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Currency Exchange: Ten Top Tips

Making payments internationally, whether for business or personal purposes, can be confusing and costly, but using a currency specialist, such as Barar & Associates FX Partner, Halo Financial, can help you make your international transfers simply, safely and securely.

Halo’s Founding Director, David Johnson, gives his ten top tips for saving money, managing risk and making the most of your currency exchange.

  1. Plan as much as you can

Budget and plan for your currency requirements as soon as you can Exchange rates are on the move constantly: any unexpected rate changes all add up for your finances, or for your business’s profitability.

  1. Get to grips with currency volatility

Ever-changing political and economic developments create uncertainty, which in turn causes volatile currency markets. Exchange rates seesaw up and down suddenly, at short notice. Exchange rates move so quickly, trade transfer could be quite different by the time you come to make that transfer. For larger international payments, this becomes all the more noticeable.

  1. Understand what currency movements mean to you

It’s worth taking the time to keep an eye on the exchange rates that matter to you or your business. Enlisting the help of a currency specialist to watch the markets for you, makes sure you stay up to date on the market movements that could affect your finances. They can also provide guidance on what’s happening in the markets and help you decide how to tackle this through different types of currency services.

  1. Do not obsess about exchange rate comparisons

There’s no harm in shopping around different brokers and banks while you’re watching the exchange rates, but the key is to find the best services to suit your needs, as well as the best rate. You need someone who can support you through your currency exchange and help you in other areas, too, whether it’s for you, or for your company.

Access to market guidance and industry expertise is invaluable when you need to transfer large amounts of money between countries. Genuine guidance, recommendations and access to real market knowledge are crucial to successful and safe international payments. This is something that can be hard to find from a call centre; and a local bank is unlikely to be well versed in the complexities of the foreign exchange markets.

  1. Beware banking fees

If you open overseas bank account, check for receiving fees for inbound money transfers; some banks charge a percentage of the transferred amount. If you use a bank to make international payments, beware hidden fees and charges, or extra commission charged.

  1. Use specialist currency services and tools

Stop Loss and Limit orders are specialist currency tools that can help protect you from currency market risk, while taking advantage of exchange rates when they reach your desired level. They can be automatically executed as soon as your chosen rate is achieved, meaning you are protected from risk and making the most of the currency markets 24/7.

  1. Once you’ve found it, protect your exchange rate

If the exchange rate suits your needs today, but you don’t need to exchange your funds yet, you could lock in the rate for up to a year in advance with another currency tool called a Forward trade (or a Forward contract). Not all currency brokers or banks offer this service, but a currency specialist, like Halo Financial, can help you gauge if this suits your particular circumstances.

  1. Plan for any regular international payments

A currency specialist can organise a regular currency trade plan for you, so you can set up automated international payments at times to suit you. These are handy for paying a salary abroad, mortgage, maintenance or pension payments; and any regular bills. You can even set the exchange rate for future automated payments with a Forward trade.

  1. Do it online

During foreign exchange trading hours, you can also make smaller, simpler currency trades online, as long as your currency broker has an online platform, such as Halo Financial’s Halo Online. That way you have control over when and where you make your currency transactions, while still safe in the knowledge you have an expert on hand to help if needed.

  1. Remember – doing nothing is a far greater risk

Make sure you protect yourself from currency risk, whether you are making personal payments abroad or trading internationally for your business. Build a personalised currency strategy that suits you or your company, using a specific or a range of tools to get the best rate for you and a suitable time and protect against any unwanted downside. Don’t take chances in times of uncertainty. If you’re unsure, you can even just cover some of risk, depending on the circumstances. Currency risk can make the difference between success and failure with that all-important property purchase or move overseas; it can make or break a business. Know that there are steps you can take to prevent foreign exchange risk and make the most of your money.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact Saad Hameed who can refer your query/interest to Michael Hart from Halo Financial.