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How To Choose Which Foreign Currencies To Hold

“Kathleen, I’m a new subscriber of your ORC. I was thinking of opening an account with Caye Bank in Belize (I believe it is an international bank) and was wondering if investing in currencies would be advantageous. If so, which currency do you think safest? I have a gut feeling that a bank run is near. I’m looking for an investment for safety and liquidity. If you can give suggestions, would appreciate.”

–Sylvia A., United States

Yes, Caye Bank is an international bank in Belize. And, yes, an account at Caye Bank can hold several different hard currencies, including the Canadian dollar, the euro, the pound sterling, and the Swiss franc. Other offshore banks may allow you to hold Australian or New Zealand dollars, yen, and other currencies, too.

As for which one you should hold, I’d suggest answering that question in the context of your own plans. I’m not a currency expert or an investment advisor, and I don’t try to predict which way one currency might go against another. I take a more personal approach.

If you’re planning on spending time in Europe, then holding euros and earning interest in euros probably makes sense. Same goes for other currencies.

As an example, I earn income in Colombian pesos from a rental apartment in Colombia. I could convert that income into dollars but don’t. I come and go from Medellin. The pesos I earn there, accumulating in a Colombian account, give me exchange risk-free income to spend when I’m in town.

Otherwise, you should speak with your banker to find a currency or currencies that meet your goals.

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