With literally hundreds of different types of currency all around the world, it is very important to know the prevailing money rates. The value of money is very fluid and they are always relative to the other world currencies. Knowing exchange rates can be helpful if you are traveling outside your country, or if you are investing funds offshore.
Some enterprising businesses and individuals also use the money market to profit from this volatility in exchange rates. For instance, if you buy Euros at a low price, and sell these at a higher price relative to the U.S. dollar, then you would’ve profited with the difference.
Here are a few places where you can find exchange rates.
- Newspapers. For someone who does the checking of savings account rates every once in a while, a newspaper would be a good place to start. Despite being part of the so-called “old media,” periodicals still do the job. Most broadsheets would have a special section for business and this would usually feature the local currency and its prevailing value against the major money market currencies of the world.
The most often watched numbers here are the values of the U.S. Dollar, the Japanese Yen, the British Sterling Pound and the Euro. Most newspapers would also plot the movements and trends of these currencies, to ensure that readers would get a good grasp of the performance of these currencies at a given time period.
- The Internet. The Internet is a treasure trove of information when it comes to foreign currency rates. Most major websites like the Microsoft Network and Yahoo have real time updates that show how each currency fluctuates as major business stocks trade across the stock market floors in the capital. This would be very useful for people who take foreign exchange very seriously.
Some sites specialize in tracking foreign exchange rates all over the world. For instance, XE.com is a resource that you can use to determine exchange rates for hundreds of currencies at any given time. The site also holds historical records, so you can easily determine how much a certain currency fares with the U.S. dollar at any given date.
- Banks. Local banks are also good sources of information for foreign exchange rates. They get their information from highly reputable sources. While the exchange rates are usually market driven, more often than not a country’s central bank would be the authority in determining the rate at any given day.
Do note that if you intend to exchange money at the bank or money-changers, the rates for selling and buying would be different. This enables these institutions to earn a little profit from their exchanges. Also, some banks would have a limit as to how much of a certain currency you can purchase or sell. This is a safeguard against possible money laundering and other currency-related fraud.
Exchange rate resources are very useful sources of information, especially for the traveler or the businessman with foreign dealings. As with any money matter, it pays to double check across several sources, to be sure you’re getting the correct figures.