Foreign currency exchange is a fact of expatriate life. Whether it is sending money home to meet expenses in our home country or to support loved ones.
Exchange rates are very volatile, more so than shares in many cases. There are a number of things you can do to limit the impact of foreign exchange rates on your wealth.
If you have a fixed out-going in a foreign currency, for example, a loan in Euros but you are paid in UAE Dirhams, you can fix the EUR/AED exchange rate for a period of time, say 12 months. This enables you to budget more accurately. This is because you will know what the cost of your loan will be in Dirhams for the next 12 months.
Most international banks will offer this service to their customers.
Speculation in the currency markets is high risk. It is not the same as buying a property or shares in a company. Exchange rates are volatile. There is a difference between the buying and selling cost of each currency. This may be 5% or more for electronic transactions and many times that amount for physical currency.
Banks are a convenient way of switching currencies however they are not the only option and they are often the most expensive. Foreign currency exchange houses not only exchange physical currency but can also send money to bank accounts around the world. Often the exchange rates offered by these companies are much better than banks, so it is worth checking with a few of these to see how competitive your bank really is.
What Should I Do Next?
Please contact us for more information on exchange rate management.