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Not So Risky Business

I’m about to save you a whole pile of money…at least some of you.

If you spend any length of time in France or other foreign country with currency other than the US Dollar, have a bank account elsewhere or investments and need to transfer money between currencies, then what I’m about to tell you will definitely save you a whole pile of money, not to mention time, and all the while, reducing the risk.

It’s a very natural process to simply call or contact your bank and instruct them to wire transfer the funds from your bank to a bank or to a person or business in another country, at whatever rate of exchange they offer. And you might just accept their rate of exchange for what it is, think nothing about it other than you’re gaining or losing money in the process and within a few days your US Dollars turn into Euros or Pounds or Yen or whatever.

If you’re traveling and you just need a small amount of cash, the ATM machines work wonderfully — for about $1 to $2 as a fee to use the machine, you can extract foreign currency at the bank’s rate with no interest, as long as you’re using a “debit” card vs. a “credit card” and go on your merry way. One small problem can the daily limit imposed which is usually between $300 and $500.

But, what if you’re buying a property in France and suddenly you need to transfer the 10% deposit or the 20% down payment, the notaire fees or the monthly mortgage payments? Those could be a huge chunks of money. If you’re paying cash, then to ignore what I’m about to tell you is absolutely foolish.

Remember these letters: H-I-F-X. Call it high-fex, or hee-fex or just HiFX, it doesn’t matter. These foreign exchange specialists will save you time and money when buying currency and making regular transfers overseas. Period.

The way it works is that HiFX acting as a broker discounts the commission on the rate of exchange. In fact, they charge about half of what the bank is charging. Remember, this is how banks earn their money and most banks are pretty rich, n’est-ce pas? So, when you make a transfer, you save about half of the commissions you would have paid to the bank.

Let me tell you a little and true story. I instructed my bank to make a transfer of $12,500 to a company in England in British Sterling using HiFX. It’s a very simple process. The funds are wired to HiFX then HiFX wires them to the end recipient. When I first made the contact with HiFX, they secured the rate of exchange at that moment, contracts were emailed or faxed to me, I signed them, faxed them back at the same time sent the instructions to my bank in the US.

But my bank screwed up and misread the transfer instructions. They eliminated HiFX from the process and transferred the funds directly to the bank in England. You may not believe this, but it’s true. The difference in the rate of exchange was over $400! That’s a lot of money to lose for nothing, if you ask me…and do you think the bank covered the loss admitting to their mistake? Of course not! My loss, their gain.

Okay, now imagine this. You’ve purchased your overseas property and you may still need to make regular currency transfers abroad. Reasons for this may include several different things. Your mortgage (or rent) first and foremost. But you may also have pension transfers, rental income from the property, school fees, salary transfers, business transfers.

HiFX has developed what they call a “Regular Payments Abroad” service to remove the stress and risk associated with organizing regular currency transfers. They can help you fix the exchange rates for between 6 and 24 months into the future and organize your international money transfers. Amazing!

The process is fully automated and guarantees clients will never miss a payment, so you can sleep at night or travel all you want without worry your bills aren’t being paid. All you need to do is arrange a monthly ACH/direct debit to HiFX and they take care of everything else.

The service is currently used to make over 20,000 payments every year and by using their regular payments service, HiFX could save you hundreds of Dollars a year on transfer fees alone.

The savings you’ll have don’t end there. Not only will you get a competitive exchange rate, with NO commission charges and NO receiving fees at any bank (guaranteed), but they make sure you’ll receive more for your money!

Here’s an example:

Let’s assume that your overseas mortgage is 1,200 Euros every month. And let’s even assume that the rate of exchange you get from the bank is the same as with HiFX. (Figures are for illustration purposes only and may not reflect present rates and bank charges.) You’d still save quite a bit of money while simplifying your life:

Main Stream Bank HiFX
Exchange rate< /td> 1,200 euros @ 1.27 = $1524.00 1,200 euros @ 1.27 = $1524.00
Commission charge 3% = $45.72 FREE
Transfer fee $40.00 FREE
Receiving fee 0.50% = $7.62 FREE
Total you pay $1617.34 $1524.00

With HiFX you could save up to $93.34 each month or $1120.08 every year. Over the typical life of a mortgage (15 years) using HiFX would save you $16,801.20.

That’s no small chunk of change.

I use HiFX for all my transfers. We recommend HiFX to all our clients. To transfer money any other way is simply foolish.

Check it out. Get the rate from HiFX and then call your bank and calculate the savings. It’s a phone call or email away.

Call Doug Johnson or Justin Harris with Private Client Services at HiFX, Inc. in San Francisco: (415) 678-2770. Or send your email enquiries to [email protected] or click on

Be sure to tell them Adrian sent you! And if they don’t treat you like GOLD, please let me know about it. They have never once disappointed me with their top notch service and professionalism.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. If you can do better than HiFX, I’d like to know about it! I bet you can’t.


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