Ask me anything: I invested in IMGA around 1.75 years back. Backed out of GV

This is my way of giving back. I invested in GV, backed out, rode the Portugal golden visa roller coaster for the past 2 years. If you are new or have some questions, ask me anything. I’ll try to answer the best for the next week or so, without going into personal details about me

Some details about me
Investment: IMGA
Invested in oct-21
pre approved - Feb 22
Biometrics - March 23 Coimbra
quit - July 23

Wait all this drama after an imga investment and you got to biometrics at a non Lisbon office?

Why did you give up so close to your first card?

I wanted stability. But I’ve seen anything but stability with Golden Visa.

  • Long wait times
  • unreachable immigration department
  • government making law without considering people who invested their money and what they have lost while waiting in line
  • Law not being clear, possible retroactive changes now and or future
  • Keeping an eye on portugal economy
  • Keeping an eye on Bisonbank performance
  • Constantly looking at nomad gate

I didn’t want 5+ more years of this in my life.

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Now what do you do for a second residency ?

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Truly, the worst. Completely understand

What are you worried about with Bison?

Possibly Canada startup visa

I’ve dealt with Eurobic and Bison and Bison seems to be the most nimblest. Here are my worries with Bisonbank.

IMGA-R shares
Bisonbank issues IMGA-R shares, not the regular IMGA shares you see in open market. I’m assuming that bison bank buys the shares on your behalf and keeps it in its books. See answers from Jeff Bison bank stipulations and concerns - #2 by jb4422.
Maybe for finance savvy persons it might not be a big risk. I’ve dealt with investments in India and USA. India seems to be best when it comes to safeguarding investments - all investments are held by government ledgers and not brokerages. If a brokerage goes down, you still have your investments. It’s clear cut.

In USA govt regulates the brokerages, but there is a possibility that a brokerage might mix your assets with their asset. In the event the brokerage fails, your investment might go down with it. But at least there is SIPC when this situation happens. This is what I refer to as institutional risk.

I don’t know what is the exact mechanism in Portugal. That is a big hole in my knowledge. In US when Silicon Valley Bank and other banks failed, the govt intervened and make sure that depositors didn’t lose money. But based on recent actions by Portugal govt, I don’t think they would be willing to step in and save investors. There is an anti investor sentiment with Portugal govt and public.

IMGA redemption halt
IMGA has some stipulation that if multiple people start redeeming, they would just not honor the redemption request. I don’t remember the number, but if p**p hits the fan, it’s not as robust as real estate option. Hence my opinion that real estate is the best option. With real estate no one can stop you from selling.

I agree that redemption would restart later, but I’m sure the market price is going to be low.

Single point of Failure (Found only after initiating redemption)
Nuno seems to be the single point of failure for IMGA. I commend Nuno for stepping and helping us, but there seems to be clear lack of systems in place. E.g when I asked to update my address, I get answers from the customer care. But when I ask how to redeem, they go silent.

When I make a request to move money, I don’t get an acknowledgement from the bank with details of my request. It’s only, “a request is registered”. In future I wouldn’t be able to contest the details of my request (acc no, amount, date etc). This is fine as long as everything is working fine, but can go horribly wrong.

When one of my money movement request didn’t go through, I couldn’t call anyone to get an answer. Emails go unanswered, secured messages go unanswered. I called someone in Bison bank and he said, we will continue the conversation with info@bisonbank, but once I sent email, nothing happened.

I deliberately waited till the last moment to reach out to Nuno for help. None of the banks I’ve dealt with earlier in India or US had this problem. I don’t have a single person to get everything done with the bank. I call the bank, there is a process, someone takes care of it.

If p**p hits the fan, this will make all investors life miserable.

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I can’t speak for institutional issues with Bison (I’m with BPI, who’ve been very efficient, but of course I haven’t tried to redeem).

But I would be reasonably comfortable with the ability of IMGA Portugal to meet redemptions, in terms of its portfolio liquidity. The fund is €143m in total, and holds no more than 1.1% of the issued shares of any of the companies in its portfolio (average about 0.4%). If the entire fund had to be liquidated, and they sold a reasonably leisurely 20% of market volume, in a couple of weeks they would have cashed out 71% of their assets. That’s the reason for the redemption halt, or gate - to give them a bit of time to avoid a fire-sale of assets in a crisis, and it’s pretty common in funds like this. In practice, a full liquidation is obviously a worst-case-scenario: in most realistic scenarios the proportion of the fund being redeemed would be much lower, and they’d be unlikely ever to need the gate.

That’s one of the main reasons I went down the equity fund route - it offered me an exit route if things didn’t work out, without having to sell something like an apartment or a VC fund and possibly taking a significant loss.


Yeah I’m not particularly afraid of IMGA not having the funds. That’s the whole idea - if everything’s in the shitter market-wise, of course you’re in trouble, but not because of IMGA

You did what suits you better, that’s something commendable. Some points you have mentioned about your bank is something relatable to anything you do in Portugal. Getting ghosted by the banks, vendors, service providers, contractors and even healthcare center’s are a way of life here (Learnt that in a hard way).

However, the redemption halt you have mentioned is kinda circuit breaker which is allowed by the regulators to protect the stakeholder interests. Any investment which isn’t Gold comes with a varied risk profile. The investor protection is on the extreme side in Portugal with an iron fist rules and oversight, thus the returns are quite low compared with the global counterparts. In the US you only get a maximum of 250K protection on the bank deposits only and when it comes to investments it is absolutely zero.

Good luck with your Canadian dream, I am happy to leave Vancouver for good… Never stepping back there again


Doing biometrics then bailing makes me think of some song lyrics:

“Why swim the channel just to get this far?
Halfway there, why would you turn around?”

But you do you, op. I hope it works out for you.

@ravi if you are interested in actually living in Portugal full time you could still look into the D7/D8 visas. They are treated much better than GV applicants. The only downside is you’re required to live in PT majority of the time (although you can ask SEF for exemption for compelling reasons).

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So you did not like living in the “5th most liveable city in the world”?
How could you… :laughing:


Gotta love those self-congratulating “best city” ratings…

P.S. I have never lived in Vancouver, but I have been there… I can confirm it is definitely a city :grin:

This is normal. There are generally multiple classes of shares of mutual funds, depending on the exact mechanism by which they are purchased. Generally it has to do with load and commission - basically, whether someone’s getting paid some squeeze on the deal or not. There are rarely if ever any actual meaningful differences. At the end of they day they are still just shares of the fund. for example has all the various classes of shares of funds, or at least many - if you look up amfunds europacific, you’ll see like 5 different share classes all of the same fund, with slightly different prices. Just market mechanics.

I’d say you did the right thing for you, certainly. Those are definitely important factors.

There are a lot of options in the world if you can marshal some cash and are willing to make big leaps. Portugal isn’t the only one. Good luck finding an option that works for you.

What are the other options at this low price level?

For a visa that leads to citizenship and has very low time-in-country requirements, AND is in the EU, I am unaware of any.

Argentina and Costa Rica are both pretty great for moving to though, if you can work remotely.

Poor Argentinians :frowning: At least their immigration policy is fantastic

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Thanks for posting your thoughts on this.

I, too, decided to ditch the Portugal GV. Good to know I’m not alone!

Totally agree that the banks in Portugal are a complete nightmare to deal with. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen - inclusive of a few developing countries.

Once I get my money back I look forward to never stepping foot in Portugal again. What a mess this whole endeavor has turned out to be…

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Second to @garrett, I’d say in the EU there are none other like PT GV, among the ones on the surface that is…
I appreciate the OP may think of Canada as an alternative, but with all due respect, Canada is nowhere near EU.
It may work as an escape hatch if someone needs one though.

I’m actually not familiar with Canadian immigration programs, what do they have?

Definitely not as good as an EU passport