Is Norbert's Gambit legal?

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Short Answer

Yes, Norbert's Gambit method of currency conversion is legal in Canada. It is not restricted by any registered authorized of Canada.

Detailed Answer

Norbert’s Gambit: An overview

Norbert’s Gambit is a terminology used to convert US dollars to Canadian dollars or the other way around using online trading platforms such as Questrade, RBC Direct investing etc., Imagine, we convert CAD to USD, then you generally buy DLR on the Toronto Stock Exchange, journal them to New York Stock Exchange, and sell them. The sale proceeds will be in US dollars and will be available in your trading account after settlement of sales. You can buy and sell any share that is listed both on NYSE and TSX. However, DLR which is Horizons US Dollar Currency ETF, is commonly used as this ETF tracks the exchange rate of CAD and USD.

Is Norbert's Gambit legal?

You can execute Norbert’s Gambit in Registered Investment Accounts such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). These accounts are registered and approved by the federal government of Canada. This is testimony in itself to Norbert’s Gambit.

For instance, the earnings in a tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) are tax-free. However, the government does not legalise day trading within a TFSA, so the Canadian Revenue Agency penalises accounts that execute day trading within TFSA.

If the government does not deem Norbert’s gambit to be legal, then the Canadian revenue Agency will levy a penalty and additional tax on these accounts for carrying out this method. However, there is no such penalty in Nobert’s Gambit. It is like a general purchase and sale of a financial instrument.

Legitimacy of Norbert’s Gambit

Although Norbert’s Gambit is legal, it is not completely safe or cost-free. You need to pay the transaction cost twice – once when you buy the ETF and once when you sell the ETF. In addition, this technique attracts market risk and currency conversion risk. Market risk is the volatility of shares due to happenings in the economy. Just like a share price, the currency conversion rate also falls and rises based on the happenings in both economies.

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Related FAQs
Is Norbert's Gambit worth it?

Using Norbert's Gambit is worthwhile given some conditions - when you do not have to convert your currency immediately and/ or when you need to convert a large sum of money.

How long does Norbert's Gambit take?

In Norbert's Gambit, you need to buy, journal and sell DLR ETF. It takes around 5 business days for the Norbert's Gambit process to be completed.

How much does Norbert's Gambit save?

You will save a considerable amount on conversion fees, by following the Norbert's Gambit. Our calculations suggest that you can save around $2,100 CAD for converting $100,000 CAD into USD.

What is Norbert's Gambit and why it is called so?

Norbert's Gambit is a cheap method to convert CAD to USD and vice versa using an online discount brokerage account. It is named after its founder Mr. Norbert Schlenker.

How does Norbert's Gambit work?

Norbert's Gambit process has various steps starting from buying DLR.TO, journaling the shares, selling DLR. UTO, and finally selling the shares in the US stock exchange.

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