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Australia's dollar is currently cruising higher against the greenback. Currently it is around 1.09 cents compared to about 60 cents mid 2009.

What can someone do to benefit from this situation?

Is there any way for Mum and Dad investors to make money from this situation?

Please do not include the obvious suggestion of buying cheap consumer goods, I want to make money not spend it.

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I suspect that to "make money" it isn't enough to know the current value ("high currency"): to make money you'd need to know/guess/predict/bet on the future change in value: will the currency value go higher in the future? Or will it come down again? Or will it stay the same?

Everybody knows the current value, so that by itself isn't enough knowledge to make money from.

That said, if you know you're going to need American dollars in the future (if you have future expenses which need to be paid in American dollars), then now might be a good time to buy those dollars.

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The other obvious suggestion I guess is to buy cheap stocks and bonds (maybe in a dollar denominated fund). If the US dollar rises you'd then get both the fund's US gains plus currency gains. However, no guarantee the US dollar will rise or when.

Perhaps a more prudent approach is to simply diversify. Buy both domestic and foreign stocks and bonds. Rebalance regularly.

  • That is subject to the same issues as simply trading currency. The US dollar might well fall, and then you'd lose money. – DJClayworth Apr 29 '11 at 16:12
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    it's tough to imagine a way to benefit from exchange rates that doesn't have that issue. Diversifying or sticking to your home currency would avoid a full-on bet on exchange rate trends. – Havoc P Apr 29 '11 at 16:29
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If you are confident that the US Dollar will recover compared to the Australian Dollar then you could use your Australian dollars (assuming you have some) to buy an ETF that tracks the value of the USD. Then after the USD makes its run (or after the Australian dollar falls) you can cash out and claim victory.

If that's not quite your situation, or if you want to learn more Investopedia has a great article that talks more about investing in currency ETFs and mentions a couple other options out there.

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