Monday, February 4, 2013

Money Talk Monday Guest Post


When we moved to France in 2004 we used a currency house to ensure we got a good exchange rate when transferring our funds from the UK. When large sums of money are involved currency fluctuations can make a huge difference and my advice will always be to shop around for the best rate. Today's post is a guest post by Peter Lavelle from foreign exchange specialists Pure FX. Please note I am not being paid to host this post, I have not used Pure FX nor do I endorse them, but for any readers thinking about moving to France this is good information to consider. 

5 Tips to Maximise Your Exchange Rate When You Move to France

As an expat myself, based in Madrid, I can attest to the importance of getting your money transfer right. Given that, what I want to do in this post is outline 5 tips to maximise your exchange rate when you move to France.

1. Research the exchange rates in advance. The biggest mistake people make when transferring money is to leave it to the last minute. This means they’re left with little choice but to accept the rate available, be that what it may. Instead, if you wish to maximise your exchange rate, you need to research the rates in advance.

2. Set a realistic target rate. It’s important to be realistic about what exchange rate you can expect. If you’ll only transfer pounds into euros at 1.50, it may be worth rethinking whether that’s a reasonable goal, given that the pound hasn’t been there in five years. Instead, get a sense of where the market’s been in the last six months, and set your target rate based on that.

French Village Diaries currency exchange3. Accept a good rate while it’s available. A common mistake among people transferring money is to spot a good rate and, instead of making their transfer there and then, decide to wait and see how high it goes. The trouble is, the foreign exchange market is deeply volatile, and a rising exchange rate can become a falling one without warning. Given that, it’s better to accept a good rate when it comes around.

4. Consider a forward contract. A forward contract is a way for you to lock in your exchange rate ahead of time. It can be useful if you like the present exchange rate, but don’t yet wish to have your money in France. What happens is, you “lock in” the exchange rate where it is, pay an initial 10.0% of the total sum, then you can transfer your money at any time you like within the next two years.

5. Think carefully before using a bank. Last of all, think carefully about whether you want to use a bank to transfer your money. This is because, compared to a specialist foreign exchange broker, banks offer exchange rates up to 4.0% worse, which can add up to a difference of thousands of euros, if your intention is to buy a house in France.

These tips will put you in a better position when you come to transfer money to France. Good luck!

About the writer

Peter is an economist at foreign exchange broker Pure FX. He’s worked in foreign exchange since 2010, and is a dedicated follower of global politics and economics. If you have any questions for him about the foreign exchange rates, he’d be delighted to help answer them.