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What is Currency ETF?

A Currency ETF invests in foreign exchange (forex) and currencies. Thus it provides investors with strategic exposure to the currency markets through a portfolio of currencies. These funds gain from fluctuations in the exchange rates of one or more currency pairings.

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Like other Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), these can be bought and sold on stock markets. The underlying assets are usually held in a single currency or a basket of currencies. Furthermore, these ETFs are passive schemes. Like any other investment, these ETFs have their own set of risks and rewards. They are subject to macroeconomic risks, such as geopolitical concerns and interest rate movements.

Currency ETFs funds provide investors with exposure to foreign currencies as well as the ability to mitigate risks in the foreign exchange market. The growing popularity of these ETFs provides investors with a convenient and cost-effective way to trade currencies during market trading sessions.

How Do Currency ETFs Work?

Earlier, currency markets were only accessible to experienced traders, but the increasing popularity of ETFs has broadened access to the foreign exchange market. Currency ETFs are a simple and low-cost way to trade currencies during regular trading hours. These ETFs provide investors with structured investing exposure in the foreign exchange market.

The most fundamental part of currency investing is exposure to spot exchange rates. Currency exchange-traded fund’s value fluctuates on the basis of the exposure to a counter currency or a basket of currencies.

Currency ETFs largely invest across cash/ or currency deposits, forex derivative contracts, and short-term debts in currency denominations. Foreign currency bank deposits guarantee some currency ETFs, while others are not.

Who Should Invest in Currency ETFs?

These ETFs enable retail investors to participate in the forex market by investing in a fund rather than placing individual trades. Thus it is a low-cost alternative to gain currency exposure. You can use it to speculate on foreign exchange markets, diversify a portfolio, or hedge against currency risk.

Currency exchange-traded funds are popular largely among traders who want to gain exposure to the currency market. However, it is important to note that these are high-risk investments. Currencies can be volatile, and hence you should be mindful of the potential risks before investing in currency ETFs.

At the same time, some investors prefer these ETFs for hedging or speculation purposes.

Therefore, on the basis of your investment goals and objectives, you may invest in these ETFs. However, it is necessary to consider risks.

Things to Consider as an Investor

Following are the things to consider while investing in currency ETFs:

Investment Objective

Understand the investment objective of the currency ETF before investing in them. When selecting an ETF, you should have a clear investment strategy in mind. Choosing the right currency ETF that aligns with your investment purpose is critical.

Past Performance

Historical performance doesn’t guarantee future returns. Currencies are highly volatile assets. However, analyzing the performance and studying their movements over time will help you understand their sensitivity to external factors.


These ETFs are high-risk investment options. Changes in economic conditions, political scenarios, and interest rate fluctuations can all have a big impact on forex. These ETFs are volatile, so you should be aware of the potential risks. Furthermore, before choosing a currency, you must evaluate the country’s political stability and economic conditions.


Currency funds provide a low-cost and convenient way to access the foreign currency market for investors. Investors can get exposure to the forex market without incurring the costs of purchasing and selling individual currencies. The management costs for most currency ETFs are relatively low because they are passive investments.

Advantages of Currency Exchange Traded Funds

Following are the advantages of investing in currency ETF funds:

  • Real-Time Prices: Currency ETFs trade on the stock market. Thus you can buy and sell them at any time during the trading hours.
  • Low Cost: Currency ETFs are a low-cost investment scheme. Earlier, investing in currencies was open to only seasoned traders, institution investors or macro hedge funds. However, with currency exchange-traded funds, the currency market is within the reach of all investors. Thus, investors can get currency exposure without actually having to buy individual currencies. Furthermore, since they track an index, the fund manager just tries to replicate it closely. Passively managed funds have a lower expense ratio than actively managed funds.
  • Speculative Trades: One can use currency exchange-traded funds to speculate on currency valuations by combining them with other currencies or a basket of currencies.
  • Passive Investment Funds: Currency ETFs are passive investment schemes. The funds aim to track the price movements of a currency or a basket of currencies.