The World of Currency Risk and How to Manage It

By Jomathews

When the value of your national currency falls, you might think about buying a nice holiday or investing in property overseas. However, you will have to be careful if you choose to invest in a foreign currency. Currencies can go up and down just as easily as they can fall. You will need to do thorough research before you invest in a foreign currency to make sure that you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket. You should also be aware that investing in a foreign currency comes with additional risks. But if an investment moves in the opposite direction to your home currency, it can seem like a bad idea. This is especially common when looking at international markets with their own set of risks and rewards. Since every investor and trader knows that risk is inherent to every transaction, there are ways to manage that risk as much as possible. Understanding what happens when markets fluctuate and being able to put measures in place to limit potential damage goes a long way toward protecting your portfolio and growing your wealth over time. Here’s everything you need to know about currency risk, how it affects you, and some tips on how you can manage it better.


What Is Currency Risk?


Currency risk is the risk that the value of your investment – usually in a foreign currency – will fall due to the value of one or several currencies moving up or down about one another. You can protect yourself from currency risk by holding your funds in a different currency or cryptocurrency. However, you will still be exposed to exchange rate risk – the risk that the exchange rate between two currencies will change. If you hold your assets in one currency, you are exposed to both currency risk and exchange rate risk. To protect yourself from exchange rate risk, you can choose a different asset that is not correlated with the one you are holding. To understand how this works, let’s say you have $10,000 worth of U.S. dollars in your investment portfolio. If the U.S. dollar falls about another currency, like the British pound, you’re losing money. If the dollar gains strength and the pound weakens, you are gaining money. As you can see, currency risk is a very real problem for anyone investing in foreign currencies or borrowing in another country’s currency. It can also have a serious effect on a country’s economy itself, as it can hinder trade relations and disrupt corporate and governmental operations.


How Does Currency Risk Work?


The strength of your national currency plays a significant role in your ability to earn a return on your money. In today’s global economy, every country’s currency is connected in some way, which means that each one can be impacted by macroeconomic factors. The strength of a country’s currency is often determined by its economic strength, which is often determined by the country’s debt, credit rating, and other factors. To make wise investments, it is important to keep track of the movements in the exchange rate of your country’s currency. Currencies fluctuate in value according to a variety of factors, but, in general, a strong economy and low-interest rates are good for a currency. In general, it’s easier to earn a return on your money if you keep it in your home country’s currency. When it’s strong, the value of your investment will be greater in your home currency, and your returns will be higher than if your currency were weaker. The value of a country’s currency is determined by several factors, including interest rates, inflation, and the country’s economic health. If investors believe a country will experience economic growth, they’ll be inclined to buy the country’s stocks and bonds. That, in turn, will drive up the demand for those stocks and bonds, further strengthening the country’s currency.


Why Is Currency Risk Important?


Currency risk can have a major effect on your investment returns, and it can affect the revenues of multinational companies and governments. It’s advisable to diversify your investments and minimize your exposure to currency risk. There are several ways to do this, such as: Investing in assets that aren’t linked to a specific currency. Invest in assets that are likely to rise in value when the value of one currency falls. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to avoid this risk, but there are ways to minimize it. If you invest in foreign stock, you’ll be affected by the value of that company’s country’s currency. If the value of your currency is strong, it will offset the losses inflicted by the foreign currency’s weakening value. On the other hand, if your currency is weak, your investment will be negatively affected. For example, say you have $10,000 worth of British stocks. If the British pound is weakened by Brexit, you can expect your $10,000 to be worth less in pounds. If the dollar is strong, however, it will offset some of the losses inflicted by the pound's weakness.


Strategies to Manage Currency Risk


There are a few things you can do to protect your portfolio from the downsides of currency risk. Here are a few tips: Invest in diversified markets: The best way to mitigate your risk is to diversify your portfolio. A portfolio that is diversified among different types of assets will be less susceptible to large fluctuations in value. You'll have a better chance of earning a consistent return, even if one or two investments perform poorly. Use hedging strategies: Hedging strategies, like options contracts and futures, can help you manage your currency risk. Options allow you to buy a product at a fixed price, then sell it if it increases in value. If your investment is doing poorly about the currency, you can sell it at a loss. Futures allow you to lock in a price for an asset and make sure it doesn't move significantly enough to affect you. Consider a global investment strategy: Investing globally is one of the best ways to mitigate your currency risk. By putting a portion of your money into foreign stocks, real estate in various countries, or even emerging market stocks, you’ll be less susceptible to the ups and downs of any one currency.




Currency risk is something every global investor must consider. While there is no way to eliminate risk, there are ways to mitigate the effects of this phenomenon. By investing in a globally diversified portfolio and making smart hedging decisions, you can help prevent your portfolio from experiencing significant losses caused by fluctuating exchange rates. By diversifying your assets across different countries, you can help reduce risk and generate returns that are not dependent on any single currency. To help you make smarter decisions regarding exchange rate risk, we have provided a few tips that can serve as a guide. Understanding the risks of exchange rate fluctuations. When you own a single asset, such as a stock, you are exposed to that asset’s risk. However, when you own a diversified portfolio, you are exposed to asset risk.