Sterling weakness up ahead? Why now is a good time to buy the pound

Pound to US Dollar rates influenced by political uncertainty in the UK
Jonathan Watson
Jonathan Watson

Currently sterling is well supported largely due to the strong likelihood of the UK raising interest rates next year. Investors are taking up positions on sterling in anticipation of better returns in the future. 80% of currency transactions are speculative and whilst this is not a topic we deal in for clients , it is a topic that is extremely relevant in determining future market movements for our clients.

Longer term sterling appears bound to increase significantly as the prospect of ultra low interest rates becomes the past. The pound has been flirting with 5 year highs on a trade weighted basis which when you consider interest rates have been at rock bottom for 5 years makes sense.

Since we won’t actually see any actual hike for some time there is certainly a good chance of more GBP weakness but it will be in pockets and not reflective of a greater downward trend. If you are going to need to purchase the pound in the future moving sooner is I believe the best course of action. Please contact me directly for assistance in sourcing the best rates and the optimum peaks to trade on. I assure you of being able to beat the banks and currency brokerages.

Many of my clients selling say Euros and Dollars after a property sale are quibbling over the fact they are trading at multi year lows. I wholly sympathise with these clients because when you do the calculation on the losses selling six figure sums in the last year they are substantial. But if you look further back say at the 10 year and 5 year figures you will see current rates are not so bad.

Take Mr Smith in France for example, who may have purchased there when rates were say 1.50. Imagine buying a 200,000 Euro property at 1.50. This would have cost you 133333.33 GBP. Fast forward ten years and unfortunately he has had to sell to come back to the UK and had to take a hit on the price. He had to sell for 175,000 Euros and was not happy at having lost 25,000 on the price. However he managed to get 1.20 on the rate which means his 175,000 Euros are actually worth 145833.33 GBP. Suddenly it is not such a bad deal and when he considers all the fun times he had there, the whole experience has actually not been too bad!

This just shows the importance of exchange rates when considering overseas transactions. Sterling is at a very good level now which may yet improve. Understanding what is driving exchange rates is critical to getting the best deal. For more information on the forecast for your particular situation please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on jmw@currencies.co.uk