One of the most useful tools available online is an accurate and frequently updated currency converter. A currency converter pulls in the latest foreign exchange market data to provide users with the rate-of-exchange between two currencies, often called a currency pair. Currency pairs are expressed in codes that pertain to each specific currency. For example, the exchange rate from Australian dollars to United States dollars is expressed as AUD/USD.
While most people are aware that currencies exchange at different rates, few understand just how much the rates can fluctuate from day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month. The internal economic forces of the nation are not the only factors that affect the buying power of a currency. The reason the value of one currency in comparison to another fluctuates frequently is that currencies are traded like stocks on an open market called the foreign currency exchange. Banks, businesses and individuals buy and sell trillions of dollars in currency every day. This trading creates a supply and demand for each currency that changes its value throughout the day.
Although the value of a currency can change throughout the day, the hourly changes are rarely dramatic. However, if a trend develops that causes a currency to move in the same direction, frequent small changes can build into a big change over the period of a week or a month. A currency converter allows you to see the changes in value of a currency by giving you an updated foreign exchange rate.
Almost everyone stands to benefit by using a currency converter at some point in life. Many use a currency converter every day, while others use this tool only periodically when a situation calls for it. Anyone who travels outside the country for business or who is planning an international holiday can use a currency converter to get an idea of the buying power their currency will have in the destination country. In fact, many people choose a holiday destination by examining the various exchange rates available through a currency converter. The buying power of your currency in another country can make a big difference on what kind of holiday you will be able to take or what you will be able to do on your holiday.
Investors can benefit greatly by using a currency converter, especially when investing in foreign stocks or commodities. It can be confusing trying to understand a rate of return on a foreign security or other investment when information is only available in a foreign currency. Because the value of the currency changes in addition to the value of the investment, it can be doubly confusing. Some investors come to find that opportunities in the foreign exchange market can be a great investment in itself.