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I live in one of the poorest and corrupt countries in Asia. The government is incompetent and laws only apply to the poor. The economy is shrinking and currency is going through constant devaluation against other moderately strong currencies in the world.

Over the years my bank deposits have lost their value several-fold. I am now desperately searching for an alternative to save - my savings are long term so that I can leave this country permanently along with all my savings.

Please give me the best idea to save my money from monetary inflation and devaluation.

Also suggest the best known legal way to move my money to another country when I migrate.

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Devaluation is a relative term, so if you want to protect yourself against devaluation of your currency against dollars - just buy dollars.

Inflation is something you cannot protect yourself against because it is something that describes the purchasing power of the money. You will still need to purchase, and usually with money. A side effect of inflation is usually devaluation against other currencies. So one of the ways to deal with inflation is not to keep the money in your currency over time, and only convert from a more stable currency when you need to make purchases. Another way is to invest in something tangible that can easily be sold (for example, jewelery and precious metals, but it has other risks).

Re whats legal and illegal in your country - we don't really know because you didn't tell what country that is to begin with, but the usual channels like travelers' checks or bank transfer should work. Carrying large amounts of cash are usually either illegal or strictly regulated.

  • What is the alternative if travelers' check or bank transfer is limited to a certain max-amount and strictly probed? – user5800 Feb 19 '12 at 7:34
  • This is not a hypothetical question. I don't know if the travelers' check or bank-transfer has a limit. And, that was my question. It seems unreasonable that the government will let me carry a traveler's check Or, transfer my entire savings overnight of an amount of $1 million. What do you think? – user5800 Feb 19 '12 at 8:10
  • @None I think you should ask the government. How would anyone know what's legal and what's not if you don't tell us what the country you're talking about is? – littleadv Feb 19 '12 at 8:17
  • @None just looked at the National Bank of Pakistan web site - it explicitly mentions that there aren't any limitations on travellers' checks purchases. It is also part of the SWIFT network and doesn't mention any limitations on it either. nbp.com.pk/Services/index.aspx Don't confuse reporting with limitations. You might be required to report money transfers to tax authorities/anti-money laundering regulators. But it doesn't mean you cannot transfer. – littleadv Feb 19 '12 at 20:03
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Generally speaking, so-called "hard assets" (namely gold or foreign currency), durable goods, or property that produces income is valuable in a situation where a nation's money supply is threatened.

Gold is the universal hard asset. If you have access to a decent market, you can buy gold as bullion, coins and jewelry. Small amounts are valuable and easy to conceal. The problem with gold is that it is often marked up alot... I'm not sure how practical it is in a poor developing nation.

A substitute would be a "harder" currency. The best choice depends on where you live. Candidates would be the US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar, Yen, etc.

The right choice depends on you, the law in your jurisdiction, your means and other factors.

  • Is USD a dependable currency? – user5800 Feb 19 '12 at 7:36
  • USD is still the reserve currency of the world, but the high U.S. debt could cause devaluation in the medium to long term. You could diversify by buying a basket of different currencies: USD, Euro, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc... – Tony the Pony Feb 19 '12 at 17:13
  • The USD has done a remarkable job of not falling to bits, given everything that's been done to it. But a basket-of-currencies approach has merit as well! – fennec Feb 20 '12 at 16:53

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