After two years of accelerated consolidation in the investment platform market in Brazil, the sector turned to the United States. But why did financial institutions start a race to offer customers direct investment options outside the country, at a time when the interest rate made fixed income super attractive?
The quick answer is that the movement started some time ago, but it only became quite evident with the purchase of Avenue, a Brazilian brokerage based in Miami, by Itaú Unibanco. it was his biggest move since the acquisition of half of XP, from Guilherme Benchimol, five years ago – but whose divorce came more recently.
In fact, even if the interest rate scenario takes the investor’s impetus from taking risks on the Stock Exchange, the view of analysts is that an allocation of part of the reserve outside the country and in dollars will be more and more necessary, due to diversification of investments, which helps protect assets.
On the side of banks and platforms, providing direct access to assets in the US is seen as a key point for a new cycle of growth in the sector, something that could already begin with the beginning of the fall in interest rates, expected to start in mid-2023, say experts. .
Itaú’s step was the most important in this direction, but not the first. Before, BTG Pactual, XP and Inter were already positioning themselves through partnerships. C6 also started to offer the same facility, including access to funds from foreign houses. Bradesco, on the other hand, took advantage of the structure of BAC Florida Bank, an acquisition made in 2019, to launch US Invest, a direct investment shelf in the United States also offered to individuals who have an account at the brokerage Ágora.
With this, with a few clicks on the mobile application, even the investor with little money can now invest. With the dollar appreciated, the share price can be salty in reais. Considering the currency conversion, each share of the giant Amazon, for example, costs around R$ 700.
According to Bruno Diniz, an expert in the sector and partner at consultancy Spiralem, new agreements are expected so that other platforms can couple direct investments to clients. “Direct investment was previously something inaccessible to most individual investors. Today, the high interest rate scenario is pushing investors towards fixed income, but one path is portfolio dollarization and diversification,” he says. For him, this will be the new battleground where the investment market will fight.
Professor at FGV, Henrique Castro says that, in addition to the greater number of investment options in the US, another advantage when accessing markets in other countries is investing in economies considered more stable than the Brazilian one: “To achieve a diversified portfolio, it is important to think about allocation in assets abroad.” He recalls that investors, however, need to be aware of exchange rate fluctuations, which will affect profitability.
The new step of investment platforms was possible after a change in regulation in Brazil, which gave access to investments abroad also to small investors. Before, the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), in order to protect this group, placed barriers to investments in assets outside Brazil, making them available only to large investors. This ruler, previously high, no longer exists, with the reading that diversification is also beneficial to the small.
Responsible for Banco Inter’s investment platform, Felipe Bottino says that allocating abroad, with exchange variation, is a necessity for all clients. For those with a conservative profile, the suggestion has been to maintain an exposure of 5% of the portfolio.
At Warren, direct access to US exchanges for all customers will take place starting in September, through a partnership with a local company. The platform expects to raise $1 billion, with 100,000 new customers in three years.
(With Estadão Content)
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