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Norbert's Gambit: How To Convert Money For Cheap

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Most places charge 2% to convert currency. If you're a Canadian investor with Canadian Dollars, purchasing US stocks can be costly. Luckily there's a solution.

Norbert Gambit 

Norbert's Gambit is a strategy where you can convert money for cheap using ETFs. Many ETFs only trade under one currency, some trade under multiple.

Horizons US Dollar Currency ETF has two versions, one that trades in Canadian Dollars (DLR) and one the trades in US Dollars (DLR.U). Both ETFs represent the same asset, so they're interchangeable. You can easily swap one out for the other, all you need to do is instruct your broker.

This is what makes Norbert's Gambit possible and DLR was made for the job.

Norbert Gambit Step-By-Step


1. Buy DLR.TO
2. Instruct your brokerage to journal your DLR.TO to DLR.U.TO
3. Wait 1-2 business days for the journaling process to complete after the trade settles
4. Sell your DLR.U.TO

Bam! You have US Dollars. The process can also be flipped to get Canadian Dollars if you have US Dollars you want to convert.


1. Buy DLR.U.TO
2. Instruct your brokerage to journal your DLR.U.TO to DLR.TO
3. Wait 1-2 business days for the journaling process to complete after the trade settles
4. Sell your DLR.TO

Should You Use Norbert?

Depending on your brokerage, you'll still face fees for buying and selling (typically $5 to $10). So ensure you're converting enough currency for it to be worth it. If you're only converting a few hundred bucks, paying the exchange fee might be cheaper. For larger sums, Norbert's Gambit is a great way to convert money for cheap.


  1. Great article, super clear, as always. Absolutely love the step by step, I know what to do now. Exactly what I needed. Thanks Herman for writing!


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