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If you are relocating overseas, here is a checklist of things you will need to do and consider when moving your money.
1. You will need to open a bank account in your new location, but you do not have to use that bank for the currency transfer. Using a global international payments specialist can give you the option to move the funds prior to or after arriving in your new destination.
2. Ensure that you know the currency of your new location - not all countries in Europe use the Euro for example.
3. Time is your friend. The more time you have to understand the currency pair you are following the better. Having the luxury of ‘choosing’ when to transfer as opposed to being forced into a conversion, (often at less than attractive rates) is a far more appealing option.
4. If you have decided to move, sold your assets, and want certainty on the amount of currency you will arrive with - consider a Forward Contract (hedging is a very common tool, that can provide some certainty).
5. Evaluate historical data to understand where the rate has been previously, but try to look at more recent rates as apples to apples comparison - delaying the transfer to achieve 3:1 rates last seen 8 years ago, may be a little optimistic.
6. Consider the benefits for transferring the funds to your new location, even when the exchange rate appears to be unattractive. For example what you may lose in the conversion (when comparing against previous highs) you may gain in additional interest in the local bank account, or by paying less interest on a mortgage.
7. Consider splitting the transaction into smaller parcels, rather than one big transfer. If you have the luxury of time, talk to a Foreign Exchange dealer about ‘limit orders’ at different levels, or target a specific rate and set an ‘order’ for when this desired rate is achieved.
8. Use technology to assist, in the modern era, rates, charts, alerts, commentaries and announcements are available 24 hours a day on FX websites and specific FX apps are available for mobile or internet capable devices.
9. Get advice - talk to a dealer about the impending economic announcements of the two countries in question, this local data, and global information should be considered as part of a short term currency view.
10. It is human nature to want to achieve the best possible exchange rate, to ensure the most local currency in your account when you arrive in your new location - and by using the resources available you could very well achieve that goal. However unforseen events outside of your control, may well determine the actual rate you receive. Often several days/weeks/months may be spent worrying about when to transfer, could have been better spent with no stresses or worries by exchanging when you are confident rather than certain the timing is right. Rarely will the decision be that obvious - remembering also that major corporations have teams of experts and all of the technology available ... and still get it wrong some of the time. Hindsight is a wonderful tool that none of us have the luxury of using.
- Understand the currency you will be converting into, recent highs/lows and current trends of that pair.
- Clearly define timeframes available for your transfer.
- Talk to an expert about topical information, a dealer can advise on economic announcements, recent trends and possible changes that can influence the currency in either direction.
- Talk to a dealer about your options, for splitting large transfers; ask about Risk Management or hedging tools such as Limit Orders, and Forward Exchange Contracts.
- Consider the benefits of breaking the transfer into smaller parcels, if you are not happy with the rate on offer at any given time.
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