Brokers in the USA serve Brazilians; see how to invest abroad – 04/04/2021 – Market

Investing in assets abroad is one of the alternatives for those who wish to diversify their portfolios in a scenario of low interest rates, political instability and fiscal risk in Brazil.

“These are movements that happen especially when people are suspicious of the currency and see the options limited here. The pessimism in Brazil today is very great ”, says Ruy Alves, Kinea’s manager.

“The American market started to become very attractive to people and increased the flow of Brazilians with small contributions,” says Fabrizio Velloni, chief economist at Frente Corretora.

For him, the advantages of the American variable income market are a greater number of products and greater maturity.

See below for options to invest outside of Brazil.

What are the options for indirect investments abroad?

A simple option for those just starting out is indirect investments, such as BDR (depositary receipt for shares, in the acronym in English), traded on the Brazilian Stock Exchange in the same way as shares. It allows you to invest in shares listed in other countries through a receipt issued by a bank. In addition to the daily variation of the corresponding paper abroad, the BDR reflects the exchange rate fluctuation.

In this operation, banks are left with about 3% to 5% of the dividend that comes from abroad. In addition, 30% of the dividend is withheld at source by the American government.

BDRs are subject to the same stock taxation of 15% of profit – or 20% in the case of day trade (buy and sell on the same day), and can be used with other investor assets to offset losses and gains on the Exchange on a monthly basis .

For the payment of dividends, there is a progressive rate of 7.5% to 27.5% for amounts above R $ 1,903.98 per month.

In the USA, after calculating the conversion of dollars into reais according to the exchange rate on the days of the sale of the assets – in this case, the purchase dollar disclosed by the Central Bank -, monthly sales of up to R $ 35 thousand are exempt.

Another difference is that dividends collected directly in the USA cannot be used to offset losses from gains. In other words, tax is paid on the eventual gain from a share even if there is a loss of another share sold in the month. The gain is subject to the progressive IR table, which may reach 22.5%. Up to R $ 5 million, the incidence is 15%. In the case of BDR, the tax is fixed at 15%.

In addition, BDR is less traded than the original foreign shares, having less liquidity, which can lead to distortions in trading prices. For example, those who want to buy a BDR may agree to pay less than the amount desired by the seller, who can accept the smaller offer or go without the deal, since there is not much demand.

As the BDR is a receipt issued by a bank backed by a share, the original role of the foreign company does not go to the name of the BDR buyer in Brazil, as it will already be in the name of the bank that issued the BDR.

The ETF, on the other hand, gives the possibility to invest indirectly in a foreign stock index, such as the American S&P 500. There are ETFs in Brazil that replicate the market in other regions, such as China and Europe.

To invest directly, do I need to open an account with a foreign broker?

Yes. To open an account with a foreign brokerage firm over the internet, a passport or identity document and proof of residence are required. Some institutions ask for a copy of the Income Tax. For high-income customers in the private segment of large Brazilian banks, the account can be opened in the foreign arm of the institution.

With the account open, it is necessary to send the funds out of the country, usually in dollars, with an incidence of the IOF (Tax on Financial Operations) of 0.38% per remittance.

The investments must be reported to the Federal Revenue on a quarterly basis and, when there is a gain, the amounts are taxed here in Brazil, according to the same table as the Income Tax for investments in Brazil.

If the sum of assets outside of Brazil on the last day of the year exceeds US $ 1 million, investments must also be reported to the Central Bank, according to the calendar for declarations of capital abroad.

The investor also needs to pay attention to the inheritance tax, which, in investments in American shares that add up to more than US $ 60 thousand, reaches 40% in some American states, while in Brazil, it goes up to a maximum of 8%, depending on the state.

What are the costs and fees?

Each brokerage abroad also has a fixed cost per transaction and there may be a cost for maintaining the account. Not all, however, accept as non-US customers, as is the case with the popular Robinhood.

Among those accepting Brazilians are the traditional Charles Schwab, DriveWealth, Passfolio, Interactive Brokers, Just2Trade, Ameritrade and Avenue – this one, aimed at Brazilians, requires fewer documents and helps the client to declare assets abroad Income Tax.

For Roberto Agi, CFP financial planner for Planos, it is necessary to look beyond the costs to choose a broker. “If you have a problem, who are you going to talk to? What is the service? What is included? ”, He says.

Charles Schwab

  • For foreigners to open an account, it is necessary to deposit at least US $ 25 thousand;
  • There is no commission charge or brokerage fee when trading shares, unless the investor needs the help of an operator. In this case, there is a charge of US $ 25 per operation;
  • It has no Portuguese version.


  • One-time additional fee of $ 5 for foreigners;
  • $ 0.0125 per share fee, with a minimum of $ 2.99 per transaction;
  • For fractional shares (traded in smaller parts), the broker charges $ 0.99 per transaction;
  • You have a Portuguese version of your website.


  • $ 0.02 fee for trading stocks, ETFs, FIIs (real estate investment funds) and ADRs (depositary receipts for foreign shares traded in the U.S.) per asset, if it is priced below $ 5. If it is more expensive, the rate is zero;
  • You have a Portuguese version of your website.

Interactive Brokers

  • Fee of US $ 0.005 per share, with a minimum of US $ 1 per operation and a maximum of 1% of the value of the operation;
  • If the investor chooses to use the broker’s simplified service, IBKR Lite, the purchase and sale of shares and ETFs listed in the USA is free of charge;
  • There is no option in Portuguese.


  • The simplest version has a zero commission rate;
  • The brokerage fee varies depending on the asset and the country in which it is traded. For American stocks, the cost is $ 0.006 per paper, with a minimum of $ 1.5;
  • There is no option in Portuguese.


  • For the purchase and sale of American shares, ETFs and options, no fee is charged.
  • For options, there is a fee of $ 0.65 per contract;
  • There is no option in Portuguese.


  • Broker in the USA aimed at Brazilians. The site is in Portuguese and fewer documents are requested.
  • Two plans are offered: premium and zero.
  • Zero is free in up to ten transactions per month. Then, they follow the same price as the premium, which varies according to the value of the transaction;
  • The premium has fixed brokerage: up to US $ 100.00, if you pay US $ 1.00; between $ 101.01 and $ 1,000.00, $ 1.50; between US $ 1,000.01 and US $ 2,000.00, US $ 4.30 and for operations above US $ 2,000.00, US $ 8.60;
  • Assists the client when declaring the assets abroad in the Income Tax.

To see other brokerage options with SEC authorization (the U.S. CVM), visit:

What are the options for direct investment abroad?

With the account open, it’s time to choose the asset. For that, it is necessary to understand its nature, risks and sector. If the investor does not have the knowledge and ability to monitor the market closely, experts recommend investing in funds.

According to Agi, of Planar, the operating costs of investing in Brazil and the USA are similar, so the decision should not be made with this criterion in mind. Buying shares in the USA is more subject to the performance of the American economy. In addition, there is exposure to the dollar, another risky asset.

“Don’t speculate by sending money abroad, just send it to diversify with a focus on the long term,” he says

Alves, from Kinea, considers the possibility of investing in sectors that are not represented on the Brazilian stock exchange, such as big techs, as the main attraction of foreign assets. “There are costs for individuals to take and bring money from outside. It is not trivial, it needs planning. ”

There are countless possibilities for investing abroad. The main and most attractive ones are: stocks, ADRs, ETFs, investment funds (in stocks, real estate, multimarket), bonds (debt securities such as debentures) and Treasuries (US Treasury bonds).

In the funds, specialized managers make the choice of roles for the investor, following the market daily and substituting positions to increase profit, with the cost of a management fee.

Is it worth it to open an offshore?

For the high-income public, the creation of an offshore can be an alternative in reducing costs with taxes and with the exchange rate.

According to specialists, with an amount abroad above US $ 300 thousand (R $ 1.6 million) it is already advantageous to open an offshore (company open abroad), which has annual costs of, on average, US $ 2 thousand in fees and $ 3,000 in accounting.

The preference is generally for countries with less taxation, such as Panama, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

With an offshore, no income tax is paid on dividends received from investments or profit on the sale of shares, for example, at the time of realizing this gain. It is also not necessary to bear exchange rates for each transaction, as the offshore account can be in several currencies, such as the dollar and the euro.

Tax is only incurred when the company’s partner transfers or withdraws the money from the offshore to his current checking account, whether in Brazil or in any other country. The IR rate of 15% to 22.5% of capital gain is charged on the positive exchange rate variation. If the withdrawal is made as a profit distribution, there is an incidence of income tax rate of 27.5% (lion meat).

To open the company, it is necessary to look for a law firm or companies specialized in this service.

Opening an offshore is not illegal, as long as it is done in accordance with the laws of Brazil and the country in which the company is based.

It is also necessary to report to the Federal Revenue Service and pay the taxes due.

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