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44% of young people rely on social media to invest


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Fueled by a multitude of information sources that come through social networks and digital influencers, Brazilian teenagers have started their own financial culture from an early age.

A Datafolha survey commissioned by C6 Bank, which interviewed around 950 Brazilian teenagers between October 18 and 25, showed that around 70% of them have the habit of saving some money.

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There are differences, however, according to income bracket. In classes A and B, the percentage of young people who are used to saving money is 81%. The index drops to 73% in class C and to 51% in class D and E.

Having money in case of something unforeseen and investing with the objective of achieving a monthly income were the main alternatives mentioned as the reason to reserve savings.

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The survey data also reveals that almost half –about 44% of respondents– usually seek financial information on social media on how to better deal with money and investments.

“Young people are on social media and today they have many more sources of information available to them than they did years ago, both for the good and the bad,” says Liao Yu Chieh, professor at Insper and director of financial education at C6 Bank .

According to Chieh, an information considered worrying highlighted by the survey is that approximately 64% of teenagers said they believe it is possible to earn a lot of money in a short time, making investments on their own based only on internet tips.

27% of the participants fully agreed with the statement, and 37% partially agreed. “That’s not true and it’s a hotspot that young people need to be careful about.”

The survey results also show that specialized news portals and newspaper and magazine websites were mentioned by only 26% of the total of participants, among the sources of information they usually access on the subject.

Among the digital influencers who dialogue with the young public interested in the investment universe, there are teenagers who started taking their first steps in the market at an early age.

This is the case of 14-year-old young investor Mateus Gusmão. He says he started investing at the age of 11, influenced by internet advertisements about investments by companies in the market.

The first investments, in mid-2019, were in real estate fund shares, due to the lower volatility of assets compared to stocks and greater familiarity with sector assets, such as shopping centers.

After having gained some familiarity with the topic, the young man says that he also started investing in a diversified portfolio of shares, which today has names such as Fleury, BTG Pactual and Carrefour.

He already invests abroad, in this case through ETFs (funds that replicate large market indices) that follow the S&P 500 global stock index and American real estate funds.

“Having patience is essential to be successful with investments in the market, as well as understanding the business of the company in which you are investing”, says Gusmão, who is classified as a “value investor”, a philosophy enshrined by the mega-investor American Warren Buffett, who defends investment in quality businesses at attractive prices from a long-term perspective.

“I really like the accounting part, I analyze the income statements, the cash flow, I look a lot at the companies’ numbers to assess whether they are financially healthy”, says Felipe Molero, a 13-year-old digital influencer known on the networks as Kid Investor.

The child investor says that interest in the subject of finance first emerged about three years ago, when he started researching people with the greatest wealth accumulated globally, after having seen images of large mansions on Instagram.

“Seeing such extravagant things had a very big impact on me. I wondered how these people got so much money to buy houses of that type. And I realized that many of them were entrepreneurs and also invested in the stock exchange,” says Molero, who cites stocks from the stock exchange. Brazilian, B3, in addition to Itaúsa and Taesa, among the preferred stocks in the portfolio.

In line with the results indicated by the survey, both Gusmão and Molero say that the investment is aimed at building a financial reserve that will bring them some comfort later on. “I don’t aim to get rich based on investments, because I understand that what gets rich is work,” says Molero, who works with financial education content for young people of his age interested in the topic.

He says that when he became interested in finance and investments, he found little information available that had a more friendly language for the novice audience, which is the one that most accesses the contents published by the influencer.

The cases of the two young people are, however, an exception. Data from the survey by Datafolha and C6 Bank indicate that, in general, the level of information of Brazilian teenagers on financial issues is still low — most of them do not have any knowledge about how private pension works (75%), the check special (73%) and the Stock Exchange (68%).

In any case, despite their young age, Chieh, from Insper and C6, says that a positive highlight that can be deduced from the study is that 83% of respondents answered that they question whether they really need a certain product before make the purchase.

Among the situations that teenagers said it would be more worthwhile to make a debt to pay in the future, in classes A and B, traveling abroad to study led, with 54% of the responses.

Among young people from classes C, D and E, setting up or investing in their own business is the main reason that would lead them to assume some type of debt.

A digital influencer with wide access to young people from the periphery, Murilo Duarte, known as Favelado Investidor, says that a very common goal that he often hears from his base of followers is to make use of investments in order to have a better life and fulfill the dream of buy a house of her own for her mother.

“For me, interest in the financial market came when I realized that it was one of the ways I could get out of poverty in the long run,” says Favelado Investidor.

With around 560,000 followers on Instagram and another 330,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, he says he started investing in government bonds in mid-2015 through Tesouro Direto, after saving for a few months what was left of his salary. as an assistant in a registry office in downtown São Paulo.

“The pandemic made even more clear the importance of taking care of money, and, in the case of young people, even the issue of achieving some financial independence in relation to their parents”, says Duarte.


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