Should You Currency Hedge Your Portfolio? | Common Sense Investment with Ben Felix | Summary and Q&A

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November 17, 2017
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Ben Felix
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Should You Currency Hedge Your Portfolio? | Common Sense Investment with Ben Felix

TL;DR

To hedge or not to hedge? There is no clear answer on whether currency hedging affects portfolio returns, so it ultimately depends on an investor's risk tolerance and desired level of diversification.

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Key Insights

  • 🌐 Diversification through global investments provides exposure to foreign currencies and companies.
  • 💱 Hedging currency exposure can neutralize the impact of currency fluctuations on returns but may come with increased risks, costs, and taxes.
  • 💱 Research shows mixed results on the effectiveness of currency hedging, highlighting the unpredictable nature of currency movements.
  • 🦔 The decision to hedge depends on an investor's risk tolerance, desired level of diversification, and long-term financial goals.
  • 🍉 Currency hedging should be approached with caution and considered as a long-term strategy rather than tactical prediction.
  • 😮 The demand for hedging often rises with the volatility of an investor's home currency, but timing hedging decisions accurately is challenging.
  • 📈 Currency fluctuations can impact returns, but historical evidence suggests no long-term upward or downward trends in real exchange rates.

Transcript

This video is in response to a question from abe on LinkedIN. Abe wanted to know if he should hedge the foreign currency exposure of his equities when the Canadian dollar is weak. There is no question that investing globally is beneficial. Diversification is the best way to increase your expected returns while decreasing your expected volatility. D... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is currency hedging, and why do investors consider it?

Currency hedging involves eliminating or reducing exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Some investors choose hedging to avoid potential losses due to currency fluctuations.

Q: Are there any benefits to currency hedging?

Hedging can help investors capture the equity premium globally while limiting risks to their home currency. It provides a level of stability in returns and aligns with future consumption goals.

Q: Does research support currency hedging as a strategy?

Research on the impact of currency hedging on portfolio returns is inconclusive. The effects are ambiguous, and any benefits may depend on an investor's ability to predict future currency fluctuations.

Q: How much of your portfolio should be hedged?

It is generally recommended to hedge a portion, rather than all, of your currency exposure. Hedging more than half of the equity portion of your portfolio may eliminate the diversification benefits that currencies offer.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Diversification is crucial in investing, and owning assets globally exposes investors to both foreign companies and foreign currencies.

  • Currency fluctuations can impact returns, and some investors choose to hedge their currency exposure to avoid these fluctuations.

  • Research has shown mixed results on the impact of currency hedging on portfolio returns, with no clear evidence supporting either approach.

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