The majority of cheap brokerages and banks levy a fee and/or give you a poor exchange rate. However, there’s a little-known approach that involves almost all currency exchange fees.
It’s known as Norbert’s Gambit, a financial transaction made up by Canadian Norbert Schlenker. But what’s it all about? Can it really save you on your currency exchange? And could there be a better alternative?
This guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Schlenker was the first person known to propose the idea that you swap your currency for less by buying shares listed on both the Canadian and American stock markets.
Using a discount brokerage account, you can convert Canadian dollars for US dollars at a low cost. The goal is to get a better rate than that offered by banks or brokers.
You still pay fees and lose a bit on the bid-ask spread, but you'll save money. An investor might even spend as little as $10 a trade in the competitive discount brokerage industry.
In practical terms, you use Norbert's Gambit by purchasing shares in an interlisted stock in the currency you wish to convert. Then, you sell the stock in the currency you want. An interlisted stock is listed on many stock markets, generally in the company's home country as well as one or more other places.
Say you want to buy USD in the U.S. You'd buy the stock in CAD and then sell it in USD right afterwards. According to the gambit's creator, from a legal standpoint, "it's the same stock."
This system is by no means perfect. Whether Norbert's Gambit is profitable depends on a few factors. These include the size of your portfolio, the sort of investment account you have, and how frequently you exchange currencies. Taxes are also a consideration to keep in mind.
So, what are the pros and cons of Norbert’s Gambit?
At a low portfolio value, performed infrequently, the management expense ratio (MER) makes it favourable Using a margin account from your brokerage effectively locks an exchange rate and reduces your risk
If you are looking for an alternative to Norbert’s gambit, you should know how remitbee works. Our online service is trusted by many for its ease of use, transparency, and our lack of hidden fees. Quick look: why is Remitbee better than Norbert’s Gambit?
In this video, we show someone using Norbert's Gambit via Questrade and Remitbee Currency exchange.
For those of you who don't have time to watch a video here are the final results!
Sign up for our currency exchange
Our rates are displayed right on our site. Better than both your bank and other currency exchanges, we do not hide fees or charges.
You can keep that extra money saved in fees and reinvest it, or just keep it in your pocket. And you’ll always know how much you'll get ahead of time.
What’s more, our service is lightning fast. Exchange your money in two business days!
There are three simple steps in the process. 1. Sign up for free and provide basic personal information. 2. Second, verify your details so we can protect your identity. 3. Third, exchange money right away!
With verification, you can exchange up to 50,000 CAD a day.
Better exchange rates are useless if you don't trust the site you're using to send money. Our first aim at Remitbee is to ensure the highest level of security and privacy in order to provide a currency exchange service you can trust.
Your information is kept safe with Remitbee technology, and transfers are done with a high level of security. The money exchanged is swiftly and securely moved from your own bank account and put back into your bank account. You need a USD account in Canada to use our service.
Hopefully, now you know what Norbert’s Gambit is all about as well as its pros and cons. Why not check out Remitbee Currency Exchange today? You can exchange money in minutes without the hassle and risk involved in the gambit, and get on with your day.