Every day, I open my computer, and out pops a little yellow box, courtesy of my Windows Vista system. It says plainly, the US dollar rate versus the Israel New Shekel rate. And it changes, via the system, during the entire day.
Why is this little box such a feature of curiousity?
Well, back in the day, the dollar used to be at 4.5. That means that for every dollar changed, one received 4 and a 1/2 shekels in return. Not so complicated- right?
Then the dollar dropped- making it 4 shekels. Then 3.8. Then 3.5. And in recent months- we've seen a 3.2. (I could be wrong- one day, I suspect, it was 2.98.)
The dollar seems to be making a comeback. The Bank of Israel bought dollars, when the rate was 3.2, causing the dollar to go up to 3.6. And in recent weeks, it has gone from 3.7 to 4.001. Yep, it's back above 4 again, although not by much.
According to my little box- at this exact second the dollar is 4.018.
Of course- this is all what is known as the "Shaar HaYatzig"- the middle rate. Not the selling rate or the buying rate. What you can actually change your dollars for shekels for is usually about 3-4 points lower. So if it is 4.018- you could probably change for 3.97 or so.
I heard recent news, according to Globes.co.il that the Bank of Israel would like the dollar to go up to 4.5. Although, this may take months to happen. Or, it may never happen at all.
This little box makes a difference in my day. I check it hurriedly each morning- is today a good day to change money? Or not?
Can I get a fair rate? Will the 1.5 percent charged for a check changing make a difference? Should I wait till tomorrow?
As a financial analyst told me- he would have to be a Navi to know how the exchange rate will go. Maybe yes, possibly not, is his response for the rate going up/down in a given time period.
How much does this make a difference? Well, let's see. If I had a 100 dollars- if the rate was 4- I would receive 400 shekel, and so on. So, for every .01 difference- I lose 1 shekel.
That doesn't seem like much when you're dealing with 100 dollars. But what about my paycheck? Then it makes a bigger difference.
I've become accustomed to thinking in exchange rates. And don't get me started on the Euro.
2 hours ago