Why does Brazil have so few retail investors?

Lack of savings, a concentrated banking sector and low levels of financial knowledge dissuade Brazilian investors from putting money into the stock market.

Financial markets are already calling 2019 “the year of stocks in Brazil.” So far, the Bovespa benchmark index is just short of a historical peak of 100,000 base points, while interest rates at all-time low levels give very little return for fixed-income investors. But will this scenario be enough to make Brazilians finally lose their fear of riskier investments?

Judging by 2018’s performance, optimism is growing. Not only did Ibovespa gain 15 percent over the year, making it the best performer in Latin American markets,...

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