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How can a Canadian get exposure to a safe haven currency like CHF and JPY? I don't want a U.S. dollar denominated ETF.

I want something in Canadian dollars, to save on conversion fees.

Is this possible? Something like DLR (Horizons U.S. Dollar ETF) but not for USD. I need it for JPY and CHF.

If S&P crashes, these currencies will appreciate. Hence, the question.

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If S&P crashes, these currencies will appreciate.

Note that the above is speculation, not fact. There is definitely no guarantee that, say, the CHF/CAD currency pair is inversely linked to the performance of the US stock market when measured in USD, let alone to the performance of the US stock market as measured in CAD.

How can a Canadian get exposure to a safe haven currency like CHF and JPY? I don't want a U.S. dollar denominated ETF.

Three simple options come to mind, if you still want to pursue that:

  1. Have money in your bank account. Go to your bank, tell them that you want to buy some Swiss francs or Japanese yen. Walk out with a physical wad of cash. Put said wad of cash somewhere safe until needed. It is possible that the bank will tell you to come back later as they might not have the physical cash available at the branch office, but this isn't anything really unusual; it is often highly recommended for people who travel abroad to have some local cash on hand.

  2. Contact your bank and tell them that you want to open an account denominated in the foreign currency of your choice. They might ask some questions about why, there might be additional fees associated with it, and you'll probably have to pay an exchange fee when transferring money between it and your local-currency-denominated accounts, but lots of banks offer this service as a service for those of their customers that have lots of foreign currency transactions. If yours doesn't, then shop around.

  3. Shop around for money market funds that focus heavily or exclusively on the currency area you are interested in. Look for funds that have a native currency value appreciation as close as possible to 0%. Any value change that you see will then be tied directly to the exchange rate development of the relevant currency pair (for example, CHF/CAD).

#1 and #3 are accessible to virtually anyone, no large sums of money needed (in principle). Fees involved in #2 may or may not make it a practical option for someone handling small amounts of money, but I can see no reason why it shouldn't be a possibility again in principle.

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