The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the benefits from hedging the currency exposure of international investments in single- and multi-country equity and bond portfolios from the perspectives of German, Japanese, British and American investors. Over the period 1975 to 2009, hedging of currency risk substantially reduced the volatility of foreign investments at a quarterly investment horizon. Contrary to previous studies, the paper finds that at longer investment horizons of up to five years the case for hedging for risk reduction purposes remained strong.In addition to its impact on risk, hedging affected returns in economically meaningful magnitudes in some cases.