When it comes to get­ting the most eu­ros for your pounds, spe­cial­ist cur­rency com­pa­nies are more proac­tive than banks, says Dan Water­man

French Property News - - Contents - Dan Water­man is the Gen­eral Man­ager of Ex­cel Cur­ren­cies UK Tel: 01322 22 11 21 (UK) 0033 (0)9 75 12 82 76 (France) ex­cel­cur­ren­

Be proac­tive and squeeze ev­ery last pos­si­ble euro out of your bud­get

When the UK voted for Brexit two years ago, ster­ling lost over 10% (14 cents) against the euro in just two weeks. It meant a €200,000 prop­erty be­came nearly £20,000 more ex­pen­sive to buy.

Peo­ple who were look­ing for prop­erty over­seas back then were faced with an­other de­ci­sion – whether to buy cur­rency be­fore or af­ter the vote. Those who were work­ing with an ex­pe­ri­enced and proac­tive for­eign ex­change (FX) com­pany would have hedged their bets and se­cured some, most or all of their cur­rency be­fore the vote.

Why? While Brexit was at the time an un­likely out­come, the mar­ket loss far out­weighed the mar­ket gain; so if the coun­try voted for Brexit, some peo­ple’s dreams of buy­ing a place abroad would be dashed.

A spe­cial­ist cur­rency com­pany should work with you to un­der­stand your ex­pec­ta­tions and risk ap­petite when en­ter­ing the FX mar­ket, to en­sure you do not get caught out if the rate takes a tum­ble. This key data will also al­low them to for­mu­late a strat­egy, with the main aim be­ing to maximise your funds po­ten­tial. Reg­is­ter­ing with a com­pany early in the buy­ing process shoudl en­able you to check if they are proac­tive or not, be­fore you need to send your funds.

The e-wal­let Some cur­rency spe­cial­ists of­fer clients a multi-cur­rency ac­count, known as an e-wal­let. These are use­ful when buy­ing a prop­erty in France, es­pe­cially if you have yet to open a euro ac­count there.

For in­stance, if the rate is near the rate you have bud­geted at, you can buy the eu­ros and leave them on the ac­count. Al­ter­na­tively, if the rate is look­ing favourable or you sim­ply do not want to gam­ble on the weeks and months ahead, again you can buy the eu­ros and leave them on ac­count.

These ac­counts of­fer a 100% safety of funds guar­an­tee, un­like the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­pen­sa­tion Scheme (FSCS), which will cover only £85,000.

Rate alerts

An es­sen­tial tool when ex­posed to cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions is a rate alert. Work­ing out when a rate starts to be­come unattrac­tive or un­af­ford­able to you is the first im­por­tant step af­ter de­cid­ing to buy prop­erty abroad, as this en­ables you to cal­cu­late your true bud­get when look­ing at French prop­er­ties.

Set­ting rate alerts with an FX com­pany saves you the headache and worry of watch­ing ex­change rates all day, ev­ery day. Both high and low rates should be set, to al­low you to cap­i­talise when the rate spikes and to counter if the rate drops.

You will be no­ti­fied when ei­ther rate is hit, and it will be up to you to de­cide on whether to buy or not.

Spe­cial FX Most of you read­ing this will by now un­der­stand that there is an al­ter­na­tive to us­ing the bank for send­ing money over­seas. Go­ing one step fur­ther is find­ing a proac­tive cur­rency spe­cial­ist, and not one that will sit back and wait for you to con­tact them when you are ready to move money.

The FX in­dus­try is un­known to most buy­ers, so al­low­ing these com­pa­nies to pro­vide as much help as pos­si­ble can only be a good thing for your pocket.

They should be in reg­u­lar con­tact, keep­ing you in­formed of any im­por­tant eco­nomic or po­lit­i­cal news break­ing and let­ting you know when the rate hits high and low points.

Re­search tells us that cus­tomers ex­pect a bet­ter rate from a cur­rency spe­cial­ist and that’s it. How­ever, util­is­ing an FX firm with ex­pe­ri­ence on the mar­ket can see the big­gest sav­ing of all when ex­posed to cur­rency ex­change.

Set­ting rate alerts saves you the headache and worry of watch­ing ex­change rates all day

See Ex­cel Cur­ren­cies on Stand P311

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