About   Careers   Blog

How does the Index Account work?


You tell us a little about yourself when you set up your account.

Based on your answers, you will be matched with the most appropriate portfolio.

Finally, we give you an online portal to see your results.

How does the index account work?

Who is the Index Account suitable for?

You – if you’re an expat who wants to invest effectively, affordably and safely.

You – if you don’t want to worry about investment decisions and you want penalty free access to your money at any time.

You – if you have an initial minimum of £ / $ / € / CHF 100,000 to invest.

Who is the Index Account suitable for?

How much does it cost?


How much does it cost?

The Index Account costs 1.25% per annum, charged quarterly in arrears, and the investment portfolio costs 0.50% per year - meaning it's just 1.75% in total.

No hidden charges, no nasty surprises.

How do I open an Index Account?

Download a self-explanatory Index Account opening checklist.

We will be in touch within 48 hours of receipt of your documents to get your account up and running.

And here are the forms you need for ongoing account management:

Cash and dealing instruction – tells us how much you want to buy or sell (invest or withdraw).

Change of bank details instruction  self-explanatory, but any questions let us know!

Full surrender instruction  if you want to withdraw all your money and close your account.

What will my account look like?

You will have access to an online portal where you can monitor the live value of your portfolio.

Our User Guide provides further detail.

It will look like this when you log in:

Index Account Homepage


And like this when you view your portfolio:

Index Account Performance Page

What is my money invested in?


Passive investments, also called collective investment vehicles, primarily Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

These are simple, physically backed, liquid securities.

They are made up of a diversified range of asset classes, and, as an entirely independent company, we have chosen the ETF portfolio with the most effective mix of low running costs, and active asset allocation.

What is my money invested in?

What is the investment solution?


The investment solution is Managed Index Portfolios, provided by BlackRock – the world’s largest fund manager with over $5 trillion of assets under management.

The Managed Index Portfolios blend passive investments with an active strategic and tactical asset allocation, built with BlackRock ETFs and index funds. It is a well-diversified investment solution that gives you access to over 7,500 underlying securities in one portfolio.

Depending on the Managed Index Portfolio risk level, the exposure between equity and bonds will vary, but the underlying assets will remain consistent.

Please take the time to read the Key Investor Information Document for your chosen investment below:






 Defensive CHF

 Moderate CHF

 Growth CHF


 Defensive EUR

 Moderate EUR

 Growth EUR


 Defensive GBP

 Moderate GBP

 Growth GBP


 Defensive USD

 Moderate USD

 Growth USD

What am I paying for?

The 1.25% charge you pay covers platform running costs: these include dealing costs, safe custody, administration and reporting charges.

The 0.50% portfolio Ongoing Charges Figure (OCF) includes trading, transactional and management costs.

Isn't that expensive for a passive solution?


The cost of the portfolio is very low – 0.50%. The only way to make it cheaper would be to self-manage a portfolio of different ETFs, but all the evidence demonstrates why this doesn’t normally work!

The remaining cost is simply the running costs of the platform on which your investment portfolio is held.

We know that costs impact on the potential returns received, and so we are committed to doing everything we can to minimise them wherever possible.

How do I access my savings if I need them?

How do I access my savings if I need them?

Just tell us when you want your money (although we do recommend staying invested for as long as possible).

Fill out the cash and dealing instruction and email it to: index@aesinternational.com.

It’s as simple as that - we process the withdrawal and transfer your money to you.

Are there any penalties for withdrawing my money?


None at all - no nasty surprises – that’s just one of the appealing features of the Index Account.

How long does it take for me to get my money?

We process your request as quickly as possible, because we know how important accessing funds can be, sometimes at short notice.

It can take up to 10 working days, though, because of settlement days, bank transfer timings and actual working days.

You can ask for a progress report at any time.

How long should I stay invested in the Index Account?

Experience tells us the most successful savers invest with a specific goal in mind – it helps focus attention on the end result.

And…a portfolio needs time to grow.

So think 5 years as a sensible minimum.

How long should I stay invested in the Index Account?

How much should I be saving?

How much you should save will depend on your reason for saving, your other financial commitments, and your disposable income – which makes answering this question hard!

There are some excellent calculators online to help you work out how much you need, depending on your reason for saving, and the amount of time you have to save.

Alternatively, our Chartered Financial Planners will happily help you develop a financial plan. They offer a fixed fee-based professional advice service. Speak to one today

How much money will I make?

Great question!

We don’t have a crystal ball unfortunately, but we do know two things:

  1. This solution gives most expat investors the best opportunity for investment growth; and

  2. How the portfolios have performed in the past.

The table below shows the back-tested gross performance of the portfolios before they launched (that means, what growth would have been achieved from June 2004 to February 2015).


Portfolio Option




Total Return (Annualised)





Our demo accounts' performance can be seen below, these charts show the performance, net of fees, of our three portfolios: Defensive, Moderate and Growth.

The charts are net of fees because 98.50% of any amount added to your account is invested into your portfolio (the remaining 1.50% stays as cash and pays the fees).

£75,000 was added to the accounts on 31st January 2016, then regular savings of £5,000 was added to the accounts every quarter.

*Values correct as at 16th July 2018.

 The performance of our Growth portfolio: 25.51%*

AES International Index Account Growth Portfolio 2018

The performance of our Moderate portfolio: 18.21%*

AES International Index Account Moderate Portfolio 2018

The performance of our Defensive portfolio: 7.17%*

AES International Index Account Defensive Portfolio 2018


Investors should be aware that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and that the price of shares and other investments, and the income derived from them, may fall as well as rise and the amount realised may be less than the original sum invested.

Back to top »

What's the minimum/maximum contribution allowed?

The minimum for further ad hoc payments and monthly contributions is £ / $ / € / CHF 1,000.

Contributions must be made from a bank account in your own name. We cannot accept third party payments e.g. Western Union (or other FX broker), business accounts, or accounts in the name of another person.

If you have around £ / $ / € / CHF 250,000+ you may benefit from more personalised and bespoke financial planning advice, so please get in touch with our Chartered Financial Planners who will assist.

Can I pay in less?

At the moment we have the investment levels set to match the most efficient ways of trading – so that we can keep costs down. In the future we hope to make improvement here, so watch this space.

Is it contractual - or can I start and stop making payments when I want?

Always remember that the single most important step to increasing your wealth is to regularly save – otherwise you simply won’t get anywhere. But yes, you can stop payments, withdraw money, increase or decrease your payments and you won’t face any penalties at all – this flexibility is a crucial benefit of the Index Account.

I watch Bloomberg/CNBC and it's full of stories that sound terrible for the markets, what should I do?

The financial media

Bloomberg and CNBC report current financial industry thinking – that’s an industry that benefits financially from convincing people to buy and sell all the time.

Clever, or even scary sounding predictions are just guesswork.

No one knows the future – just stay invested and ignore the noise.

Turn the TV off or switch channels!

Can I have a joint account or a corporate account?

Functionality for joint and corporate accounts is coming soon.

Can I have something tailored to me?

You choose the portfolio that’s right for you by answering the questions on your application form.

The available portfolios cover the needs of the vast majority of expat investors.

If you need alternative solutions to those offered by the Index Account, please just ask, it’s not a problem and we can help.

Can I buy stocks and bonds?

The Index Account is designed to minimise the risks of investing errors, and to simplify what can sometimes be a complex process, therefore it’s not a facility for buying and selling stocks, bonds, funds, structured products or any other types of investment.

Why don't I manage my own money?



There’s a huge amount of evidence that shows natural human behaviour results in the amateur investor making terrible investment decisions when left to their own devices.

The most common mistake people make is starting to think they know what they’re doing – and speculating! Using the Index Account removes that risk.

We’ve written many blogs on this subject, why not take a look at:

The common mistakes investors make [infographic] 

Why boring investors make more money 

The 1 thing awesome investors ignore

How to become a great investor

The investors' grief cycle

Alternatively, read our Investment Code »

Is my money secure?

Your money is held securely in client money bank accounts.

Because we take security very seriously, your money is held on trust, separately from the accounts of AES Financial Services Ltd and Platform Securities International Limited.

Where are my assets held?

Your assets are held offshore, in Jersey, by our custodian Platform Securities.

How often is my money invested?

Ad hoc payments are invested on the next available dealing day, and regular monthly contributions are invested on the 10th day of the month, or next working day.

Will I have to pay tax on my savings?

Will I have to pay tax on my savings?

Your portfolio will grow free from tax.

Your tax obligations will likely depend on where you’re resident for tax purposes, and because we are not tax advisers we recommend you seek qualified advice from a tax specialist wherever you live.

The onus is on you to declare and pay taxation due.

Do I have to pay if the portfolio drops in value?

The fees for your Index Account are fixed, so there are no nasty surprises.

They are payable irrespective of performance.

Your portfolio’s value may of course fluctuate and actually, it wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't.

But if you can't bear the thought of this, perhaps investing is not for you?

Can I invest in different risk portfolios?

Can I invest in different risk portfolios?

Yes, you can invest in different risk portfolios, and this may be something you want to consider if you have different timescales for different goals, for example.

The minimum investment amounts apply individually to each one. 

Which currencies can I invest in?

You can choose from Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Euro and Swiss Franc, and you can even have a mix of these in the same account.

The minimum contributions apply individually to each currency.

To invest in your chosen currency, you can either FX your cash externally and then send your contribution from your bank account to the Index Account, or…

Can I perform FX transactions with AES?

Yes, we can offer FX services for you when investing in your Index Account.

Our rates are very competitive; we beat the brokers and the banks 90% of the time.

Just send your money to the Index Account and we will convert it to your account base currency (£ / $ / € / CHF) as specified on your account opening form, and it will be invested in line with your instructions.

Please refer to ‘what’s the minimum/maximum contribution allowed?’ for what you can and can’t do when sending money.

I'm moving and will no longer be an expat - what should I do with my Index Account?

You can hold money in your Index Account wherever you live in the world. Please just ensure you keep us updated with any address changes.

Important to note:

  1. You must check the ramifications of holding money offshore if you repatriate.
  2. You must understand your local tax requirements wherever you live in the world.

Therefore, because everyone's circumstances are different, you may require personalised and bespoke financial planning advice if you are planning on relocating or repatriating, so please get in touch with our Chartered Financial Planners who will assist.

Can I read the Terms & Conditions?

Yes of course: -

Index Account Terms of Business.


Don't see your question?

Send it to us using the form below and we would be happy to answer it.

Don't see your question?


As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio with AES International could go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.

Ready to apply for an Index Account? 

  • “Thank you AES International for helping me and my family with your low cost no-nonsense approach. It is refreshing!”

    AES International Reviews

    Kristian Petersson

  • “With this sort of banking service you also expect to be paying very high fees, but it’s just not the case. I would definitely recommend this to other expatriates, especially those with connections to the UK.”

    Jake van den Dries

    Jake van den Dries

  • “In the short time that I’ve been using AES I’ve made nearly ten thousand pounds and couldn’t be happier!”

    AES International Reviews

    Jackie Pym

Have questions that keep you awake at night?
Get answers today! »