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Informative Articles**

How to Save Money on your Overseas Property Purchase

Have you considered using a Foreign Exchange Specialist ? Many people are unaware of, or neglect the importance that exchange rates have on the cost of their overseas property and the currency risk that is associated with an overseas purchase. If you're emigrating or buying a holiday home abroad, you are likely to transfer money into a foreign currency. This needs serious planning, especially if you are buying a new development 'off plan' where you are required to make several 'stage payments' during the construction of your property. We therefore highly recommend the use of a specialist foreign exchange company who offer services such as these:

Travel Money -- by using a foreign exchange agent you can get better rates than your bank or travel agent & zero commission charges. You can also have the convenience of the currency being delivered free to your home or place of work or if you prefer you can choose to collect from major airports or railway stations. Off-shore accounts -- Having an off-shore account can be beneficial for a number of reasons. As a frequent traveler it can be convenient and economical to hold an account in the currency of your destination. Bureau de Change and credit cards both charge chunky premiums or commission. So, if you know you'll be spending considerable time abroad, why not transfer a lump sum in advance and take advantage of savings on the currency conversion? With today's fluctuating exchange rates, it can be prudent to hold a number of different currency accounts to protect your assets from global market variations. Offshore banking havens can offer high earners and investors low or no-tax environments in which to deposit savings for attractive rates of interest. Instructing your agent to exchange and transfer your money into such saving accounts can help you to avoid tax and, effectively, stop the bank from pocketing your hard earned money! Mortgages -- Need to re-mortgage in the UK to "top up" your overseas finance? Are you unsure about the pros and cons of Sterling vs. currency mortgages? If you're looking to finance an overseas property, ask your foreign currency agent who works with selected mortgage brokers to bring you a mortgage suitably packaged for your maximum convenience and minimum cost . Spot Contracts-- the most basic and popular foreign exchange product is an agreement to buy or sell one currency in exchange for another. You settle the contract the same day, at a price based on the current value of one currency compared to another -- the "spot exchange rate". Spot exchange rate movements are highly unpredictable however, even during a single trading day. Relying on the spot market for future foreign exchange is highly speculative. Forward Contracts -- let you "buy now-pay later" yet fix the rate in advance and thus avoid the risk of the exchange rate moving against you. Between June 20th and July 20th 2005 for example, the Sterling Euro rate fell from 1.50 to 1.43. If you had booked a forward contract in June, you would still have been able to buy at or near 1.50. If you had been buying a property for 200,000 Euros you would have saved yourself around £6,500 ! A foreign currency agent has specialist knowledge & can monitor the financial markets on your behalf, advising you & notifying you of any changes that may affect your situation. If you use a foreign exchange

specialist at the start of your property buying or emigration process, they will have the greatest chance to find and guarantee the best rates in your required time frame. Their up-to-the-second trading facilities will allow you to trade or fix the exchange rate on your purchase at the most opportune time, saving you money. This is in contrast to mainstream banks and financial institutions who quote only daily rates and charge a premium fee. We asked a question of 3 major foreign exchange specialists. Only two of them responded & their answers are shown below.

We have not yet used either of these companies so can make no recommendations. However, from our research we are confident you will receive an efficient service & have the potential to save some serious money should you choose to use one of them. Your feedback is essential to help us to provide you with links to only the best resources. We therefore welcome your positive & negative experiences of foreign currency agents. Question: Please tell us who you think your closest competitors are & how you differentiate yourselves from them and / or are better than them ? World First -- "HIFX and, Currencies Direct are probably the 2 competitors we most often are competed against. Relative to our competitors, we believe that we offer a more friendly service than them. Clients often say that our salespeople were the most approachable, least aggressive and most helpful. Unlike our competitors we offer very low deposit rates. 1 month deposits are just 3%. We believe we offer better rates than our competitors and our "Best Price Guarantee" means we'll guarantee to beat any other verifiable currency companies' quotes. We also offer Foreign Currency Delivered direct to your door with no commission or delivery fee." HIFX -- "Our competition: Moneycorp, Currencies Direct, Travelex. We make no charges for sending funds abroad & guarantee that clients will not be charged a receipt fee. We have direct access to SWIFT for faster payment transfers & our Regular Payments Abroad (RPA) service can save clients £300 p/a in transfers alone. Our analysts are consistently ranked within the top 5 global banks and brokers for their US Dollar forecasting & HIFX was featured in the Virgin Atlantic Sunday Times 'fastrack' 100 for 2 years running as well as being featured in the Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for in 2005. We are founder members of the new overseas property regulatory body, AIPP & our sister company HIFX Insurance Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FSA. Most importantly, our staff are friendly, helpful and happy to answer any question or worry you may have." Remember: You would never agree to buy a property in your country of residence if you did not know how much it was going to cost; if you agree to buy an overseas property without fixing the exchange rate at the outset, you are taking a gamble.

About the author:

Pete Adams of www.moving-overseas-g uide.com to find out more
 
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Risk Disclosure: Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to invest / trade in foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading.

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