metrics related to your portfolio.

In addition, at the end of each year, you will receive an annual account statement. This contains the holdings in your securities account, but not the assets in your clearing account.

You can obtain an overview of your portfolio, including cash holdings, in your personal client area. All relevant information about your account and securities account is provided there.

What is a Tax Identification Number (TIN)?
 

A tax identification number (TIN) is an international uniquely assigned number used for tax identification purposes. In Austria, the TIN corresponds to your national tax ID ("Steuernummer") and can be found on FinanzOnline or in your previous tax statements.

Why do I need to provide my Tax Identification Number (TIN)?
 

Due to legal requirements and the common reporting standards (CRS), financial institutions are responsible for collecting information from their clients regarding tax residence and the tax ID number. The latter allows you to be formally identified, since it is attached to your name in the tax administration's database.

How is my account taxed?
 

Your securities account is held with Baader Bank (our custodian bank) in Germany. If you have your tax domicile in Austria, your capital gains are neither automatically taxed in Germany, nor directly in Austria. Instead, taxes need to be declared via your yearly income tax declaration. Scalable Capital offers a free tax report to assist you with your tax filing. Lern more.

Note: This does not apply to withholding taxes (e.g. on dividends from equity holdings), which are levied locally and paid directly to the tax authorities of the respective country.

Please note: Scalable Capital does not provide legal and/or tax advice. If you have specific questions about your tax return, please contact your tax advisor.

Cancellation

How can I cancel my Wealth portfolio?
 

You can request a cancellation via your personal client area. To do so, open the menu item "Profile". The "Products" submenu takes you to a list of your portfolios. Via the button "Cancel portfolio" you can order the cancellation for the corresponding portfolio.

We will then sell the securities in your portfolio. Pending transactions will be brought to settlement beforehand. We will carry this out for you as quickly as possible, usually on the next banking day at the latest. Please note that even on trading days, same-day execution cannot be guaranteed.

We will then instruct the custodian bank to transfer your credit balance to the current account on deposit and close the account and securities account. The value date on your current account is usually within 6 to 9 banking days after the value date of the sales.

After your cancellation, you can still log in to your personal area and retrieve documents in your mailbox. There you will receive important documents, such as your annual tax certificate. However, if necessary, access to your personal area can also be deactivated. To do so, please send us an email at service@scalable.capital.

Is the cancellation free of charge?
 

Cancellation is free of charge and possible at any time.