Author Topic: How much money should I move to Canada?  (Read 1432 times)

jodelino

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How much money should I move to Canada?
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »
Here's a question for the Canadians, or those who follow the US-Canada exchange rate, or have views about the long-term relative value of the US and Canadian dollars.

I've reached financial independence and am planning to retire in 2015. Part of my post-retirement plan is to spend up to six months per year in beautiful Canada (up to the legal maximum for a US citizen without a Canadian work visa or resident status). My husband and I have a cottage in Canada that we bought when the Canadian dollar cost about US$.85. Since then, we've seen the Canadian dollar rise as high as US$1.12, and now, with oil prices low, it is falling again. It is currently at about US$.88.

I'm wondering how much of my cash stash I should move to Canada, and on what kind of time table.

I have about CAD30K there now in a credit union money market account paying 1%. In addition to a diversified portfolio, I have about USD100K that is a cash cushion (money that I don't want to invest in equities, bonds, or real estate, plus additional cash that I'm keeping on the sidelines for investing should stocks go on sale). Should I move more of my $100K cash cushion to Canada, assuming that I will eventually spend this money there over the coming years and so should take advantage of the current exchange rate favoring the USD? Or should I follow the exchange rates and move money gradually over the months (in a dollar-cost-averaging sort of way)? Is there anything else I should be considering?

Thank you!

RichMoose

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Re: How much money should I move to Canada?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 05:22:58 PM »
If you are a US citizen, I would suggest to keep most of your spending money in USD. My personal views are the CAD will always be par or somewhat lower than the USD because of export / trade reasons. Because our markets are closely linked, prices for goods and services in Canada are also loosely tied to the value of the CAD/USD exchange rate. In your situation, I would not put more than that $30k in CAD. When you come up to Canada, convert some currency by DCA, maybe a lump sum once a month for spending money. What you are sort of trying to do is play the currency market which, over any short term, is a fool's game unless you really, really know what you are doing.

If you are interested in creating a currency hedge of some sort, it would be better to invest in a Canadian index ETF and that way you will benefit from Canadian economic performance and dampen exchange rate losses.

jodelino

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Re: How much money should I move to Canada?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 10:19:45 PM »
TuxedoEagle--

Thanks so much for these excellent suggestions. I'm going to follow your suggestion about investing in a Canadian Index ETF. I currently have some international funds, but nothing purely Canadian. Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time to advise me.