Opened an HSBC Brazilian bank account with a 10% fixed rate & some more on USG

I just opened an HSBC bank account in Brazil. I will start with the equivalent of 50 thousand euros in Reais. Via the account you can take a fixed rate product called CDB (Certificado de deposito Bancario) which gives up to a 98% (if you put a minimum of 100K reais) of the CDI rate (Certificados de Depósito Interbancário) very close to the Selic rate which is around 12% in Brazil. The CDI rate is the rate at which banks lend themselves money and is basically what you get by investing in Brazilian sovereing debt. You have to pay around 15% taxes on capital gains if you hold it more than 6 months and around 20% if less. So actually I get a 10% fixed return. Note that inflation here is 6% so in real terms that is equivalent to a real 4% gain in fixed rate. And the good thing is that you get paid daily. You do not have to wait 1 year or whatever to get paid. And you can add or take out money whenever you like you actually get paid based on the daily amount on the account. Another alternative is to take a fixed deposit 3, 6 or 12 months, or whatever you decide, it gives just a bit more but then you cannot move your money but it has the advantage that you lock the interest rate. So I am actually evaluating on locking it and taking a year deposit if I decide it is unlikely for the rate to go higher or if I think that inflation will not go higher.

I went to 4 banks today HSBC, Banco Do Brasil, Santander and Bradesco and ironically the best was HSBC which is not even Brazilian (but its a big bank in Brazil), the service was amazing, classy, with a woman that never in my life explained me better about bank products. Not with the ignorant employees looking like students that I met on the other banks. The HSBC products were better and tailored for wealthy people. It was more expensive but only if you did not put enough money, if you put 50K euros you pay nothing and you get the top account. You get the best type of account with unlimited services, like for example no costs when withdrawing anywhere in the world, almost no costs for international transfers (only 0.38% of the transfered amount) etc…

So instead of letting my cash sit on a Rabobank account in Belgium getting a shitty 2% which is less than inflation I am moving at least part of my cash here.

Here they pay a lot because they can lend the money at even higher rates. Risk is currency / political etc. The Real could lose all its value in case of hyperinflation etc… It has happened in the past, but I really think that it is now safer to invest in Reais than in Euros and definitely safer than dollars.

I see how Brazil is growing, since the 2 years I am here every day there is more real state built, more stuff in general, middle class is growing, services are better, people get more educated, health services are relatively cheap and good, internet is massifying, competition is huge. So I actually think that the real could even get stronger.

So basically now I have 60% in Euros 20% in Dollars and 10% in Reais. But I still evaluate to move more to Reais. I am really very happy with this rate. It took me a long time to be able to get it because it was super long to get the permanence visa, finally I got it they cannot throw me out anymore, and whats best, I can get into their finance system !

Changing subject to USG: I really have no idea why USG tanked so hard I was busy on the city the whole day opening the bank account if I had stayed home I am sure I would have bought more. Anyways I hope it keeps low because I want
to buy jan 2013 strike 7.5 calls at 4.8 or less this Monday. It fell so fast that I did not even have time to buy almost. I am really starting to get excited with USG!

Cheers
jrv

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About jrv

I was born in Spain and lived in Belgium, Chile, France, USA, Argentina among other places. Currently I am trying to settle down in a wild place. I am "retired", even though now I dedicate more hours "working" for my investments than I ever worked in the real labor market where I used to work in IT and Banking. I am a family man, I have a lovely wife, several sons and one step daughter. I have humble tastes, I like to stay home and read about companies and investments. I started investing at 25 before the internet bubble exploded. I did not know much about investing and liked technical analysis so my results were pretty bad. Fortunately I did not have much to lose. Some years later in 2006 bored of doing only real state investments and with quite a lot of money saved I opened an account in a cheap and excellent online broker and started again. This time I did not want to commit the same mistake, so I decided to follow a model. I heard that Warren Buffett was the best at making money via stocks so I started by reading a lot about him, all of his shareholders letters and several of the books that he recommended. I learned a lot, started applying his investing principles and reading a lot of 10K's. Digested news from lots of different sources. Basically I started buying very good and cheap companies and holding them for ever if possible and if nothing changed fundamentally. When the housing crisis started I was more than 75% cash. At that time I identified good companies at incredibly cheap prices so I invested most of my savings in stocks. In less than I year I doubled. By the second semester of 2009 I turned my software company into an investment vehicle and dedicated myself full time to it. My wife and I decided to change our lifestyle and moved from Belgium to the beach in a wild country. The goal was to keep fixed costs low in order to be able to live with a minimum 6-8% yearly return but specially to move away from the inhuman life of civilization and to have finally some peace and sunny weather to concentrate better on investing. Now I can think and study about companies 60 hours a week and I am doing great. I can finally do what I want full time and can proudly say that I have never been so happy, specially also with my just born 4th son, my other great kids and my sweet wife who supports me fully while I study most of the day and patiently wait for the opportunity to make a swing ! You can learn a bit more about my portfolio by viewing it at www.kuchita.com/view/sumo.php or you may learn more about me and my family by following the link "Author's site" from the menu above.
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14 Responses to Opened an HSBC Brazilian bank account with a 10% fixed rate & some more on USG

  1. Anonymous says:

    “I will start with the equivalent of 50 thousand euros in Reais.” … “So basically now I have 60% in Euros 20% in Dollars and 10% in Reais.”

    So 10% = 50k -> 100% = 500k

    You are rich, jrv !
    ;-)

    • jrv says:

      Big part of it was obtained via investing.

      It’s a modest sum, certainly not millionaire but enough to live comfortably where I am if I average at least 6-8% yearly return.

      Cheers!
      jrv

  2. Jordan Cheung says:

    Hi jrv, are you getting interested in investing on the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa)? I was until my brokers told me it was a real big & difficult hassle for foreigners to fill out the paperwork & navigate the red tape involved.

    • jrv says:

      Hi Jordan, I am not interested in investing there. If I do it I will maybe do it via an ADR on the New York Stock exchange. In my case having a permanent residency it would not be difficult but I do not really need to do it and maintain another broker just for that when most of the big companies are traded in New York anyways.

      What I do like about Brazil is having some cash at nice interest rates on bank deposits. Like that I can diversify a bit away from Dollars and Euros.

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  5. Pedro says:

    Can you transfer your money out of Brasil ?
    If you do, do you get taxed ?
    Do you know before hand what exchange rate they will use ?
    Cheers,
    Pedro

    • jrv says:

      Hi Pedro,

      Here below are the answers to your questions.

      Can you transfer your money out of Brasil ?

      You can, I have an HSBC they have good international operations.

      If you do, do you get taxed ?

      You do not get taxed up to the equivalent of 15 thousand US dollars I think. But that is per transaction. So you do it several times if necessary. If amounts are bigger they also ask more things so keep them low to avoid checking and taxing.

      Do you know before hand what exchange rate they will use ?

      I don’t remember, but I do not think it will be good. And you also have a fixed cost of 100 reais, I think I once asked.

      But I would never do it like that to precisely avoid paying or bad rates. There are ways to overcome that problem of the exchange rate. I would take it out with a bank card from a Citibank account if I was in the other country. So for example if a travel to Europe or USA I could use a Citibank card from a Brazilian branch to simply take out money from an ATM machine. That charges a much better exchange rate, much more convenient than sending money, much cheaper too, the exchange rate spread is almost nothing.

      Another alternative is to buy dollars in Brazil in private transactions. There is a lot of people who travel and come back with money and the don’t like to get screwed with the exchange rate at banks so you buy them directly to other guys that travel.

      Cheers!
      JRV

  6. Spiritoo says:

    Hi

    Interesting article.. do you know if it is possible to open an account in brazilian real online, for a non resident ? having 10% return seems interesting and i do not trust euro anymore.
    You can answer to my email.
    Thanks a lot

    • jrv says:

      Hi Spiritoo,

      I do not think so. It was pretty hard for me to open the account and could only do it once I had the residence. I have heard of people being able to open account as tourists or without residency papers so it might be easier.

      Now rates are lower. The 10% was at the time I wrote the post and depends on the amount. The bigger amount the more rate you get.

      Cheers!
      jrv

  7. Namz says:

    Hi JRV

    Thanks for your post. It was really informative. I have moved to Brazil recently as my wife is completing her studies here. I have managed to open up my bank account and thus would like your advice about a few things.

    I’m new to investing and do not have a lot of savings but i want to begin, maybe R$1000. What is a CDP Recompensa? How does it work? Is the income you receive from the investment pure interest money? Do you have any other suggestions?

    Secondly, I would like to import a few items from overseas, so what is the easiest and cheapest way to transfer money?

    I apologise if you have to repeat anything from your posts, for us beginners it can sometimes be a bit confusing:)

    Thanks for your time and hope to receive some valuable information.

    • jrv says:

      Hi Namz, I hope you enjoy this wonderful country. I do not know the CDP Recompensa. I have heard of the term CDB. Those are are certificates of bank deposits. All banks have them. They use to yield more than 10% when I wrote the article. Now its closer to 7%. You receive interest money but its taxed at around 15% in the lower income brackets I think. It also depends on the amount. If you invest a lot you get better interests.

      At this time I would not invest more than what I have already in Brazil because I do not trust the currency. Therefore I try to stay diversified. You may nominally earn a lot but that can be lost due to inflation and currency devaluation.

      You have to pay a certain fee to bring in money. Usually it is quite high but that depends on the bank. HSBC was not too high. Anyways I find it easier to withdraw money from the ATM machine. In my case I pay nothing to withdraw from Europe and I get the exact exchange rate of the time I withdraw. That is probably the cheapest way but there is a limit of the equivalent of 1200 Reais per day that I can withdraw. If that limit does not bother you then I would suggest you do that.

      Cheers!
      jrv

  8. Don Mosier says:

    I would like to retire. I will have 25 years on my job in April 2013, I have $500,000.00 dollars in my retirement account and would like to move it into a fixed retirement account (that way I do not have to pay any U.S. taxes on such a big withdraw). I live in Miami, Florida, and I believe we have a HSBC Bank here I would like to be paid Bi-Monthly or Monthly on my investment and how much would that be a month in total investing in HSBC in Brazil? The 10% you received on your 50,000 Euro was that a 10% a month or a year? Please respond back. Thank you.

    • jrv says:

      Hi Don, sorry for the late reply. 10% was at the time I opened the account but it changes with time, now it’s less. What matters is the spread between the interest and the currency inflation (Brazilian Real). Usually that spread is quite Okay. It’s paid monthly and the higher the amount the more you get paid. From what I know you have to be a Brazilian resident in order to be able to open a Bank account in Brazil.

      Best wishes on your retirement !
      jrv

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