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Old 19.09.2006, 21:26
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Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

My U.S.-based employer is giving me the option of taking my salary in Swiss francs or U.S. dollars. Any thoughts on which makes more sense? I'm assuming the banks will get a conversion fee from a deposit in dollars and my crystal ball is fuzzy on which currency will be strongest in the years to come.
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Old 19.09.2006, 21:58
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Normally the commission is included in the exchange rate that banks propose you.

I would prefer my salary in swissie. I have a friend working in the embassy with a salary in USD, she told me it s such a pain for an non-expert to play with fx market all the time.
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Old 19.09.2006, 22:39
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

You can open an account in US dollars. You can then decided when you want to convert it to CHF.
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Old 19.09.2006, 23:34
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Essentially you then have to take a bet on which currency you think will be stronger in the long run. I suspect your boss will want to pay in USD since that mean zero risk to him.

If it were me, I would take Swiss Francs, not because I think the Franc is a fantasic currency, but because my personal views on the long term future of the dollar are not good (mountains of sky-high debt and rising).

Imagine if you'd been faced with the decision back in the good old days in 2000 when it was 1.9 francs to a dollar. Look at it now...

Mind you - if you take Swiss Francs and you essentially "win" this means your boss will lose - and then he won't be happy. So either way - you may lose
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Old 20.09.2006, 10:13
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Quote:
My U.S.-based employer is giving me the option of taking my salary in Swiss francs or U.S. dollars. Any thoughts on which makes more sense? .
Velo....my 2 cents

As an american ex-pat who dealt with what you're describing back in 2001-2004, I can tell you the following:

1- If you want to take it in USD, try to see if you can get a "fixed" exchange rate agreement from your employer. Meaning XX rate for the next Y years independently of what the market does.

2- Take a percentage of your salary in USD and the rest in CHF, specially if you still have outstanding debts in the US (mortgage, student loans etc). Transfering can be a pain, depending on the bank, the transfer fee varies between 8-15 USD per transaction (and sometimes you get charged in CH and US bank), this in addition, to being at the mercy of what the bank's exchange rate is, trust me, it really adds up

3- Take it all in CHF, no complications....just remember besides taxes, you need to tell Uncle Sam about every bank account where you have more than 10K USD

If I were to do it all over again, I would probably stick with taking all in CHF

cheers
laifu
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Old 20.09.2006, 10:31
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Where are your expenses ? What about the rest of your cash ? What are you going to do with it (invest here or US) ?

If intend spending it in Switzerland then get it in CHF, else you will be paying the spread every time you convert which can mean several % each time you convert a few thousand chf. Thats not even considering the relative strengths of the currencies.

Its a pain in the arse getting paid in a different currency, as you never seem to have the right amount of the correct one...

If you plan to be here long term and have significant expenses, I would take it in chf.

dave

Quote:
My U.S.-based employer is giving me the option of taking my salary in Swiss francs or U.S. dollars. Any thoughts on which makes more sense? I'm assuming the banks will get a conversion fee from a deposit in dollars and my crystal ball is fuzzy on which currency will be strongest in the years to come.
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:11
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

the simple answer is ... you want your income to be in the currency in which (the bulk of) your expenses will be incurred
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Old 20.09.2006, 11:48
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

I'd frankly only consider US$ salary in two years when the current problem should be almost resolved

Alternately I'd take the € as it seems to be The Currency at the moment.
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:12
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Quote:
I'd frankly only consider US$ salary in two years when the current problem should be almost resolved

Alternately I'd take the as it seems to be The Currency at the moment.
Or even good old Great British Pounds:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/mai...1/cnster11.xml
[Uk Daily telegraph]
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:19
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Visit from George Soros [wikipedia] anyone?

No but seriously, I don't think it makes much sense for the original poster to be paid in a completely separate currency than either he, nor the company usually deal with - either euro or pounds. There would have to be two steps of conversion and even greater chance of the exchange rate moving away from either CHF or USD.

"regaining her 19th-century crown as queen of currencies" - please....
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:24
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Lets be hypothetical:

You get paid 10000chf a month by your employer. You spend 6000chf here on expenses and having a good time. 2000chf is invested locally in savings funds or whatever. The other 2000chf goes to you estranged wife in US. Setting aside that the leech may be awarded more than that, it means that you take the conversion hit on only 2000chf, as opposed to the 8000chf you would need convret if you were paid in USD to be here.

dave
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Old 20.09.2006, 12:28
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Quote:
"regaining her 19th-century crown as queen of currencies" - please....
About the time we still had an empire and before we became a 2nd rate island floating off Europe

Anyway, the consensus seems to be paid in Swiss francs which I'd agree with.

Your housing, food and bills will all be in Swiss francs while you are here in Switzerland, along with travel and flights and car and mobile phone and whatever.

Unless you have huge commitments in the US, or some other over-riding reason, surely it makes no sense to be paid in USD...?

If you're only here for 6 months, well maybe.
But if you're here longer term then again it makes no sense.
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Old 20.09.2006, 15:16
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

It does look like the consensus is leaning towards swiss francs. The point about taking the currency of the country where you incur the largest expense is a good one. All said, it appears that Swiss francs would make things easier. My house in the U.S. will be sold, so no debt there (and no ex-wife to pay). I'll be in Zurich for at least three years so that's another argument for local currency.
Good advice and thanks to all for the input.
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Old 20.09.2006, 15:22
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Don't forget that you'll have to keep forking over some extra tax money to uncle sam, even when you live in Switzerland and pay your taxes in Switzerland (we discussed this on other threads as well), but I guess you already know about this nice little "bonus"

That shouldn't affect your currency choice though.
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Old 20.09.2006, 16:46
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

I had a similar issue to deal with. I went for enough being paid in Swiss (directly into a Swiss bank) to cover my usual costs here. The rest is in Aussie pesos and stays over there.
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Old 20.09.2006, 16:51
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Quote:
I had a similar issue to deal with. I went for enough being paid in Swiss (directly into a Swiss bank) to cover my usual costs here. The rest is in Aussie pesos and stays over there.
But given the strengthening of the Aussie dollar against the Swiss Franc you must have been kicking yourself. I converted a load of CHF into AUD a couple of years back and went laughing all the way to the bank, 20%+ gain on the exchange rate not to mention getting 5+% compared to above 0% on CHF :-) Choosing the currency for your salary can always be a bit of gamble
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Old 20.09.2006, 16:57
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

I can sense some FX black-catting coming on...
dave


Quote:
But given the strengthening of the Aussie dollar against the Swiss Franc you must have been kicking yourself. I converted a load of CHF into AUD a couple of years back and went laughing all the way to the bank, 20%+ gain on the exchange rate not to mention getting 5+% compared to above 0% on CHF :-) Choosing the currency for your salary can always be a bit of gamble
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Old 21.09.2006, 10:15
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Quote:
Lets be hypothetical:

You get paid 10000chf a month by your employer. You spend 6000chf here on expenses and having a good time. 2000chf is invested locally in savings funds or whatever. The other 2000chf goes to you estranged wife in US. Setting aside that the leech may be awarded more than that, it means that you take the conversion hit on only 2000chf, as opposed to the 8000chf you would need convret if you were paid in USD to be here.

dave
seriously now.... spend 6000 chf on expenses AND having a "good time" ???
jeeez! do I live in the wrong street here or what ????
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Old 21.09.2006, 10:30
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

dino, by Dave's calculations either paying rent is classed as a good time or he lives in a cardboard box.

I suppose if he takes his box out with him when having a good time, he's saving on an alarm system and taxi ride home
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Old 21.09.2006, 10:50
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Re: Salary in Swiss Francs or Dollars?

Cardboard box ?? When I were a lad...

I would indeed call rent an expense, and its obviously no more than 33% of my salary. That's not allowed, don't ya know.

So if my rent was 3333chf then that leaves me 2667chf for having a good time and expenses or about 197 vodka and cokes excluding tips. I suppose I ought to factor in 300 bucks for health insurance. No, make that 500 if I'm going to drink the remainder.

Let the good times roll.
dave

Quote:
dino, by Dave's calculations either paying rent is classed as a good time or he lives in a cardboard box.
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