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Posted December 21st, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Christmas Newsletter 2006

Dear Reader

This month’s eNewsletter includes the following:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My Introduction
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I hope you are well.

As I write this I am sat in a nice warm room looking
out of the window at a very frosty morning.

Business within the Smart walls has certainly not slowed
down because of the Christmas Season. On the news
earlier there was a story about the increase in people
buying and moving overseas. Obviously everyone has their
reasons – is it the weather I wonder? With this in mind I would
love to hear your own reasons and, as always, any stories
you would like to share with me would be great.

Well at least we have a short break coming up soon, which I
am sure we all deserve (whether it be with the in-laws or not!!)

And of course the Christmas parties, the Smart one is coming
shortly so watch out London, here we come!!

Again this month we have had our prize draw for the £250
M&S vouchers, so look below to see if it is you! If you are
unaware of our Smart Refer-A-Friend compeition,
it is a monthly draw we make for Smart Clients who
have referred their friends/family/colleagues to us in order
for them to also benefit from our service. So if you know of
anyone then email me their details.

Rebecca@SmartCurrencyExchange.com

Lastly – I and the entire team at Smart want to wish you
a VERY Happy Festive Season and Fantastic New Year.

Until next month – think Smart,

Becks

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
M&S Vouchers Winner
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The winner of this months prize draw of £250 M&S
Vouchers
is:

Victor Braint!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Victor!!!!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Last months M&S Vouchers Winner
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Last month when we announced that “Jean and Kevin Elliott”
won the competition, this is how they responded:

“Did we really win the vouchers ?

You have already saved us lots of money on our exchange
and will do in the future, we are in contact with Carl – who
looks after us very well.

Thank you so much…..I love M&S. The first think I am
going to buy is a very chilled bottle of their bubbly and
toast you all.

Thanks for all your help”

If you’d like to enter into next months competition, please
eMail me the Full Contact Details for any contacts you have
that need to move money overseas to:

Rebecca@SmartCurrencyExchange.com


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Buying Overseas: Begin to Absorb the
Language (if possible).

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following information is supplied by The Overseas
Guides Company’s publication: ‘Overseas Property
Buying & Investment Guide.” (Get your freecopy of the
Guide Here!)

‘If you’re interested in a non-English
speaking country, it’s in your best interest to at
least learn the basics of the language.

Although most foreign people can manage some
English, it’s not a good idea to assume everyone
knows it.

Whether you need repairs, help at the local
grocery store (to find your baked beans), need
to consult a local builder or to have the ability to
program your phone answering service…understanding
and speaking the basics will reduce your stress and
that of those around you.

Furthermore, the locals will respect you more for
making an effort to learn the language most
important to them. Start learning as soon as you
know you’re going to execute your plans!

Tip: Your local library may have language sets
that they’ll lend for free or a small about – or any
books store will stock the popular languages,
like German, French, Spanish, Greek…

Once you get the audio sets, put them in your
car and even if you don’t actively work on
memorising them, you’ll at least start to get a
feeling for the language.

We all learn by repetition, and what a better
place to repeat words. (And now days, you
won’t look silly talking to yourself in your car as
most people have hands-free mobile phones.
You’ll just look like your talking on the phone!)


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Your Stories: by Smart Client David F
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We bought a property in Castille la Mancha, having
researched and visited Spain for over 4 years to find
what we wanted. Having been a Spanishophile since
1960 it was always my intention to retire there – the
weather, people, culture, food and wine all suit my
quiet personality!

We looked at some interesting places and saw one that
was suitable but didn’t have water or electricity and we thought
remote at the time. It did serve as a pointer to the agents
who were offering us things, all of which we found to be
not quite right!

We then revisited the waterless/powerless
place again. All in all it suited our parameters subject to the
water – we knew that we could bring power through solar
and generator for power. We made an offer subject to
finding water, left a returnable 1% deposit if water not
found, and then took the risk that out trila boreholes would
produce the goods.

The deposit was to ensure that If we
found water the buyer couldn’t up the price or change the
terms but on our side we had the chance that the cost of an
abortive search would be down to us. In the event we found
water and have been in the process of bringing an finca up
to standard with water, power and drainage.

Our advice:
1 Don’t be rushed into the first place you see, get to know
the area you want to live in first by spending time there,
either renting or if you can afford it buying something
small and cheap.

2 Get good representation. Property in Spain can be
owned in a very complicated manner with various
charges/embargoes on it that needs a practising legal
eagle to fathom out. We actually found the Mama cass
of lawyers who I’m glad to say was on our side and had
anyone who got in the way very frightened.

3 Don’t take the word of a builder that you don’t need
consents etc. If you have any ability to sketch your
refurbishment out then do so and take it to the town hall
for a view of the position – mistakes cost money and if you
ever come to resell it could cost you dearly.

4 Use local labour and network, don’t bring expats in unless
there is a real shortage of a speciality. Local labour is good
and cheap (except on the coast) and they will have knowledge
of the town hall network and how it works.

5 Get a bank account open locally and meet the manager.
Use their contacts for insurance, tec. It isn’t necessarily
cheaper but does get you into the “star” customer status. It
also gives them brownie points at head office and you can
always pick their brains for information as to who is trustworthy
and dependable. (we found that people didn’t bad mouth the
wrong sorts but tended to be less than enthusiastic!)

6 In small Spanish communities everyone is someone’s cousin,
“Primo”, and in my network I must be no further that three
points distant from every person in the town.

7 Get a good dictionary and also the Oxfor-Duden Spanish
version. This is a pictorial dictionary that has both English and
Spanish identifying images on the same page. I also have copies
of Screwfix, Argos, and other catalogues for the pictorial
representation of things I can’t find in the dictionary etc.

8 Check local feast days and holidays – towns can be completely
closed without you being aware its happening until go shopping!

9 Make an effort and learn Spanish – this is the key to getting
on there.

Do you have a story and some tips that you’d like to share?

If so, please send them to me so that I can send them out
in one of my future newsletters:

Rebecca@SmartCurrencyExchange.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
US$ and the Euro
by Charles Purdy, Smart Director
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The US$ has been oscillating between 1.95 and 1.97
inter bank. Still doesn’t have many supporters but I always
think it is dangerous to bet against the US$. If it weakens
too far then US exports become cheaper and exports from
the UK to the US become more expensive. We wait to see
where US interest rates head in the New Year as this will
be a major factor.

The Euro has stayed in a fairly narrow range 1.47 to 1.49ish
inter bank for the last few weeks. The German economy is
continuing to improve and as the economic power house of
Euro land this will affect on the Euro. I still feel the downside
risk is greater than the upside potential.

PLEASE give us a call if you need to exchange and
transfer money anywhere overseas. We will be able to save
you quite a bit of money AND make it a heck of a lot
easier than using the bank.

Call Smart today to see how much you can save on:
0808 163 0102

OR

To get a better-than-bank-rate quote, avoid all charges and
talk with someone that can help you to buy at the best time,
please request a currency quotation at:

http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/smartquotation.htm

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Important Bank and Account Information
(for Smart Clients)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From 1st January 2007, all transfers within Euro land
will require an IBAN and a BIC/SWIFT. NO transfers
can be made without this information.
The IBAN [international
bank account number] uniquely identifies a bank account
number and the BIC [bank identifier code] uniquely identifies
the name and country of the bank.

Also when using us please ensure that any transfers to us
include your Smart Account Number as reference as it becomes
very difficult to match your funds when clients enter as a reference:
“Smart Currency Exchange” or “Portugal #4″ or “Currency Exchange”!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Testimonial
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“I’d just like to say thank you for the smooth transfers
of money to buy our Italian property, I used Smart
Currency Exchange for both the deposit and the final
balance, both transactions worked very smoothly even
in non English speaking central Italy!

I had my doubts and worries using an “un known”
Internet Company to transfer such large amounts, this
together with not using solicitors and relied solely
on “un known” Estate agents in Italy, I felt very
vulnerable to a big scam. I needn’t have worried,
Both the estate agents and smart currency were very
helpful and professional and we now own our little
house in Tuscany. I will continue to use Smart Currency
Exchange for our holiday funds and house upkeep.

Once again Thanks. Chris”

Think Smart,


Rebecca Stubbs
Client Relationship Manager
+44 (0) 208 600 2607

Queens Wharf
Queen Caroline Street
London, London
W6 9RJ
GB

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Posted December 20th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 20th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 20th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.490

CY£

0.856

US$

1.970

CHF

2.391

CAN$

2.266

AUS$

2.510

Comments: The markets continue to be quiet with a bit of stability returning. Huge movements are not expected between now and the New Year. The Euro rate still makes me feel that there is more downside risk than upside potential especially as Germany’s economy continues to gain strength.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.


Posted December 18th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 18th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 18th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.491

CY£

0.856

US$

1.953

CHF

2.384

CAN$

2.261

AUS$

2.496

Comments: The US$ has pulled back to the 1.95 mark. The market continues to be nervous about the direction of the next movement in US$ interest rates especially as it may be downwards. Sterling moved to the top of its recent range against the Euro on the back of stronger than expected data from the retail sector and continued strength in house prices.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.



Posted December 14th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 14th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 14th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.487

CY£

0.853

US$

1.967

CHF

2.371

CAN$

2.276

AUS$

2.502

Comments: The US$ is just about holding its own. The market is still nervous that the next movement in US$ interest rates may be downwards. Retail figures in the US were robust which was positive but housing starts are still suffering. Sterling gained a bit of ground against the Euro as labour data here in the UK was stronger than expected. You just have to remember that Euro land does not have the same inherent problems as the US$ and as such the downide risk is greater than the upside opportunity.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.


Posted December 13th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 12th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 12th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.480

CY£

0.849

US$

1.960

CHF

2.355

CAN$

2.246

AUS$

2.492

Comments: A steady day for the US$. There is a digestion period as the market waits for the announcement from the next Fed meeting later this week on interest rates, the US economy and on inflation. Sterling and the Euro are holding their own against each other. Weakness in the US$ is likely to continue short term given the weakening position in the US housing market. With regard to the Euro I maintain my position of yesterday whereby I am concerned about the downside risk.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.

Posted December 8th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Weekly Currency Note – 8th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Weekly Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Weekly Currency Interbank Exchange Rates `8th December 2006

Currency
Rate Last
Week
Rate This
Week
EURO
1.482
1.477
CY£
0.851
0.849
US$
1.975
1.955
CAN$
2.266
2.258
AUS$
2.510
2.490
NZD
2.878
2.840

CHF

2.362
2.347

ZAR(Rand)

14.342
13.843

Charles’s Thoughts: Sterling had a steady week. The Bank of England kept rates on hold and we wait to hear their comments on inflation, the economy and the likely direction for future interest rate movements. The Chancellor did his best to depress us before Christmas with his pre budget presentation with increases in various taxes. He also tried to convince us everything in the garden is rosy. May be wishful thinking.

The US$ had an okay week. It had gained nearly two cents against sterling this week until the US payroll figures came out today. The US$ went into freefall. Although the November figures were in line with expectations the October figures were reduced. Steadied down late afternoon and then, within 30 minutes, regained the losses it had incurred earlier in the day. This was on the back of comments from the US Treasury Secretary stating that the US economy is better placed than people think. So over the week gained and lost and then regained two cents. Where to next week, we will have to wait and see.

The ECB increased interest rates by 0.25% [in line with expectations]. The accompanying statement has somewhat confused the commentators as some say it supports further interest rate increases and others say not. So until some consistency of thought applies we are left drifting around the 1.475 inter bank. Still a very good rate to buy at when compared to a lot of the year.

The other currencies all strengthened slightly as the US$ respite helped them. New Zealand kept their interest rates on hold whereas South Africa increased them.

Why is Currency Management So Important? The number of clients who booked forward at 1.48 plus was very encouraging. They obviously realised how important it was to eliminate currency risk. And as we stand now they have also gained. So, they have achieved certainty with regard to their costs and they have made a gain against if they had to buy the currency now.

Smart Client Testimonial: “Smart Currency were very helpful with our dollar exchange to purchase a property in Florida. It was easy to contact them by telephone or email and they kept me informed of the progress of the transfer. They also saved me £5,000 compared to the rate offered by my bank.” Lesley Smart (no relation), Dalkeith

If you haven’t opened a Smart account yet, call me on freephone 0808 153 0102 or fill out our online Account Form at: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/application.htm

How much will a Property Cost? To estimate the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above. But note this is based on the inter bank rate so the actual cost will be slightly more.


Smart Resources

Currency Strategy Worksheet
Need help creating a Currency Strategy? Download our Currency Strategy Worksheet:
http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/downloads/CurrencyStrategyWorksheet.pdf

Currency Report
Have your read our 10-page Currency Report that outlines the top 3 mistakes that overseas buyers make when exchanging and transferring their money overseas? Get the report here:
http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/downloads/ThreeMistakes.pdf

Currency Quotation
Are you interested in a currency rate for Euros, US$’s, CYP, NZD, or any other currency, please fill out our Smart quotation form at:
http://www.SmartCurrencyExchange.com/smartquotation.htm


Smart Currency Exchange Limited


Posted December 8th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 8th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 8th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.477

CY£

0.848

US$

1.962

CHF

2.346

CAN$

2.252

AUS$

2.486

Comments: The ECB increased, as expected, interest rates by 0.25%. The briefing that accompanied the announcemnt left the market with mixed thoughts. Some thought it meant that we should expect one or two 0.25% interest rate increases first quarter next year, others thought further interest rate rises were unlikley. Therefore the market is none the wiser! The US$ strenghtened very slightly. Payroll figures our out today so expect volatility in the US$ around 1.30 pm as these figures are announced.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.



Posted December 6th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 6th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 6th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.480

CY£

0.850

US$

1.965

CHF

2.351

CAN$

2.246

AUS$

2.499

Comments: A bit of weakness from sterling against all currencies this morning including the US$. Unsure if this is a short term respite for the US$. Still a lot of negative comments and unlikley to rebound short term.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.



Posted December 5th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 5th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 5th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.484

CY£

0.851

US$

1.978

CHF

2.362

CAN$

2.259

AUS$

2.510

Comments: A quieter day for the US$ with the rate staying at 1.97/8 inter bank. No real news out of the US yesterday. We await to see what the outcome of the ECB meeting is and whether or not they raise interest rates by 0.25%. A couple of weeks ago this was a forgone conclusion but now with the rapid depreciation of the US$ other factors such as export competitiveness may take centre stage.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.



Posted December 4th, 2006 by Charles Purdy

Smarts Daily Currency Note – 4th December 2006

Smart Currency Exchange – Daily Currency Rates for Overseas Property Buyers
Free Daily Inter Bank Currency Exchange Rates 4th December 2006

Currency

Rate

EURO

1.485

CY£

0.851

US$

1.973

CHF

2.365

CAN$

2.260

AUS$

2.515

Comments: Still no respite for the US$. The US$ has now passed through 14 years highs against sterling and is pushing towards 2. However, sentiment may begin to change as there is a realisation that our exports are becoming less competitive. We are still hovering around 1.48 against the Euro. Until we see the US$ settle down, this will be a side show.

Note: All rates are mid market inter bank and indicative at the point of publication.

To get an initial estimate of the cost of a property simply DIVIDE the price of the property by the appropriate currency rate noted above.

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