1

I'm in a situation where I earn money in one country and have debts in another, and/or intend to relocate there eventually. Thus, at some point I'll have to transfer my earnings to another currency. I would like to know whether I should do so now, or wait a few weeks / months / years in the hope of a better exchange rate.

My question is, how would I go about finding that kind of information? If I search for currency forecasts, all I seem to find is week-by-week (or day-by-day, hour-by-hour) forecasts aimed at currency traders who have a lot of technical background that I lack. Is there a resource that can help me, as a complete layman, understand the possible things the exchange rate might do, on time scales of months up to years?

(I've tried to keep this question general in order to maximise its usefulness of others, but to be specific, my earnings are in JPY and I'll eventually need to convert them to GBP. The exchange rate has become much less favourable over the last few years, and I want to know whether I should transfer as much as I can now in case it gets even worse, or wait in the hope that it will go back up eventually.)

2

Is there a resource that can help me, as a complete layman, understand the possible things the exchange rate might do, on time scales of months up to years?

No, there isn't any such resource, for laymen or for professionals. This is particularly true for foreign exchange, and even more so with high-volume, high-quality currencies such as the JPY or GBP. Foreign exchange markets are highly volatile. Cross-currency rates are driven by macroeconomic conditions and geopolitical risk. It is difficult to make predictions for the next day or week, let alone a period of years.

Given the uncertainty, you might try the equivalent of dollar-cost averaging for stocks. That is, convert a fixed amount of money at a fixed interval of time. That way, you won't be at risk of accidentally catching a local minimum exchange rate. Make sure that you don't do this too often, as there are currency conversion fees.

  • Thanks - I understand that making predictions is difficult, but on the other hand there are people who understand things like macroeconomic conditions and geopolitical risk a lot better than I do, and I suspect someone with the appropriate expertise would have a much better idea of the possible long-term trajectories than me. But perhaps I am wrong about this. Your cost averaging idea is helpful, but the transfer fees are fairly hefty in Japan, so I would have to limit the frequency. – 00101010 Mar 30 '15 at 6:29
  • 1
    Heck, it is difficult to explain after the fact exactly why a given currency pair moved the way it did. – a CVn Apr 17 '15 at 12:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.