The easy way to profit from Greece debt

Trading currencies is beyond the realm of expertise for most investors, so here are three simple ways to cash in on Greece's debt trouble

By InvestorPlace Apr 19, 2010 3:25PM

By Michael Shulman, editor of ChangeWave Shorts


currencies greece debt etfsThe headlines are screaming that the Greek debt issue is resolved, and it's time to move on. This is simply not true, and European authorities have made the crisis worse by creating a serious moral hazard by pledging help to Greece.

The nature of the aid and the trigger for it are still unclear -- classic European political fudge -- and the current actions to backstop Greece's ability to borrow will now lead to similar demands from Portugal and Spain. The Irish could use help, too, but are too stubborn and angry at the rest of Europe to ask.


So how do you play this as an everyday investor? After all, Unless you are a fairly expert day trader living behind screens, trading currencies is out of the question. But don't despair -- cashing in on Greece's debt woes is easier than you think.


I recommend you play the foreign currency ETFs, and if you are risk tolerant, buy puts and calls on them.

Yes, puts and calls are a short-term tool for trading an event or crisis. But they can also be used for longer-term positions.

I'm an old-fashioned kind of a guy; I do fundamentals. And the longer-term trend here, in addition to short-term headlines, is a declining euro and pound. Over time, more euros will be printed to help solve the debt problem, plus political confidence has dawned in the euro due to the continuing muddle about help or no help for Greece and beyond.

Britain will have to devalue the pound to get out form under its deficits and give its economy a shot in the arm. 

I have a three-proged trading strategy for you to capitalize on the mayhem in Greece:


1. Buy puts on the ETF for the euro, the CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE).

2. Buy puts on the ETF for the pound, the CurrencyShares British Pound (FXB).

3. Buy calls on the dollar ETF, the DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP).


There will be a lot of short-term volatility, but longer term, the euro and pound should be going down.  These three ETF investments allow you to trade currency without actually monkeying with forex. That makes playing the Greece crisis much simpler for average investors.


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