How to Lock-in Great Rates – Case Study on International Transfers

I am super excited to share this with you.


Well pocketing a couple thousand extra dollars could not be simpler in my view.

Unhealthy obsession?

I think not.

To the contrary it is very healthy in every way because it is but far the easiest thing to do to make money.

In a world where 1% – 2% interest per year from your bank account is about as good as it gets – Getting another 2% safely, easily and in about 5 days is very sweet indeed.

As discussed at length, you can easily save money by not using a bank and simply use a money transfer companyusually saving around 3%.

But in addition to this, here is how you can lock-in great rates.

How Alerts Work to Make Money

The beauty of this method lies in its simplicity.

For example, lets say you want to transfer $100k Canadian (CAD) to the Australia (AUD) in the next 3 months.

I use these currencies just as an example, mainly because this is a real life example I am executing right now but I have transferred – USD and GBP exactly the same way.

  1. Timeframe: Decide when you need the money moved – 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 1 year (in this example 1 week)
  2. Set Limits: Look at the three month chart and one year chart using yahoo exchange or something similar and decide on your limits – upper and lower
  3. Set Alerts
  4. Wait
  5. Execute

Step 1. Timeframe

In my example, here is what the charts look like.

3 month exchange rate Cad to Aud
3 Month Chart


1 year Cad to Aud chart
12 Month Chart

I find charts like the second one very exciting if you have a long time horizon.

For my example, like most people, I needed my money ASAP.

So the three month chart plays a bigger role in step two.

Step 2. Set Limits

For step two usually I print off these charts – yep I actually print them off and get out a ruler and pencil.

Here is what I did to the 3 month chart:

3 month CAD AUD chart

What I drew is two sets of parallel line or “trends”

The rising set of lines are more important if my time horizon was 1 month to 3 month, but since we need the money now – the key is avoid dips like what happened on 2 July.

Finding the Sweet Spots

Just in the past 15 days the “currency pair” has moved between 1.06 and 1.04 – for $100k that is a $2k difference.

Therefore it is easy to see that anything over 1.06 is a great result in the short term.

Longer term is a different story – everything tells us if we wait we will be better off.

However, our timeframe in this example is short.

Step 3. Set Alerts

I used OFX which are the same company for this example, but almost all money transfer companies provide alerts.

Here is what the alert panel looks like.

Alerts for Ozforex, Canadian Forex and USForex


In this example 1.06 is what we want but I want to be ready when it hit that.

So I set alerts for 1.059, 1.06 and 1.061

Importantly: I also set alerts for 1.039, 1.04, 1.041 to protect on the downside.

Lets not forget we were at below parity ($1) this calendar year so being ready and able to pull the trigger at 1.039 (maybe 1.0375) is just as important as 1.06.



Step 4. Wait

Waiting seems easy, but it is not for most people.

The magic of having the alerts set up though is that you can get on with everything else in your life without worrying.

Then this happens.

Alerts Trigger an Email

Step 5. Execute

This is where the rubber hits the road.

An email is sent or you get a text (I always do both) and now its time to ring the register.

In Real Life

The reason I am so excited to share this with you is because it works and here is proof.

Actual Trades

On the 3 July I sent money from Canada to Australia with the CAD/AUD above 1.06.

I also did the same thing earlier on the 26 June.

During this time the exchange rate did go to 1.04 but not any lower so I did not transact.

Of course the money transfer company does take a cut – In this case it was about 0.9%.

I ended up in front by 2% – Which for $100k is a $2000 gain. Not bad for about 10 or 20 min work. Not too bad ehh?

Important Notes

Deciding when you need your money is very important. In my example, I wanted to bring the money over ASAP so the 3 month chart and particularly the past month is far more important.

If however you time horizon is much greater, like 3 months or more, then the 1 year chart becomes more important.

I hope you do to!

Thanks for reading.

By the way, I am not a financial expert of any kind and this is not meant to be financial advice – just a way for you to make your own decisions and have more control over your money with confidence. 

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