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Naira strengthens against dollar ahead of CBN FX sales to BDCs - Parallel Market Rate Aug 29, 2020: $1 to N471 Aug 30, 2020: $1 to N465 Aug 31, 2020: $1 to N450 Sept 1, 2020: $1 to N430 Sept 2, 2020: $1 to N420 The Naira has gained N51 in 5 days. The naira has strengthened at the parallel market to N420 against the dollar after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would resume dollar sales to bureau de change operators. Before the announcement, the naira had been trading as low as N480 against the dollar. Upon resumption, the apex bank said BDCs must not exchange the naira at more than N386/$ to end-users. The CBN said its decision to resume FX sales to BDCs is to enhance accessibility to forex “particularly to travellers” since the resumption date for international flights has been announced. The CBN also said deposit money banks shall continue to sell forex for travel-related invisible transactions to customers and non-customers over the counter upon presentation of relevant travel documents, passport, air ticket and visa.
Nonfarm payroll employment is a compiled name for goods, construction and manufacturing companies in the US. It does not include farm workers, private household employees, or non-profit organization employees. It is an influential statistic and economic indicator released monthly by the United States Department of Labor as part of a comprehensive report on the state of the labor market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on the first Friday of the month, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. This data is analyzed closely because of its importance in identifying the rate of economic growth and inflation. Nonfarm payroll is included in the monthly Employment Situation or informally the jobs report and affects the US dollar, the Foreign exchange market, the bond market, and the stock market. The markets react very quickly and most of the time in a very volatile fashion around the time the NFP data is released. The short-term market moves indicate that there is a very strong correlation between the NFP data and the strength of the US dollar. Historical price movement data shows a small negative correlation between the NFP data and the US dollar Index. The figure released is the change in nonfarm payrolls (NFP), compared to the previous month, and is usually between +10,000 and +250,000 during non-recessional times. The NFP number is meant to represent the number of jobs added or lost in the economy over the last month, not including jobs relating to the farming industry. As with other indicators, the difference between the actual non-farm data and expected figures will determine the overall impact on the market. If the non-farm payroll is expanding, this is a good indication that the economy is growing, and vice versa. However, if increases in non-farm payroll occur at a fast rate, this may lead to an increase in inflation. In forex, the level of actual non-farm payroll compared to payroll estimates is taken very seriously. If the actual data comes in lower than economists' estimates, forex traders will usually sell U.S. dollars in anticipation of a weakening currency. The opposite is true when the data is higher than economists' expectations.
Nonfarm payroll employment is a compiled name for goods, construction and manufacturing companies in the US. It does not include farm workers, private household employees, or non-profit organization employees. https://preview.redd.it/7xp41ft401a51.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=467c40fa530f23c5a425c3aa449b3e306a027381 It is an influential statistic and economic indicator released monthly by the United States Department of Labor as part of a comprehensive report on the state of the labor market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on the first Friday of the month, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. This data is analyzed closely because of its importance in identifying the rate of economic growth and inflation. Nonfarm payroll is included in the monthly Employment Situation or informally the jobs report and affects the US dollar, the Foreign exchange market, the bond market, and the stock market. The markets react very quickly and most of the time in a very volatile fashion around the time the NFP data is released. The short-term market moves indicate that there is a very strong correlation between the NFP data and the strength of the US dollar. Historical price movement data shows a small negative correlation between the NFP data and the US dollar Index. The figure released is the change in nonfarm payrolls (NFP), compared to the previous month, and is usually between +10,000 and +250,000 during non-recessional times. The NFP number is meant to represent the number of jobs added or lost in the economy over the last month, not including jobs relating to the farming industry. As with other indicators, the difference between the actual non-farm data and expected figures will determine the overall impact on the market. If the non-farm payroll is expanding, this is a good indication that the economy is growing, and vice versa. However, if increases in non-farm payroll occur at a fast rate, this may lead to an increase in inflation. In forex, the level of actual non-farm payroll compared to payroll estimates is taken very seriously. If the actual data comes in lower than economists' estimates, forex traders will usually sell U.S. dollars in anticipation of a weakening currency. The opposite is true when the data is higher than economists' expectations.
FOCUS ON INNOVATION AND QUALITY ALWAYS GOES A LONG WAY
India has clearly shown intent towards adopting solar energy to bring electricity to its furthest corners. The country has taken inspiring initiatives, shouldering reformations, facilitating industrial growth, and bringing investment to support the mission to utilize sustainable energy. Also, solar power has come a long way since 1977 when solar panels were priced at $77 per watt peak. Currently, the price for solar panels varies between $0.33-$0.36 cents/per watt peak, indicating more than 99% fall in prices. Moreover, the solar energy industry is growing in demand and in acceptance. Recently, the global solar industry has been adding close to 100 GW of capacity year over year and gaining more than $130 billion investment globally. Therefore, the argument can be made that this is the perfect time for India to move ahead and seize the opportunities (energy reliance, manufacturing industry growth, increased export revenue) that solar brings. As I have said already, while the intent for green energy adoption is present in India, we still have to remember that solar energy only has 8% share in the country’s total installed energy capacity. Image source: vikramsolar.com Even with the Government’s new plans such as-
Investing INR 100 lakh crore for infrastructure development
‘One Nation, One Power’ grid implementation
Creating ‘Manufacturing, Repair and Operate’ (MRO) industry
Making India a PV Cells and module manufacturing hub
Supporting growth of EV and energy storage industry
It is not enough to prepare India to seize the solar energy demand in and out of the country. Focus on Innovation is Necessary Mass adoption of green energy in India is the only way for us to reduce fossil fuel import costs (~$100 billion), facilitate industrial growth, restore climate, and claim export markets. The most important component that can assist in mass adoption of green energy is innovation. Not just giants like China or the U.S. even emerging economies like South Korea, Vietnam are investing huge amounts of money to enhance solar panel technologies through R&D and brewing competition between solar panel manufacturers (Top Runner program) to speed up technological evolution for solar. For example, China invested $40.4 bn in solar power in 2018. If we are to consider that more than 60% of the world’s solar panels are made in China, it is easy to comprehend that China is critically invested in continuously improving solar energy technology, to arrest global demand. China’s industrial policy takes credit for such focus on innovation. As a result, China recorded 150,000 renewable energy patents in 2016, 29% of the global total and the world’s top 11 solar panel manufacturers are now based in mainland China. The U.S. has always been the forerunner in solar technology, considering that the U.S. first discovered the solar cell. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy and Spectrolab invented the most efficient solar cell technology with a light-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 40% in 2007. Understanding that the estimated value of solar power is projected to reach $422 bn by 2022, developing countries like Kenya invested $1.3 bn in renewable energy technologies a few years ago. I believe that this clearly portrays how focusing on solar manufacturing, improving infrastructure, mandating best in class product use, and enforcement of quality guidelines in the solar energy industry can lead to innovation, which is important for faster adoption of solar. Innovation in Technology The major part of solar innovation has to be technological. Fortunately, solar power technology is much simplified than that of fossil fuel technology. Considering the rising population (7.6 bn currently), it is easy to comprehend that innovation is necessary to reduce space requirements, increase efficiency and reliability to make solar a mainstream energy source. For that to happen Government of India needs to focus towards cross-country solar technological exchange (ISA is a decisive move by India in this regard), as agreement of technological collaboration will lead to rapid solar energy growth. Investing in technological development is also important, as it will build a better infrastructure for renewable energy development. Besides, technology is not the only area where we need innovation to support solar. India must focus on establishing better financial support and solutions in the solar financing sector. The global private sector has shown interest to invest in solar R&D in India. However, flexible and innovative financial strategies are needed to enhance investor interest and allow foreign financial help commitments to turn into reality. Strategies like- providing tax deductions on R&D spend by solar power companies will surely encourage more investment in solar technology development. Focusing on Quality Focusing on quality is important to assure reliability and energy security from solar, which are the only way to increase green energy adoption in India. Indian project developers rely on “self-defined” quality criteria to import more than 90% of solar modules for the domestic industry. Since modules contribute to more than 55% of the CAPEX required to build the solar power plant, the risk associated with poor module quality is therefore significant. Especially so, as the outflow in forex due to module import is several billion dollars every year. The Government of India has recognised the risk and introduced the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification to ensure the quality of solar module used for projects in India. While it is an honest attempt to mitigate risks associated with poor quality, there are several reasons why these particular objectives are currently not being met. What India needs immediately is a strong Government effort to drive quality in a more holistic manner rather than blindly follow the BIS certification route. Development of new standards for module testing for India-specific climatic condition is the need of the hour. Close monitoring of quality control processes on the shop floor in the Indian domestic manufacturer site is an assured way to confirm 100% quality assurance. Specific quality plans for mass manufacturing needs to be followed and deployed on shop floors in order to make this happen. Finally, a sure way to support domestic solar power manufacturing industry is to develop a robust and sustainable domestic supply chain, which will provide quality materials for manufacturing modules at competitive rates. Way Forward Therefore, as it appears through our discussion, innovation and quality focus is of great importance for India to finally accept solar energy as the reliable mainstream energy source we want it to be. The quicker the green energy shift has taken effect, the better it would be for India and the world. Moreover, the only way to make it happen is through investment, policy support, and taking immediate action to improve solar quality and encourage innovation. Source:https://www.vikramsolar.com/focus-on-innovation-and-quality-always-goes-a-long-way/
Reminder: Market-timing questions are banned. Please report them. Threads will be removed.
As the news-reels about Brexit and deals (or lack there-of) continue to roll on, a timely reminder is needed that market timing questions are banned on this subreddit. We have already spent the time and effort to write a wiki article explaining why, which I will copy below for your convenience. For the avoidance of doubt, the following are examples of market timing questions that have been removed in the last few days:
"Should I buy a house pre or post Brexit?"
"Should I be timing the market?"
"Aware that BREXIT is likely to affect house prices, rental revenue and the stock market so is now the best time to change things up?"
" I'm looking at selling my flat and buying a house at some point this year. When do stamp duty changes normally happen? I seem to remember someone saying November but I can't find any mention of it." *(edit: Potentially questionable - see discussion below)
"Is anybody else waiting for the next recession b*efore buying or investing. Id love to hear your thoughts."
This is currently the most-removed topic of discussion. Please continue to be vigilant and report rule-breaking threads. If in doubt, report them anyway and the mods can decide. Thanks!
Since Brexit (and before but less frequently) we have had a slew of questions asking when the right time to exchange money to/from USD/CAD/EUR etc. It is impossible to provide a meaningful answer to this. The exchange rate could get better, or worse, or neither. Nobody has a crystal ball of knows enough to predict the changes an hour, day, month, or year ahead. For this reason, the mods have taken the decision to ban these questions, and threads will be locked and/or removed. Please refer to Rule 2 in the rules. Regular poster pflurklurk summarised the issues concisely:
Essentially you can't predict the rate, so really it is up to your risk tolerance. You can transfer it now to ensure you have the sufficient number of pounds to satisfy your liability, or you can take a gamble (or a mixture of both by making multiple transfers).
Martin Lewis (of Moneysavingexpert fame) had the following to say (see his full blog here) This was before Brexit but the points are all still valid:
Ask yourself what rate is good for you? Whatever happens to the euro rate, the future is out of your control. So forget trying to guess the market and instead ask yourself: ‘Would I be happy to get a rate of €1.26 for my holiday money…?’ If your answer is: “It’s a decent rate, I could have a reasonable holiday on that, and my real fear is it getting worse because that’d make things unaffordable” – then go safe and buy now. However if you do that and the pound strengthens, and in hindsight you’d have been better off waiting, don’t let the bitterness ruin your holiday. For those stuck on what to do, there are a couple of halfway houses. To hedge your bets, simply buy half of what you’ll need now (using the methods below) and leave half until after the referendum. For another possible alternative, see the trick I’ve added at the end of this blog. (Or see the trick below for another halfway house.) Personally I don’t do speculation. Instead, I just ensure I always get the best rates on the day. The easy way to do this is with bureau busting, specialist travel credit cards. The two top picks right now are Halifax Clarity and Creation Everyday, which give near perfect exchange rates in every country, so just pocketing one means you know you’re getting a good deal. Though you do need to pay them off IN FULL each month to minimise interest. Then if you’re really cool, funky and, ahem, down with the kids, like me, you can put them in your overseas wallet.
Following major world events we have historically had a flurry of questions asking if this is a good/bad time to invest/disinvest/change allocations. The answer, as above, is that nobody knows. When it comes to planning your personal finances and investing, you should remember this proverb:
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
"I can't recall ever once having seen the name of a market timer on Forbes' annual list of the richest people in the world. If it were truly possible to predict corrections, you'd think somebody would have made billions by doing it."
Warren Buffett, the sage of Omaha:
"We continue to make more money when snoring than when active." "The only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune-tellers look good."
Public sector banks will embark on second round of 2-day bottom-up ideation exercise beginning Thursday for further streamlining the banking sector to help the nation become a USD 5 trillion economy in 5 years. The second leg of the month-long campaign will be inter-bank and will be held at state-level as per the direction of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. The first round was focussed at branch level and suggestions and ideas received from there will now be discussed at the state level from tomorrow, official sources said. -Economic Times Members of the RBI's Monetary Policy Committee at its rate review held on 7 August have agreed that supporting growth will remain their top priority in the midst of inflation remaining stable within the next 1 year, according to the minutes of the meeting released on today. -Livemint The Banks Board Bureau has invited applications for the post of MD & CEO in 4 leading PSBs — Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank. -Moneycontrol.com The IL&FS had not disclosed any NPAs for the last 4 years, the RBI has said in a report. The report is based on inspection of IL&FS and IFIN and this has been conveyed by the new board of the IL&FS to the NCLT. -Economic Times SBI is planning to establish nearly 10 lakh YONO Cash Points in the country over 18 months, said its Chairman Rajnish Kumar today. The platform is secure and will eliminate the requirement of using debit cards, Kumar said. -Business Line BookMyForex.com, a marketplace for foreign exchange and remittances, has partnered with YES Bank to launch a co-branded multi-currency forex travel card for Indian overseas travellers. BookMyForex will offer zero margin or exact inter-bank rates 24x7 on forex card sales. -Business Line SEBI today provided more teeth to rating agencies by allowing them to obtain details of borrowings and defaults by companies. It also announced rewards for whistle blowers and approved changes in norms prohibiting insider trading. -Economic Times SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt. Ltd, the credit card subsidiary of SBI, invited investment banks and lawyers to act as advisers for its proposed IPO. -Moneycontrol.com The finance ministry has initiated a review of India’s free trade agreement framework to assess the impact of such pacts on the overall economy. The view has been gaining ground among policymakers and industry that these free trade agreements (FTAs) brought little tangible benefit to India, while helping the partner country. -Economic Times IL&FS has informed NCLT that in contravention of a NCLAT order, banks have debited about Rs 759 crore in the last 8 months for repayment on their dues which amounts to coercive creditor action. -Economic Times Parle Products Pvt Ltd, a leading biscuit maker, might layoff up to 10,000 workers as slowing economic growth and falling demand in the rural heartland could cause production cuts, a Co executive said today. -Business Line The probe by the Enforcment Directorate in the money laundering case, involving former finance minister P Chidambaram, has been enlarged. It suspects his role in granting alleged illegal Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearances to at least four more business deals, apart from INX Media and Aircel-Maxis, and receiving multi-crore kickbacks through multiple shell firms, official sources said today. The CBI has issued a Look Out Circular P Chidambaram to prevent him from leaving the country, officials said. -Business Line USD/INR 71.55 SENSEX 37060.37(-267.64) NIFTY50 10918.70 (-98.30)
The RBI asked banks to ensure their ATMs are grouted to a wall, pillar, or floor by Sep-end, except those installed in high secured premises such as airports, to enhance security of the cash vending machines. In 2016, the RBI had set up a Committee on Currency Movement (CCM) to review the entire gamut of security of treasure in transit. Based on the recommendations of the panel, the RBI has now issued the instructions aimed at mitigating risks in ATM operations and enhancing security. -Economic Times The RBI has promoted Rabi N Mishra as the central bank’s executive director, after the position fell vacant on Rosemary Sebastian’s retirement, sources said. Mishra was principal chief general manager of the bank’s risk management department. As ED, Mishra would be looking after the newly-created specialised supervisory and regulatory cadre within the RBI. -Business Standard The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), the newly created regulator for auditors, has begun full-fledged investigations into the audit failure at IL&FS after taking over the job from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in April this year. -Economic Times The Anti-Corruption Bureau has registered a case against the city's Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran and officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank for alleged illegal appropriation of crores of rupees from the state exchequer, a spokesman said today. -Moneycontrol.com India’s goods exports grew 3.93% to $29.99 billion in May (year-on-year) following a growth in many key sectors such as engineering goods, iron ore and leather products, even as shipments of gems & jewellery and petroleum products declined. Imports were 7.76% higher at $45.35 billion during the month widening the trade deficit to $15.36 billion, compared to $14.62 billion in the same month last year. Gold imports in May posted an increase of 37.43% to $4.78 billion. -Business Line Inching closer to its historic peak, India’s forex kitty increased by $1.68 billion to $423.55 billion for the week to June 7, RBI data showed on Friday. The foreign exchange reserves had increased by $1.87 billion to $421.86 billion in the previous reporting week. -Business Line The rate of interest on SB deposits needs to be revised upwards by at least 2% and interest on fixed deposits should be exempted from the purview of income tax, according to suggestions made by the AIBEA to the Finance Minister. The association said banks should extend agriculture loan at the rate of 2% per annum. Further, they should extend education loan at concessional rate of interest of 5% to the poorer sections, with interest subvention. -Business Line
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How you could use the economic changes to win the Forex Market?
How you could use the economic changes to win the Forex Market? The Forex market, which continuously operates 24 hours for 5 days in a week, is highly driven by the multiple economic indicators from the major economy. The economic indicators are released by the government or by some private organizations that look deep into the economic performance of the country. Reports generated through such indicators critically examine the economy which indicates whether the country’s economy is on a surge or slump. The economic state of the country and the current events are the most widely used economic indicators which is used in forex options trading platform while trading Forex markets. Thus, a forex trader has to keep a sharp eye on the economic reforms and regulations to calculate its impact and make substantial profits. When a country booms in production, trade and other economic affairs, its currency value rises; On the contrary, when a country suffers from political imbroglio, unemployment, and inflation, its currency performs poorly in the market. Some of the indicators that serve as a significant instrument to measure the fluctuations of the Forex are as follows:
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)
GDP is the most widely used gauge of the overall health of the economy, depicting the condition of the economy in the business cycle. The GDP is the key part which analyses the macroeconomics of the foreign exchange market. The US GDP data is released once in a quarter and even the latest estimate reports are the estimation of the past. Furthermore, the projections are extensively used in the Forex market as a tool in finding whether the US economy is on a positive trend or on a negative trend.
NONFARM PAYROLLS (NFP)
The nonfarm payrolls are released on the first Friday every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nonfarm payrolls report has a large effect on market prices. Historically, the changes in the nonfarm payrolls usually follow a similar pattern as the quarterly GDP changes. Thus, the nonfarm payroll data can be used by a trader as a proxy to the GDP which has the tendency to move the Forex market considerably.
The unemployment rate refers to the percentage of the workforce looking for the work, which offers trader insights into one of the key metrics followed by the Fed. When there is a strong deviation from the expectation, it is likely to cause a huge impact on the Forex market also currencies options trading. Historically, the rise in the unemployment rate would lead to the fall in the country’s currency value. Hence, a Forex trader must focus on the unemployment rate and know the state of the economy.
FEDERAL FUNDS RATE
The Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meets eight times in a year and it determines the US monetary policy. The consequences of an FOMC meeting affects the Forex Market. The Forex market is largely affected by the level of interest rates of the two countries and the expectations regarding those interest rate by the traders generally influences the Forex market.The constant update about the Fed rate is quite essential for the Forex traders as the update in the Fed create a huge impact on the US dollar.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX
The consumer confidence index typically depicts the feeling of the consumers. If the consumers feel secure in their jobs and are optimistic about their future economic prospects, then it can be inferred that they are ready for going out and spending. Such optimistic reports tend to make a strong impact on the Forex market. Strong reports usually lead to possible upturn for the economy and this is bullish for the Forex. On the other extreme, weak reports lead to possible upturn for the economy and this is bearish for the Forex market. Moreover, this index is heavily influenced by the labor market. The Forex market is highly prone to the movements brought by the economic news from the major economies of the world. In order to successfully trade in the Forex market and options trading, a trader has to consider the impact of economic indicator along with the release dates of the reports. Moreover, in order to properly keep up-to-date, a trader has to have a trading plan ahead and also have a good quality news feed.
Tips for avoiding card fees and banking charges when traveling abroad long-term
I’m leaving on January 1 for open-ended travels, and I thought some of you might find it helpful to see how I am planning to use credit cards, debit cards and cash to minimize fees and currency-exchange costs while abroad. First, though, I should point out that I’m from the US and using US-based cards, so all the research I’ve done is from that perspective. And my first several destinations will definitely be in Europe, so I assume I’ll be able to use a credit card at most of the places I’ll go. On past trips, I mostly tried to spend cash everywhere. I have a Chase checking account, and at the beginning of each week I was abroad, I would take out cash for 7 days from a local ATM, for which Chase would charge a flat $5 plus a fee for converting the cash. Most months, this worked out to about $25 in charges, and I just sort of wrote that off as a necessary expense. This time, I want to be smarter about both avoiding fees and security — I was tempting fate by using a debit card exclusively for all these years. Here is my plan: The Cards I’m Bringing On My Trip First, I’m following the advice of Marcello Arrambide at Wandering Trader and setting up two accounts with my bank, still Chase. One has a debit card attached to it, and the other doesn’t. That way, I can easily control the amount of cash my debit card has access to. Second, I’ll bring a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which is what I’ll use for all of my non-cash payments. That card has no fees for foreign transactions, and that’s the main reason I got it. Here are a few other American credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, courtesy of Nomadic Matt:
Capital One VentureOne Card
Chase Ink (business card)
United Mileage Plus
Some Discover cards
Barclays Arrivals Plus World Elite Mastercard
There are many more such cards, so just about anyone who qualifies for a credit card in the US can find a decent card to use abroad. Tips for Using Credit Cards
Don’t let a merchant charge you in any currency other than the local one. This dynamic currency conversion comes with a fee, which can be as much as 5%. So, you’re basically paying 105% for whatever you buy when you do this.
Rick Steves even points out that some merchants will hand you a receipt with totals in both the local currency and one in your home currency. In those cases, his advice is:
Circle or check the amount in the local currency before you sign. If your receipt shows the total in dollars only, ask that it be rung up again in the local currency.
As /protox88 pointed out in a Money Matters thread a while back, don’t use your credit card to take out cash. That’s what your debit card is for.
Ideally, you would be able to put most of your spending on your no-transaction-fee credit card and pay that off each month. That would be the cheapest way to spend money abroad — but far too many places are cash-only for that to work. So, you’ll likely have to eat a charge for taking out money. The trick is to strike a balance between going to the ATM only sporadically and not carrying around fat wads of cash. Getting Cash No matter how you pay, you’ll lose a little bit of money on exchange rates. Credit cards tend to have the smallest spreads. After that are ATM withdrawals (and worst is exchanging cash at a currency exchange / bureau de change desk). When withdrawing cash, it’s best to use an ATM inside of a bank rather than one on the street. I’ve had my debit card data stolen a couple of times by opting for convenient ATMs at a metro station (usually during a night out). The cheapest options for using an ATM are if your card is from a bank that’s a part of the Global ATM Alliance, and you’re withdrawing from an ATM that’s part of that alliance. Keeping ATM withdraws within this network mostly eliminates foreign ATM charges, though there are some exceptions. Again, protox88 has some helpful advice: Alliance members might still charge a forex spread (the cost of exchanging currencies) of 2.5% on your withdrawal. No matter what, you’ll likely get charged something for taking cash out of an ATM because it costs banks money to exchange currencies.
Open a Schwab checking account and you'll have no fees at any ATM worldwide.
Exchanging Currencies Currencies and forex are a huge topic, and one that used to make my eyes glaze over. After a few years of dealing with this stuff, I’ve learned a few things:
Don’t exchange money at an airport currency exchange kiosk. Their spreads — the difference between what they’ll buy and sell a foreign currency for — are terrible. Use an ATM at the airport before exchanging money.
Keep an eye on spreads as you travel. Usually, a currency exchange will set its buy price 2.5% lower than the official exchange rate and its sell price 2.5% higher. So, if the euro is trading at US$1.10, you’re getting a good deal if a currency exchange will buy your dollars at US$1.09 per euro or sell you euros for US$1.11. I spent a lot of time in the Baltic states, and some of the sketchiest little currency exchange booths had the best exchange rates you’d find in Riga or Vilnius.
Also, keep an eye on exchange rates in general. If your spending money is denominated in dollars right now, you’ve got more buying power in most countries than you would have 15 months ago. I was in the Eurozone when 1 EUR = US$1.50, and that was painful. Now, it’s just below US$1.10, which isn’t far off from some US retail prices once you factor in state sales taxes.
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