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ivy

Jan 13, 2007, 4:56 PM

Post #26 of 42 (6724 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Bubba,
You have written before about the benefit of exchanging dollars into pesos at a US brokerage and then wiring the pesos to Mexico.

Recently I asked a manager at Lloyd about how to wire pesos from my brokerage account at Fidelity to my Lloyd account. He told me that I can only wire dollars and to do so via Bank of America.
I believe I understand from your posts that you are wiring pesos from Schwab to ultimately end up in a Lloyd account. How are you doing this? Are you wiring to Lloyd by going through a Mexican bank that has a relationship with Lloyd? If so, which bank? And do you have to have an account at that bank?


Bubba

Jan 13, 2007, 8:24 PM

Post #27 of 42 (6689 views)

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Re: [ivy] Currency Exchange

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Ivy:

Keep in mind that I exchange dollars for pesos with Charles Schwab. Schwab will always get a better exchange rate than Bubba will. For three years I transferred large sums of money here by transferring dollars to Lloyd´s U.S. account at Bank of America.. I can´t tell you how much this cost me as I don´t know but it was doubtless substantial. Then, one day, an account officer at Schwab´s Latin American operations center in Orlando asked me why I didn´t piggyback my currency exchange on Schwab´s powerful back. Ever since, I have done this and, believe me, I have saved a ton of money.

Lloyd will never voluntarily tell you about this. They and BofA make too much money giving you a lousy exchange rate.

This should probably work with Fidelity if they normally deal in large international currency exchanges on a daily basis. This is only for large sums of money, not every day ATM type cash transactions.

You fax a standard letter to your investment house in the United States and order them to take a two step procedure. First, to convert whatever dollar amount you have in mind to Mexican Pesos. Then, you tell them to wire the resultant pesos to Lloyd´s correspondent bank in Mexico - NOT the United States. I wire my funds to their correspondent bank, Bancomer. They may have other correspondent banks. The pesos must be first credited to Lloyd´s account for the further benefit of yourself expresssed as FFB.

Lloyd and Bancomer will try to make you feel uncomfortable doing this this way but just persevere. I saved around $2,000USD the last time I did this on a transfer of $80,000USD. That´s a huge savings..


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 13, 2007, 8:25 PM)


waltw

Jan 14, 2007, 6:47 AM

Post #28 of 42 (6642 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Rolly,

I saw your post on this a couple of months ago, and have set up accounts with Inter National Bank in Texas and Banorte. "Bidirectional" free transfers was important to me, as I need to transfer pesos to dollars on a monthly basis, which is probably a somewhat different situation from most people on this forum.

Banorte has a link right on their Web page that allows you to transfer money directly to your Inter National Bank account. It was a little cumbersome initially setting this up, as I had to call Banorte a few times to allow me access to this portion of the website, but once in place, it's working quite well.

The additional caveat was that I had to physically go to McAllen to set up the Inter National Bank account and provide them with a US address. (Inter National Bank has branches in the McAllen and El Paso areas).


ivy

Jan 14, 2007, 9:43 AM

Post #29 of 42 (6617 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Thank you Bubba. Now I understand why we are getting resistance from Lloyd. We will have to pursue it more strongly.

By the way, regarding Fidelity and currency exchange: they told me that they don't do the exchanges within Fidelity, they go outside of Fidelity (I forget the name of the company they go to) to exchange the dollars to pesos. They said they give you whatever the rate is on the spot market on the day of the conversion. They said they don't charge a fee for the currency conversion. They do charge $15 for the wire transfer.


Bubba

Jan 14, 2007, 12:27 PM

Post #30 of 42 (6598 views)

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Re: [ivy] Currency Exchange

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Thank you Bubba. Now I understand why we are getting resistance from Lloyd. We will have to pursue it more strongly.

When I first did this, Ivy, they really put me through the ropes. It took me about 10 days to get my money. Now I go see my account officer and take care of the details. It still takes about five days but, that´s OK, I make it up in the exchange rate, Bancomer still loves to pretend they can´t find my money which is total hogwash. Can you imagine how much money Bancomer makes annually on the float of millions of dollars they have difficulty allocating? I´m an ex-banker - I know the game.


Bubba

Jan 16, 2007, 10:18 AM

Post #31 of 42 (6503 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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I have to say something nice about Activiner/Lloyd. My account officer has been very helpful to me in my wired peso transfers since I learned better how to affect them.

I remind all of you that, when I speak of currency exchanges and funds wire transfers here I am talking about significant sums of money, not your ordinary everyday ATM transactions.

Well, anyway, I wired the pesos to Lloyd´s account at Bancomer last week and Schwab told me it would be there on Wednesday and I finally got credited with the money at my account in Lloyd the following Tuesday but, frankly, I think the float game is being played by Bancomer, not Lloyd. I have no complaint here.

This money was for a construction progress payment and I will tell you that it was a significant sum of money. I got $10.848 Pesos to the dollar. I can´t be certain but I would say Lloyd´s exchange rate that day was around $10.75. You do the math. Incidentally, I pay no wire transfer fee.

The Activiner/Lloyd people in Ajijic could not have been nicer but I still believe I saved over $2,500 Pesos by using my method. You decide what´s important for you.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 16, 2007, 10:20 AM)


Bubba

Jan 16, 2007, 5:02 PM

Post #32 of 42 (6461 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Something else I should point out about Activiner/Lloyd. I was concerned that, when I moved my residence to Chiapas for much of the year, I might need to keep excess cash reserves in a Mexican bank where they pay virtually nothing on one´s savings account. I have now found that I can keep cash reserves in Activiner/Lloyd in an AWLASA account and make transfers to my Mexican bank in Chiapas with a simple phone call and, thus, earn a favorable yield until such time as I need the money. The more I deal with Lloyd the more I like it.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 16, 2007, 5:03 PM)


song_of_joy

Jan 16, 2007, 8:25 PM

Post #33 of 42 (6425 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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I've dealt with Lloyd since 1978, and I agree with Bubba. I like Lloyd more every year.


ivy

Feb 4, 2007, 11:55 AM

Post #34 of 42 (6320 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Bubba,
I want to thank you for encouraging me to be persistant in getting the necessary information to wire pesos instead of dollars to Lloyd. We were able to get the intermediary bank information from Lloyd and did our first wire transfer of pesos from our NOB brokerage house to our account at Lloyd. The money appeared in our Lloyd account on the 4th day (counting the day of the transfer as day one).

The rate we got (10.75 pesos/USD) was lower than the rate published that day in the newspaper (11.04 pesos/USD). The NOB brokerage house told us the 10.75 rate up front with the explanation that the higher rate in the newspaper was for exchanging 1 million dollars. I don't know if this is a reasonable difference or not. So far no other fees have been taken from our accounts that I can see from checking both accounts on line.

The biggest hitch I can foresee in the future with this method of wiring money is that according to the brokerage house, I have to come into the bank personally to initiate the transfer. They even called my husband by phone to verify that he agreed with the transfer since it is a joint account. Therefore, we cannot do it when we are in Mexico. We will have to anticipate our needs and take care of all of the transfers before leaving for Lakeside.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.


donemry

Feb 5, 2007, 6:18 AM

Post #35 of 42 (6272 views)

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Re: [ivy] Currency Exchange

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Bubba has suggested that you always distrust what a banker or financial guy says. Based on the "for exchanging 1 million dollars", he is right again. On the day that the rate was 11.04, I used my ATM card to withdraw 10,000 pesos and got the 11.04 rate. Now my bank always charges me 1% to do this type of withdrawal, so my net exchange rate was then 10.95. My bank is Wachovia and I use Bancomer ATM's. I always get the published rate, less 1%.


Bubba

Feb 6, 2007, 9:56 AM

Post #36 of 42 (6174 views)

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Re: [ivy] Currency Exchange

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The rate we got (10.75 pesos/USD) was lower than the rate published that day in the newspaper (11.04 pesos/USD).

The biggest hitch I can foresee in the future with this method of wiring money is that according to the brokerage house, I have to come into the bank personally to initiate the transfer. They even called my husband by phone to verify that he agreed with the transfer since it is a joint account. Therefore, we cannot do it when we are in Mexico. We will have to anticipate our needs and take care of all of the transfers before leaving for Lakeside.

Ivy:

A couple of things:

Never look at the exchange rate in a newspaper as a guideline for what you can expect when you exchange currency. I suspect you are confusing the "buy" dollars rate with the "sell" dollars rate so just stop trying to fine tune your exchange transactions. If your brokerage house is a big player in international currency exchange, it is likely you will save money by wiring pesos rather than dollars to Lloyd which will screw you on the exchange rate. I say that as a long-time customer of Lloyd who has nothing against them. It took me three years to learn this and that cost me a lot of money. I´m simply trying to help the rest of you learn what I learned.

As for having to be physically present in order to initiate a money wire, that is total nonsense. I have never set foot in Schwab since 2000 and that was in Napa, California. My account is domiciled in Orlando, Florida. I have never been in Orlando and, if God is with me, I´ll never have to set foot in that bunghole. All of my wire transfers are by FAX. And, if your account is a true joint account with someone else you should never need their verification for any activity you initiate on your joint account. If they require the other account holder´s verification, then you do not have a joint acount.


Jerry@Ajijic

Feb 6, 2007, 9:16 PM

Post #37 of 42 (6139 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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You should go to Orlando. I think it is a wonderful place and just think that would add one more place to the your list of places you have "left".


Bubba

Feb 8, 2007, 7:18 AM

Post #38 of 42 (6045 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Further to this discussion, today I wired funds down here for finishing our house remodel in San Cristóbal and, by exchanging dollars for pesos and wiring the pesos to my bank here rather than dollars, I saved $330USD with a better exchange rate and paid no wire transfer fee. That savings pays for my new TV set in Chiapas. I´m not bragging, simply sharing my good fortune with those of you who may be wiring down larger sums for whatever reason.


JohnnyBoy

Feb 8, 2007, 8:17 PM

Post #39 of 42 (5983 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Bubba,

If you can deal with a few more questions....what do you recommend for someone (me) who does not have a brokerage account and needs to get US$100,000 into Mexico (be it into a bank account or in a shoe box) for a real estate transaction?

If I have an account at a Banamex branch in Mexico that is "linked" to my Citibank account I believe I can transfer the money from Citibank to Banamex. But is that the situation where they screw me with the exchange rate?

Everyone knows that we get asked if we are in possession of $10,000 or more when we exit the USA. Everyone I know assumes it is illegal to take $10,000 or more out of the USA, even in the form of a cashier's check. But I had heard recently that it is not illegal, they just want to know that I am doing it. Can you enlightenment me?

And finally, do Mexican banks, like the big banks in the bigger cities, offer safe deposit boxes? Are they safe?

Thanks.

jb


bournemouth

Feb 9, 2007, 6:07 AM

Post #40 of 42 (5963 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Currency Exchange

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John - you are right, it is not illegal to take more than $10,000 US out of the country but you do have to declare that you are doing it.


Rolly


Feb 9, 2007, 7:39 AM

Post #41 of 42 (5941 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Currency Exchange

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When making a bank to bank transfer of more than $10,000, the bank will make the report for you; you don't have to do anything. Been there, done that.

Rolly Pirate


Bubba

Feb 9, 2007, 8:43 AM

Post #42 of 42 (5933 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Thank you, Rolly. That law was intended to incriminate those carrying bags of cash over the border, not normal citizens routinely wiring money from one country to another. How the hell would we buy real estate for pesos in Mexico without wiring funds well in excess of $10,000US from bank accounts in the U.S. to bank accounts in Mexico or where-ever.
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