Transferring your money from one country to another, whether for your business or for personal payments, can bring added complexity and cost – but currency specialist, Halo Financial, can ensure your transfers are safe and secure, find the best rate and save you time, money and worry.

David Johnson, Halo’s Founding Director, offers his Ten Top Tips to help you save money, manage risk and make the most of your currency exchange.

  1. Plan ahead.

Start planning your currency requirements as soon as possible – never leave it to the last minute. Exchange rates move every second of the day and any unexpected changes in exchange rates can be very costly – for your pockets, or for your business’s bottom line.

  1. Understand the dangers of currency volatility.
    Political and economic uncertainty make the currency markets volatile, with rates often swinging considerably in either direction, at very short notice. Given how quickly these currency market movements take place, the exchange rate you achieve on your currency transfer could represent a dramatic difference in only a short space of time.
  2. Keep track of currency movements and what they mean for you.
    Become familiar with the exchange rates that are important to you. A currency specialist can watch the markets for you, keep you updated on the movements that matter and give you more detailed information about what has previously happened with your key currency, and what may happen in the future.
  3. But don’t just focus on the exchange rate.
    It’s a good idea to shop around different brokers and banks, but make sure you look for the best service as well as the best exchange rate. Going it alone with foreign exchange can be tricky, whether it’s for you, or for your company. Genuine guidance and access to real market expertise is invaluable; this is something that is quite often lacking when you’re put through to a call centre, and your local bank is unlikely to specialise in foreign exchange. A good currency consultant can help you build a strategy to manage the currency market risk and protect your international payments.
  4. Look in to foreign currency accounts.
    Having accounts in relevant currencies offers greater flexibility over currency exchange, and provides better control over payments and receipts.
  5. Watch out for banking fees.
    If you open an overseas bank account, check whether there are any fees for inbound transfers. Some banks, particularly in Spain, can charge a percentage of the transferred amount – this could run into thousands of Pounds more than you have budgeted for. If using a bank to make overseas transfers, you will also need to watch out for any hidden fees, charges or commissions.
  6. Make use of specialist currency tools and techniques.
    Stop Loss and Limit orders are excellent facilities to help you limit risk, and take advantage of attractive exchange rates. They enable you to place an order into the market for your currency trade to complete when the exchange rate reaches your desired level. Better still, these usually offer 24 hour cover; essential in a market that never sleeps.
  7. Protect a good exchange rate.
    If the exchange rate suits your needs today, but you don’t need to exchange your funds for up to a year in advance, you can use a Forward trade (sometimes called a Forward contract) to set that exchange rate in place ready for your planned future payment. Not all currency providers offer this service, but by speaking to an expert like Halo Financial, you could find out if this could work for you and your individual circumstances.
  8. Consider any regular international payments you need to make.
    A currency specialist can organise a regular currency trades plan for you to automate and plan your regular payments at intervals to suit you. These are particularly useful for paying salaries, a mortgage, pension payments and any regular bill or maintenance payments for an overseas property, for example. You can even set the exchange rate for planned future automated payments up to one year ahead with a Forward trade.
  9. Know that doing nothing is a far greater risk.
    Don’t think of your currency needs as all or nothing. It is often better to cover some of your requirements, but be prepared to take advantage of beneficial exchange rate movements when they happen. You can put together a currency strategy that suits you, using a mix of specialist currency tools Forward trades or Market orders to achieve your desired exchange rates. The most important thing is to protect against currency volatility in times of uncertainty. The difference can make or break a business, a property purchase, or any important international investments.

To find out more, call Halo Financial on +44 (0) 20 7350 5473, quoting IW2N, or visit www.halofinancial.com.