Sunday 2 April 2023

Speculating with the exchange rate can generate more losses than gains for consumers

Consumers are urged not to copy what others are doing with the dollar, since possibly the conditions between consumers are different and, therefore, they will have different results.

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Dollar Exchange

¢537.94 Buy

¢545.40 Sell

01 April 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA (Revista Summa) Although the exchange rate goes up and down over time, these variations have become more intense since the end of 2021, to the point that it has generated concern in consumers and in the productive sectors.

In the first instance, the sale exchange rate closed the year 2022 at ¢601.99 and closed the month of January 2023 at ¢557.40, that is, it fell by more than ¢44, but as of February 14, it had already risen up to ¢576.20, for which he recovered more than ¢18 colones. Since it has dropped ¢12. Today’s Central Bank reference sale rate is ¢¢564.84.

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This behavior shows a marked trend of greater volatility.

This makes consumers wonder why the exchange rate varies so much, and some will even wonder if it will be possible to have a value that works for everyone: importers and exporters, debtors and savers, politicians and the general public.

Danilo Montero, general director of the Oficina del Consumidor Financiero (OCF) – Office of the Financial Consumer, points out that the first drawback is that the exchange rate is a price, which responds, in principle, to the conditions of supply and demand.

“Just as potatoes and sweet peppers tend to become more expensive in December, due to the increase in demand for tamales, something similar occurs with the price of the United States currency, since many different conditions intervene,” he mentioned.

Due to the above, the OCF considers it convenient to suggest a group of rules or advice that allows consumers to deal with this greater variability of the dollar.

  1. The number of factors that affect the exchange rate is immense: The price of the dollar will not depend on a single factor. It can influence the movement of tourists arriving in the country, the investments made by foreign companies, the bonds that the government places in other countries, the political conflicts in Europe or the decisions of the central banks in other countries.
  2. The consumer should not be obsessed: We will never be able to guess the exchange rate, not in a week, not a month, and much less at the end of the year. Possibly hit a couple of times, but not all the time.
  3. You won’t even be able to guess the trend for the next 3-4 weeks: There’s just too much information for you to handle to have any success.
  4. Don’t try to beat the market by trying to buy low and sell high. Speculating can be a very risky business and what is worse, you could lose a lot of money, more than you think you will earn.
  5. Focus on your personal goals, short and long term, define a strategy and only correct it if there are very serious situations. If what is convenient for you is a debt in colones, do it. If it is to your advantage to invest in dollars for the long term, don’t stress if the exchange rate starts to drop. Your vision is long term, not 6 months.
  6. Don’t copy what others are doing: If someone tells you that they made a lot of money with the dollars, maybe they were lucky, maybe they didn’t tell you all the information they had, or it could even be a lie. Also, see with caution the advice of some influencers.
  7. Avoid making changes like crazy and all the time: Remember that if dollar debtors had rushed to change their debts to colones in June of last year, a few months later they would have regretted it.
  8. Changing between currencies, with investments and debts, can mean many costs, which in the end consume the profits that you thought you were going to achieve.
  9. Don’t forget that there is a spread between buying and selling: It may be that those spreads every time you make changes, eat what was gained.
  10. In any case, if you want to tempt luck, do not do it only with the dollar: it may be more interesting to do it in shares of U.S. companies, or in other types of assets. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

“It is clear that the behavior of the exchange rate has either upward or downward consequences; The truth is that the optimal thing is to handle the issue with caution, make forecasts in your budget, and not make hasty decisions or in the heat of the moment, that will take you away from the expected results”, concluded Montero.

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Curated content. Read the original article (in Spanish) at

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