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Old 04-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #21
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I know this is not the point of this thread, but I love Switzerland at any price.
My brother lived in Switzerland for about ten years in the 70's and 80's. He was in Leysin and absolutely loved it there, too.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #22
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I lived near Geneva from the 1970s to the 1990s. I still visit the area at least once a year and own some real estate there. Switzerland is known the world over for the stability of its currency (low inflation). I do question the benefits of such stability for the citizenry though. Because of its strong and stable currency, living in Switzerland is very pricey (Geneva and Zurich often top the world's most expensive cities list). Swiss citizens are pouring into neighboring France in record numbers as they are being priced out of their own country. And despite the large devaluation of the USD vs the Swiss Franc, Americans have successfully maintained a very high standard of living, even relative to the Swiss. So the exchange rate (to me at least), does not tell the whole story. On a purchasing power parity basis, it seems like the mighty might still be doing OK.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #23
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.... And despite the large devaluation of the USD vs the Swiss Franc, Americans have successfully maintained a very high standard of living, even relative to the Swiss. So the exchange rate (to me at least), does not tell the whole story. On a purchasing power parity basis, it seems like the mighty might still be doing OK.
I'm wondering how this could be. If the inflation rate in Switzerland is on a par with the US (I don't know if this is really true), wouldn't the currency changes work against the US dollar and US citizens? Or are there other factors? Just curious as I probably won't be vacationing in Switzerland anytime soon.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #24
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I'm wondering how this could be. If the inflation rate in Switzerland is on a par with the US (I don't know if this is really true), wouldn't the currency changes work against the US dollar and US citizens? Or are there other factors? Just curious as I probably won't be vacationing in Switzerland anytime soon.
The weaker USD has an immediate impact for the US citizen who needs to convert his dollars into Swiss Francs or vice versa. But comparing a US citizen spending his dollars in the US and a Swiss citizen spending his francs in Switzerland, the deep slide in the exchange rate between the USD and CHF does not seem to have had a profound impact on the relative standard of living in both countries. In fact, correcting for purchasing power, the US and Switzerland are still neck and neck when it comes to GDP per capita:

List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'll let people smarter than me debate why that is.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #25
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Of course, a weaker dollar is good for any US worker who competes against foreign workers - at least in terms of getting a job. Most people who post here are either retired or have jobs that don't have a lot of foreign competition.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #26
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The weaker USD has an immediate impact for the US citizen who needs to convert his dollars into Swiss Francs or vice versa. But comparing a US citizen spending his dollars in the US and a Swiss citizen spending his francs in Switzerland, the deep slide in the exchange rate between the USD and CHF does not seem to have had a profound impact on the relative standard of living in both countries. In fact, correcting for purchasing power, the US and Switzerland are still neck and neck when it comes to GDP per capita:

List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'll let people smarter than me debate why that is.
I think I see what you are saying now. I'm always looking at the world from my US spending/investing point of view. If one is going whole hog into another country (full conversion of assets plus cash flows) then the above is something to keep in mind.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #27
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Of course, a weaker dollar is good for any US worker who competes against foreign workers - at least in terms of getting a job. Most people who post here are either retired or have jobs that don't have a lot of foreign competition.
The US have been losing industrial, manufacturing and even some high tech jobs despite the weak dollar.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #28
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The US have been losing industrial, manufacturing and even some high tech jobs despite the weak dollar.
That is starting to change though. With cheaper domestic energy, industries are starting to come back.
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