Obviously, it wasn’t just the R$ 1,520 she mentioned in the ad
Thousands of investors and social network users spent the last few days listening to the story of 22-year-old Bettina, who, in three years, transformed R$ 1,520 into R$ 1.042 million. She appears in a virtual ad by Empiricus, a financial analysis house which presents itself as a financial content website.
Bettina actually exists. Her name is Bettina Rudolph, and she has worked for a year at Empiricus Research as “copywriter”, writing sale campaigns of the company’s reporter. The most recent one – which turned her into an internet celebrity – was made based on her investment portfolio.
But Bettina doesn’t know how much she effectively invested to obtain her first million – obviously, it wasn’t just the R$ 1,520 she mentioned in the ad.
“I don’t know, because it was done on a monthly basis. I never actually stopped to do the math,” she said during her first interview after the “from R$ 1 thousand to R$ 1 million in three years” controversy.
Before that, she had only spoken to websites associated with the group which controls Empiricus.
When someone invests, that person tends to want to find out how much they profited from that investment. In this case, Bettina doesn’t know how much she gained from her investments.
She tells she has been saving around half of her salary every month, as well as almost 100 percent of her bonuses. After those R$ 1,520, she invested the R$ 35 thousand her father had saved for her since she was born.
“Yes, I was privileged, I didn’t have to pay my electricity bills, I didn’t have to pay for school. I would take my entire income and invest it into stocks,” she says.
Since March 2018, when she was hired by Empiricus and moved from Blumenau back to São Paulo, she has been paying for all her expenses, with the exception of her cell phone bills, which are still registered in Santa Catarina.
Bettina says she began to work when she was 15 years old, giving dance lessons. She also moonlighted as a model.
“At the time, I already worked in a thousand things, I’ve always moonlighted. Wherever there was money, I’d go.”
Her entrance into the investment world happened precisely due to the reports made by Empiricus, known for its aggressive marketing.
Some of these ads caused them to be fined and punished by regulating organs, like the one which promised “a strategy to transform R$ 1,500 into more than R$ 227 thousand in a single month.”
Her father was one of Empiricus’ clients, and used to send their reports to Bettina and her brother. One day, she began to read them and got interested in the subject.
At one point she had 98 percent of her wealth invested into stocks – with the exception of a bond and a government security. She says that it might have been reckless, but she does not regret it.
“I got in the stock market at a very good time. If you look at the micro-cap stock graph in 2016, they were being sold for peanuts. Then I began to gain money very quickly, and I fell in love,” she says.
According to her, these stocks tripled their value during that period. As a comparison, from June 2016, when Bettina started, and this Monday (18), the Ibovespa, main stock market index, went up by 104 percent.
The bond, however, she has been carrying until today – with great disappointment, she says.
“I made the mistake of buying a bond which I will only be able to redeem this year. When I invested this money, my father said ‘go for it, that’s a good one’. I didn’t think I was going to be stuck with it,” she says. “I don’t like to take any chances on private credit. My share of fixed income, I want to invest it all only in government bonds, and only run risks in stocks.”
Currently, Bettina’s portfolio is much more diversified.
Half of the million reais she owns are invested in government bonds, with the total amount split evenly between SELIC and IPCA+ (Broad Consumer Price Index) government bonds. Her portfolio also has stocks bought in the past, four stock funds, three ETFs (funds which follow indexes, such as Ibovespa). She also has money invested in real estate and multimarket funds.
In cryptocurrencies, she invested US$ 1,000 in March last year: they lost 60 percent of their value, but she won’t abandon the investment.
The changes she made in her portfolio will make her net assets grow at a slower speed from now on, she admits.
She complains that currently she can’t buy individual stocks, only through funds – an imposition because she works at Empiricus, in order to avoid conflicts of interest. Part of her past investments, however, she has preserved.
“Out of a portfolio of 30-something stocks, I lost money with only one – Technos.” She bought it for little over R$ 4, and sold it for R$ 3. Currently, the stock is being traded at R$ 2.38.
Bettina told the story of her family, acknowledging that yes, she had indeed a privileged upbringing, but not as much as the social media made it look like.
She grew up in São Paulo, living in a large house in Alphaville. When her father lost his job at a multinational, she realized that not making any investments was a problem.
“I saw my father desperate overnight. Not that we ever starved, but I remember the trauma of seeing my father crying.”
In 2012, after he was unable to get a new job, the family moved to Blumenau. He began to work at the company founded by Bettina’s grandfather, which was being managed by her uncle. This is another issue currently being exploited in social media.
“My father owns less than 10 percent of the company,” she says.
The issue was investigated, though, and she explains: her father owns around R$ 500 thousand worth of the company, and a total of R$ 600 thousand in companies – one of those is a holding of the family used for tax planning purposes.
“Not even my father is listed as a millionaire in Google,” she says.
This criticism against Bettina should give Empiricus more visibility. Last Friday (15), the company released a video entitled “Bettina’s answer”, which will be used as a bait for further material from Empiricus.
READ IT IN PORTUGUESE:
Milhares de investidores e usuários de redes sociais passaram os últimos dias ouvindo a história de Bettina, 22, que, em três anos, transformou R$ 1.520 em R$ 1,042 milhão.Ela aparece em um anúncio virtual da Empiricus, casa de análise que se apresenta como site de conteúdo financeiro.