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Smart Account™

Evidence-based investing for the intelligent investor

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 The Smart Account™ gives you privileged access to what was previously available only to the wealthiest investors and large institutions.

Choose a risk profile and start with as little as 100,000 USD (or equivalent), then add to your account at your convenience.

Grounded upon Nobel prize-winning academic evidence, our team works as your guide to better results.

Invest better.  Feel better.  Live better.  

 

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Wealth Protection Portfolio
Wealth Builder Portfolio
Wealth growth Portfolio

Three investment profiles to match your objectives

Portfolio holdings indicative only. Morningstar Star Rating as at 01/03/2019 - Class EUR

Annual costs

Portfolio type   Account fee Product costs
Defensive 1.5% 0.34%
Moderate 1.5% 0.41%
Growth 1.5% 0.46%

Other fees:

  • Zero Exit or redemption fees
  • Zero Trading or transaction fees

Included services

  • Dimensional Funds maximise your expected returns driven by the Nobel prize-winning Fama/French school of concepts
  • Account domiciled in Jersey
  • 'Private Client' group membership with personalised service level agreement
  • Code of Ethics 'fiduciary' pledge
  • Responsive advisers with premium client servicing via phone (8.30am to 5.30pm GST)
  • Sophisticated technology to monitor and re-balance coupled with 24/7 online access to keep you on track

 

“Successful investing isn’t about guesswork or gurus, nor is it about buying the cheapest index fund. Matching your unique requirements with risk-appropriate access to these exclusive funds is a smarter way to get yourself better results.”

Sam Instone

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

Kristian Petersson

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

Jackie Pym

“With this sort of service you also expect to be paying very high fees, but it’s just not the case. I would definitely recommend AES.”

Jake van den Dries

    Need any help?

    Call us: +971 (0) 4559 4900 (8.30am - 5.30pm GST)

    smart@aesinternational.com 

    Get started

    OPEN YOUR SMART ACCOUNT TODAY »

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the Smart Account™?

    This is an antidote to the products sold by traditional financial services firms.

    You get a simple solution designed to give you a more disciplined, lower cost, reality-tested approach.

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    You get complete transparency, total flexibility and the huge advantage of Dimensional Funds (DFA).

    Our team of qualified, fee-only advisers are also on hand when you need us.

    Better results and value for a fraction of the traditional cost.

    The Smart Account™ employs a long-term investment strategy.  You get a strategy of diversification, smart indexing and smart asset allocation matched to your reality.

    We apply science with a deeply human and personal approach to everything you experience.

    It’s a methodology that works, proven time and time again.

    Who is the Smart Account™ suitable for?

    You, if you’re an expat with an initial minimum of $100,000 (or currency equivalent) to invest, who wants a more disciplined, lower cost, reality-tested approach.

    Combining the inherent advantages of DFA Funds whilst removing hidden costs can add substantial value.

    Its suitable for those who value professional advice and don't want to worry about their own (DIY) investment decisions.

    You have penalty free access to your money at any time.

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    How do I open a Smart Account™?

    Take just 10 seconds to fill in our contact form and one of our team will be in touch.

     

     

    Why do we use Dimensional Mutual Funds (DFA)?

    We believe DFA funds will substantially improve your investment results for the following reasons:

    1. Simple indexing. We eliminate manager risk, and the human emotional need to think they can “beat the market”. We also eliminate the cost associated with their compensation, which as many of you know, is never a small number. The benefit to you? Less risk, and significantly lower cost.
    2. Simple diversification. We expand the number of asset classes in your portfolio to further reduce risk. Our portfolios employ a 4-step process to maximise your earnings potential.
    3. Smart indexing. Some insider language: we go a step beyond market-cap based indexes, by taking advantage of the higher expected returns associated with small cap and value priced equities – per the Fama/French research. In short, a smarter approach to indexing.
    4. Smart allocation. Our approach lets us determine the highest return for the least amount of risk in any asset class. For you geeks, we go a step beyond “naïve” diversification using a technique called “mean variance optimization.” The results, in plain English, are risk-calibrated portfolios.

    You can read more on this subject in this blog.

    What are the Smart Account™ fees?

    We bring a clear-eyed and transparent approach to all fees. One we hope you’ll find to be refreshing and simple.

    FAQ4-value-of-advice

    Our fees for the different investments are listed on the main web page above.

    There are three costs associated with doing business with us:

    1. Operating expense ratio of the portfolios. The gross expense ratio is the compilation of expense ratios of the  funds we use and range from .34% to .46%. The lower gross expense ratio denotes more fixed income and the higher gross expense ratio denotes more equity. There are no loads (commissions) or other fees associated with DFA.
    2. Our account fee. Our business model is “fee-based”. This allows us to be free from the conflicts associated with commission based transactions inherent in the traditional industry.  Our all-in-one account fee covers on-going servicing activities in line with your service level agreement and is inclusive of all custody and transaction costs.
    3. Initial planning fees.  For a detailed plan, implemented to cover complexities like cash-flow, retirement or estate planning, we charge an initial fee for a UK-qualified Chartered Financial Planner to work on your behalf.  All financial planning fees will be agreed in writing with your before we start any work.

     

    I’m worried about investing! Can you help me?

    If any of the below apply to you, then yes, we can certainly help.

    1.  Do you worry about money… but not enough to take action?

    2.  Do you think investing and money is complicated?

    3.  Would you feel good if you could know, or understand better, how investing works?

    4.  Do you want to avoid paying high fees and commissions?

    5.  Do you want your money to be handled by highly qualified and regulated professionals who know what they’re doing and who you can trust?

    6.  Are you too busy to do the research and on-going portfolio management yourself?  Do you have better things to do?

    7.  Do you wish you could have a conversation with no jargon and easily accessible information that you can use to help make money decisions about your wider life?

    8.  Have you handed money over to someone at a bank or some sort of broker/salesperson without truly knowing what is happening to it? 

    9.  Do you want penalty free access to you money whenever you want it?

    10.  Do you want your financial decisions to be on autopilot, to not have to think or worry about them?

    11.  Do you want to maximise your returns whilst only taking the an appropriate amount of risk?

    What’s the minimum investment?
    Minimum investment amount 100,000 USD or GBP/EUR equivalent
    Minimum top-up amount 1000 USD or GBP/EUR equivalent
    How long should I stay invested in the Smart Account™?

    Experience tells us the most successful savers invest with a specific goal or need 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.

    FAQ6-how-financial-planning-works
    What currencies are available?
    The Smart Account™ is available in EUR, USD and GBP.
    How will my initial transfer be invested in my Smart Account™?

    Your initial cash transfer will be automatically invested in the portfolio you selected in your account application.

    Available cash is invested once per month, on or around the tenth working day.

    How do I top-up my Smart Account™?

    Simply transfer additional money to your account, regularly or at your convenience.

    In order to guarantee your cash will be invested at the start of the month, please note that the last funding date will be the last working day of the preceding month.

    Once the minimum top-up amount is reached, your available cash will be automatically invested in your Smart Account™, on or around the tenth working day of the month. 

    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.  Speak to one today

    Can I transfer funds in a different currency than the currency of my portfolio?

    You can transfer money in any of the 6 currencies available.

    These are USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, AED and CAD

    Your cash will then be converted into the currency of your chosen portfolio, prior to the investment date for the month. Standard FX rates will apply.

    Can I switch to a lower or higher risk profile?

    You can switch your risk profile at any time free of charge, pending agreement from you and your adviser this is still in line with your financial plan and individual circumstances.

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    What is your investment strategy?

    We employ a “buy and hold” strategy.

    This is based upon the scientific research that over time, no one can time the market.

    A few simple beliefs include:

    • Markets are efficient and for investment purposes assets are fairly priced.
    • Diversification reduces the risk of uncertainty and asset allocation across asset classes determines your results.

    The focus for the investor should always be how much can you, the investor, risk losing, and how long are you willing to stay invested in the market.

    Do you provide financial planning?

    Yes.  AES is a fee-only, advice-driven firm specialising in the provision of risk-appropriate passive investing strategies with a fiduciary standard of care.

    There are distinct and quantifiable benefits to enlisting the services of an evidence-based financial planner although we believe advanced financial planning is not required or deliverable for everyone.  

    As part of our CSR initiative 'to help change the way the world invests' we have a large Knowledge Library and Video Library on our website designed to help smaller investors make good investment decisions on their own. 

     

    Can I do this myself?

    Dimensional Funds are only available through select advisory firms and to institutions.  This blog explains why.

    If you’re a “do-it-yourselfer,” and you like the idea of engaging in the process of investing, than you may find one of the “DIY” trading platforms reviewed on our website a good way to manage your own money, reduce management expenses, and purchase vanilla index funds.

    If on the other hand, you buy into the idea of evidence-based-investing and want to avoid speculative thinking but don’t want to do it by yourself, the Smart Account™ is an excellent option.

    Should I liquidate existing products before transferring them to my new Smart Account™?

    Depending on circumstance, and your brokerage firm, the answer is a qualified yes.

    Your advisor can guide you through the process and help you find the right answer for your specific needs.

    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:

    Online account homepage
     

    And like this when you view your portfolio:

    Performance Page
    Should I dollar cost average into my chosen model?

    We believe in “buy and hold”.

    Introducing a timing mechanism into the model is, to our way of thinking, a different approach.

    Yes, dollar cost averaging is a risk-reducing manoeuvre for some, but we suggest making sure you are in the right model for your circumstance.

    We further suggest that you are comfortable with an asset allocation you feel you can hold indefinitely.

    Do I have internet access to my accounts?

    Yes. 

    You will be given access to our client portal which provides our clients with convenient access to account information including instant access to account balances, positions and transaction history. 

    How do I add or withdraw cash from my account?

    You can deposit funds into your account via bank transfer from a bank account in your name.

    Once the deposit has been received into your account, your adviser will assist you to complete a dealing instruction to invest the funds.

    Transfers can be requested for any business day (allowing up to 5 business days to complete a valid transfer request).

    Recurring transfers (deposits via a standing order and/or withdrawals) can be set up as required.

    Your adviser will be able to provide the required forms in each circumstance as required.

    Can I buy stocks and bonds?

    The Smart 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.

    Where are my assets held?

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

    Will I have to pay tax on my savings?

    Your portfolio will grow free from tax.

    FAQ14-offshore-investments-taxed

    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.

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

    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!

    The_financial_media

    Are you a fiduciary adviser?

    AES proudly act in accordance with the internationally recognised fiduciary standard.

    This means we are obligated to make decisions that are in your best interest.

    This ensures we conduct ourselves with the utmost care and professionalism, to the highest ethical standards, and manage your investment based on your benefit, not our own.

    Within the international and offshore space, we believe this standard makes a true difference.

    My question isn't here...

    Send it to us and we would be happy to answer it.

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    Looking for a better way to grow your money?

    OPEN YOUR SMART ACCOUNT TODAY »