Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any further questions please contact us here.
Are there any requirements to becoming a client?
Yes, three simple requirements:
- Legally, we are required to request certain personal information for our account opening forms. This information must be completed before we can open your account—a one-time exercise for you.
- Does the envisaged sum you wish to invest meet the minimum requirements: see minimum deposit
- Each applicant will be vetted by our directors (Mr. Harald Helnwein himself and Mr. Kyle Debono) who are also the portfolio managers of our strategies. This process is carried out in order to determine whether we, as a licensed investment services firm, can offer our services to the applicant in question. We reserve the right, without giving reasons to refuse an applicant.
So the main thing that is required to setup your account is some patience and understanding on your part with respect to the unique application process.
What is the easiest way to get to know Novofina?
Your investment is as important to us as it is to you. We cannot stress this enough! Taking the decision to become a client of Novofina would open your financial future to so much potential that the time and effort it takes to become a client will definitely be worthwhile.
This video by our founder provides an excellent overview of how we at Novofina deliver value for you. 10 minutes that truly pay off.
This site is also a good place to start. We have endeavored to describe our world of Neue Finanzen™ for you to understand. This is not always possible by simply reading about it, therefore …
To get more information simply pick up the phone and call us! We do not make use of any call centres or automated answering machines, but offer direct contact with Novofina employees who would be more than happy to speak to you. If you prefer to contact us by email, simply contact us on moc.a1501173436nifov1501173436on@of1501173436ni1501173436. Telephone (Germany): (0049) (0) 40/226 161 750
Telephone Austria: (0043) (0) 1/361 77 77 from Switzerland please choose one of the two numbers.
PS: Should you wish to speak to our Managing Director Mr. Kyle Debono (English only), or even our founder and CEO Harald Helnwein – then let us know and we will arrange a phone call at your convenience.
What are the fees at Novofina?
If you must ask: Nothing!
There are no fees, no account opening fee, no administration fee, no performance fee, no withdrawal or termination fees (no lock-in fees).
There are also no hidden costs! We warrant this – this is, after all, also one of the fundamental principles of our Neue Finanzen™!
So how does Novofina make money then? The only charge that exists is the charge per share when opening or closing a position which amounts to just USD 0.015 per share, with a minimum of USD 2*,—nothing more! The daily commission adjustment shall be made directly by the Clearer on each trade we execute on your behalf. These commissions are shared between Novofina and the Clearer and represent the total cost for our clients. That’s it!
By the way: The targeted returns quoted for novofina 7plus and novofina 20plus include these fees already! Thus, when you look at your account balance, you will see the net proceeds after all expenses have been taken into account—everyday. And nothing more! Full transparency at incredibly low charges. We are unrivaled! Please compare us!
(*) We reserve the right, at any time to adjust our fees (downwards or upwards). Do not worry, you will be informed in good time – and since you can stop trading at any time, in any case there is no risk for you.
What is the minimum deposit?
Currently, the suggested minimum investment for system accounts is around EUR 30,000 (or equivalent)—since:
- otherwise your net performance would decrease slightly: minimum fees per trade would be more common.
- we enter a minimum amount of different positions in order to attain the diversification of optimal risk sharing: Ideal degree of size per exposure.
Keep in mind that Novofina trades your account directly and individually! Your money does not end up in a huge common pool, but every day all system accounts are analyzed individually and traded at their optimum!
Novofina’s medium-term goal is not to require a minimum deposit in order to truly allow everyone access to Neue Finanzen™. This should also help to allow amounts as low as €500 to €5,000 grow handsomely over the years.
As for individual institutional systems there are of course higher capital requirements than €30,000. However we are happy to offer a testing phase of our real performance on smaller six-figure accounts. This is ideal for hedge funds, family offices, asset managers, etc.!
Trading accounts whereby clients trade on their own are also already possible, although our official brokerage services are still being set up. Here one should also apply the provisional minimum amount of €30,000 (or equivalent) as a starting capital.
Are all strategies real Helnwein systems?
All Novofina strategies are based on the highly successful systems of our founder and are continually adjusted by our international development team based on the Helnwein methodology in order to encompass many details relating to the market conditions at the time. Harald Helnwein himself directs and supervises this process and applies all final settings himself.
Furthermore, at Novofina a separate Investment Committee made up of three experienced financial experts oversee the overall trading decisions for your safety. Harald Helnwein himself is also one of these members. The committee discusses and controls the trading systems in use. Moreover, a certain element of the settings of the trading algorithm is known only to our founder. So from the many thousands of lines of code maintained by the experienced development team there are several key commands known only to our founder! You can compare this to the secret Coca Cola formula.
Keeping this secret strategy parameter is very important since our systems deliver some of the highest returns among the largest hedge funds and investment banks which would like to copy it. The strategies are indeed designed to optimally trade up to several hundred millions (= the sum of your deposit), but if billions of more unwanted freeloaders would also trade the same strategies it would be optimal to switch to other algorithms.
Are there any human control systems?
Yes, the Executing Officer performs ongoing checks on each trade based on predefined rules and reports to the portfolio managers and system developers on a daily basis.
Moreover, manual overriding is performed based on clearly defined rules when necessary as a precaution.
The smooth execution of the orders is monitored in a computerized and manual process.
What is the Helnwein Expected (HE) value?
Many financial decision are made incorrectly because they are based on how something had performed over the last three months, years or even decades—without however considering whether the performance was incidental or whether it was likely to occur again in the future. This is one of the most common and basic capitalist biases in investing.
Our founder has coined a Helnwein methodology which truly and efficiently analyses past performance, focusing only on reproducible facts and not random events. The methodology has been perfected over more than 25 years of experience in actual practice and it has proven that one could expect to find repeatable patterns in the future.
However, any experienced investor knows that the markets are constantly changing, which ultimately reduces the accuracy of the expectation of even the best strategies! Thus, Helnwein developed a formula that gives significantly smaller but highly probable achievable return expectations: The HE—Helnwein Expectancy value.
All Novofina products therefore indicate what we—and thus you—could realistically expect when using our systems. Furthermore, we always indicate the lower range (= HE) of the forecast corridor!
By the way: Do not forget that within our indicative rates all expenses would have already been included. These therefore indicate your net yield expectation!
Is Novofina also active outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (approved)?
Novofina is licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority which is the single regulator for financial services in Malta. Novofina is licensed to provide the services of Portfolio Management, Investment Advice and Reception and Transmission of Orders.
This means that when we accept and/or advise customer we must abide by certain requirements which we are subject to as a licensed and regulated investment services firm in order to comply with the stringent legal/regulatory requirements.
Initially, we will be focusing on strengthening our presence in the German-speaking countries. For this reason we have informed the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) in Germany and the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) on the so-called “passporting” of our license in order to actively promote our services in these countries. In 2016 we had also informed the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority for passporting of the Maltese license into the UK and Ireland, respectively. The aim is to continue growing by seeking regulatory approval to market our services into other countries . As for Switzerland (and other non-EU countries), we will just be accepting clients without actively marketing ourselves.
(*) Novofina is not simply a community broker and it warns against such entities in which regulatory requirements and responsibilities are much lower.
Read more on the website: Company
And in the FAQs: Official Headquarters
Why is the official headquarters of Novofina in Malta?
We, as a global company, have deliberately opted for the official headquarters to be setup in the EU Member State of Malta because:
- Malta, although an EU member state, is against the introduction of a financial transaction tax which would come at the expense of investors.
- Malta offers a favorable tax regime making it ideal for the growth potential of Novofina.
- Malta, as a former British colony, has a strict and well-regulated financial services sector which also abides by all EU rules and regulations. This adds protection for you.
Is it true that there is a system and a proprietary trading account?
Clients may open either a system account to be able to trade our strategies (novofina 7plus and novofina 20plus) which would automatically work on its own,
and/or a trading account if they prefer to trade themselves (discretionary or with their own systems). In order to trade the Novofina systems you need in any case to open a system account.
Of course you may also have multiple accounts. All accounts will remain under your control and be at our Clearer.
See also: Clearer
Why is my account opened at a so-called Clearer?
Your advantage and our fundamental maxim is to work with an independent Introducing Broker. This ensures that you are getting the best clearing (= order execution price) – which is the most realistic and fair price.
For us it is equally crucial that maximum safety is provided for your money. For the US equities which are traded in the products novofina 7plus and novofina 20plus we achieve enormously favorable conditions by working with our preferred Clearer, Interactive Brokers (IB). IB is a reliable and secure partner which we have been working with for many years.
Important Note: Novofina itself does not have control over the money on your account. We absolutely cannot instruct any withdrawals on your behalf. Under the system account you would only be authorizing us so that we could (i.e. our systems) enter and exit positions for you. You may also choose to trade on a proprietary account.
See also: System and Proprietary Trading Account
What is the Helnwein Factor (HF)?
Helnwein’s overriding principle for any investment is, not only to assess the possible yield potential, but especially the (temporary) risk of incurring a loss. Both are compared against each other in a ratio (MAR Ratio) through which Helnwein students set the Helnwein Factor. Helnwein constantly uses this code and employs as a first principle the following:
“Never enter an investment in which the maximum exposure to loss and the yield ratio to this exposure (HF) are unknown and in the future cannot be justifiably expected!”.
This rules out any speculative forms of investment in which these figures are not known or can not be determined.
A simple example:
Had an investor back in the year 2000 invested in the DAX they would in late July 2014 had achieved an average annual return of 2.23%. At the same time they would have suffered a maximum drawdown of -72.6% (in 2003): The Helnwein Factor of the DAX over this period was 2.23% divided by 72.6% = 0.03 HF.
On the other hand, the HF for novofina 7plus and novofina 20plus is more than 1.00! So with annual anticipated returns of 7% and 20% respectively, the one-time maximum billable temporary declines are less than 7% and 20% respectively.
What is a drawdown?
A drawdown is the peak-to-trough decline during a specific record period of an investment. A drawdown is usually quoted as the percentage between the peak (highest point on the equity curve) and the trough (lowest point on the equity curve). With good investments this is only a temporary condition.
For a better understanding it would be best to look at this video (which is only 2 minutes long)!
Can I open multiple accounts?
Yes, you may open multiple accounts.
Can I have multiple base currencies?
You may only have one base currency per account (although you may trade in different currencies using just one account). Thus, if you would like to trade using multiple currencies as the base currency, eg EUR, CHF or USD, then you would simply need to open multiple accounts (quite easy and at no extra cost).
Does the account size have an effect on the net return?
Click here to see why we suggest a minimum of 30,000 (EUR/CHF/USD/GBP).
In simple terms: The larger the account the more efficiently it can be traded. An increase in the account size by 5,000 for example from 25,000 to 30,000 makes a big difference in practice. From 100,000 to 105,000, the advantage is less recognizable.
By allocating more capital and/or increasing the utilization by leveraging (using a margin to trade more capital than you have invested) one could increase their exposure (see below) and thus significantly improve their efficiency depending on account size.
ATTENTION: As leverage is increased so is the risk!
Novofina allocates the capital on account to several shares in order to spread the risk while at the same time strive for the best possible return.
Let us consider a fictitious split between 20 different positions, thus, with:
a) 25,000 EUR/CHF/USD/GBP account and assuming 20 positions are entered would result in 1,250 per position; b) a 50,000 account with 2,500 per position; c) a 250,000 account with 12,500 per position.
If for example we wanted to purchase a share at a price of $260 per share, then the maximum that could be purchased by the “small” (25,000) account would not even be the full allocation of $1,250, since 4 x $260 = $1,040 (5 x $260 = $1,300 which would exceed the maximum $1,250). The utilization rate would thus only be approximately 83% (210 of 1,250, ie 17%, would remain in cash earning no returns). With a 50,000 account and maximum position of $2,500 per holding then 9 shares could be traded: thus using $2,340 from a maximum of $2,500 = 93.6% utilization (only 6% remaining unallocated in cash). Finally, with a “large” account 48 shares could be traded allocating $12,480 from the potential $12,500, i.e. a utilization rate of 99.8%.
In the example, the 25,000 account allocates only 83% of the potential capital, the 50,000 account allocates approximately 94% while the 250,000 account achieves an almost perfect allocation of 100%.
This exploitation of funds, or more properly called the “exposure”, has a big influence on the return achieved! If one is trading a profitable strategy, they would want to achieve an exposure which is as close as possible to 100% (or with leverage even more, eg, 200%). In the cases where a loss/drawdown is experienced then one would ideally have no exposure, meaning that trading should be avoided altogether (However, the outcome of a trade can only be known after the fact).
Generally speaking, it is always more optimal to have a high funds’ utilization rate and exposure when trading a profitable strategy or when recuperating after a drawdown. With slight upward movements which when taken together have a bigger positive effect, “small” accounts are not as effective. When a larger account which benefits from better utilization (Exposure) returns a net yield of for example +0.5%, a smaller account with less utilization may actually end up with a -0.5% net return.
Moreover, the small accounts are expected to be subject to the minimum fee more often than the larger accounts. This makes the net return even worse for these smaller accounts.
Nonetheless, Novofina is continually working to reduce the disadvantage of trading the “smaller” accounts.