Portugal GV Fund Comparison?

At last I made my decision for the funds. I chose Next Capital and Rock Capital funds and started investment process.

Thanks to all who contributed here. It was very helpful.

1 Like

Anyone here tried investing in Schilling Founders or EQTY Fund?

@joseph.c.lapierre I’m new to this forum and obviously on a time crunch due to the changes in the GV.
Can you clarify, did you open an account with Bison and they helped you choose these funds? Also, if you have a lawyer to recommend that’s helpful too!
Thank you!

Hi all

Been looking into a PGV for only a short time, but if I can park money in a portuguese index fund to get PR or citizenship long term, I’d be happy to do so.

Sounds like there is only one index fund available (IMGA Acoes Portugal) since the other one people were talking about (something with an X) is a US-based fund (even if it invests entirely in Portugal)? Is that where we’re still at or did I miss anything.

If anyone can PM me a lawyer recommendation I’d love to hear it, but I think that’s frowned upon. In which case, how are you all finding lawyers? I’ve emailed a few golden visa firms but they’ve been slow to respond.

Lastly, do we have any concern that investors might get screwed over (eg they invest, then rules are changed before PR or citizenship is granted and that gate is closed?)

Thanks for all the great discussion here

Hi garrett
IMGA has been discussed and i think it would work fine from what I have read. I think the only risk would be if the fund closed or changed in the next 5-7 years you would have to react accordingly.

There are so many lawyers doing these I don’t know that a recommendation means much. But I guess one that is recommended is better than one not recommended.

Lastly, anything is possible. I think if you invest before December 31 you are probably fine. However, there are no certainties in life. Just ask people who applied for GV 2-3 years ago and still don’t have it.

I think the answer is that if you have extra money lying around why not give take a chance if Portugal is somewhere you might want to live or retire.

1 Like

Hello. I am following up on my June 28 and August 13 posts. I received a number of responses and PMs, asking the same questions that have been asked many times here. How did I invest in IMGA? Can I recommend a lawyer? I don’t have time to respond individually. Here’s how I did it, and information about hiring a lawyer.

To get started, I sent an email to Nuno da Rocha Correia at Bison Bank. ncorreia_at_bisonbank_dot_com.

If you are not in Portugal, as far as I can tell, you need a lawyer to open a bank account at Bison Bank or any other bank. I asked Nuno for recommendations for a lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, you might consider using one that Nuno recommends. Please don’t send me a PM asking me for a recommendation for a lawyer. I just told you how to find one. Nuno recommended several lawyers to me.

Opening the bank account involves a fair amount of paperwork and time. It is not hard. It just requires paperwork and time. I repeat. It is not hard, but it requires paperwork and time. When I was done, I had, among other things, online access to my Bison Bank account. Nice.

After the account was open at Bison Bank, I transferred money to it from a US bank account. It was not hard, but it required more paperwork and time. I repeatedly transferred too little money (because I was trying to cut it too close to 350K euro), and had to send more. My own fault. I tried to be patient and kind and appreciative to all involved. I suggest you do the same.

After my funds had arrived, I sent Nuno instructions to invest my funds in IMGA. He sent me a form. It’s pretty easy to fill out. It has one set of boxes that are way too small, as I recall. When I did something wrong, he told me, and I filled it out again. The IMGA form is simpler than the forms that closed-end PE funds sent to me.

Nuno invested my funds, but it took a few days to see the funds in my account online, partly as I recall because it takes time for the confirmation to hit and partly because I did not know where to look. My own fault.

There are fees and taxes. The biggest fee is not paid to Bison Bank or to IMGA. It is paid to your lawyer.
The next biggest is paid to whoever you use to transfer money. (I used Transferwise.) I did pay a 35 euro custody fee to Bison Bank, which I think is a one-time fee, or maybe it’s annual. I don’t know. I think I am paying about 9 euro a month in monthly fees and taxes. I paid a 245 euro statement fee to Bison Bank, which I believe was for the statement that Bison Bank issued to the SEF confirming that I had invested in the IMGA fund.

I paid ZERO subscription fees to IMGA to invest in IMGA. Plus, when I last read the prospectus, there are ZERO redemption fees if I want to take my money out of IMGA. In other words, I can change my mind at any time and get all my money back at any time. That’s very cool. You cannot do that with a closed-end PE fund.

I invested 351K euro in early June. The market value of my investment is now 372K euro. I made 21K euro on paper in about 90 days. How do I know that? Because the market value of a share of IMGA Class R is published daily on Investing.com. I believe it is also published on the Financial Times website. Will that rate of return continue? Unlikely. Do I consider IMGA a better investment than a US index fund? No.

My lawyers submitted my application and my wife’s application to SEF in June and July, respectively. My wife and I were pre-approved by SEF in August.

IMGA appears to me to be a transparent investment, and a liquid investment. It involved little initial or ongoing effort by me, compared to what I faced if I wanted to buy real estate. I can check the value daily online. I can redeem any time I want. For me, it makes pretty good sense.

7 Likes

Thank you very much for the writeups on IMGA and your experience, I’m thinking I’ll do basically what you did.

Thanks!

I am curious about the effect of having a bunch of GV investors pile into a relatively small fund suchas IMGA. I really don’t know that much about this fund and I am considering this fund myself for the future. But really, any investment that gets artificially inflated (in this case people trying to secure last minute GV ) it can create a bubble. Think of it like a US index fund. If people buy the index fund, then the fund manager has to then buy the underlying equities that make up that fund - even if they are inflated in price. I am raising this really for two reasons. One, be careful. And two, I am genuinely curious if anyone has looked into this and make any sort of risk analysis. And in fairness, you could make the same argument about the Portugal real estate market.

3 Likes

Interesting thought. But I think you misunderstand what the IMGA fund is. According to its prospectus, as I recall, and as far as I can tell from looking at is current holdings (its holdings are reported publicly by third-party investment websites such as investing.com), it is an open-ended fund that invests solely or principally in securities that are publicly traded in Portugal. The market cap of the fund is 39M Euro. So, yes, it would only take 100 investors @ 350K euro a head to approximately double the fund size. But IMGA invests in publicly traded securities. According to investing.com, it’s single largest exposure (at 10% of its portfolio) is in Sonae, which is a Portuguese publicly traded conglomerate with a market cap of 1.68 Billion Euro. So, if IMGA’s market cap increased by 35M Euro (i.e., doubled), and IMGA kept the same asset allocation, then IMGA would invest an additional 3.5M Euro in in Sonae. The additional investment in Sonae would be 1/480th of Sonae’s market cap. I am not an economist, but that does not seem likely to me to create a “bubble” in the price of Sonae, unless it all piled in on one day, or some really short time period. For any investment, particularly in an economy with which you are not familiar, you can imagine all sorts of risks. Some are more likely than others. There are probably many that are more likely than a bubble.

1 Like

In fairness, that is really what this thread is about IMO. Evaluating funds, comparing managers, assessing risks, etc. As you probably know, that is the whole point of due diligence is to “imagine” risks. I think your points are valid that some of these companies are large enough that many new investors won’t tip the scales. But at the same time, I did check the investing.com site you mentioned and perused IMGA. It’s second largest holding has as its main business the bleaching of eucalyptus. Not casting judgment on the company but that doesn’t sound like a growth business to me. Honestly, don’t take it the wrong way. If you invested in IMGA you are probably doing well based on the charts. I think you are taking my comments as a personal criticism. It’s not meant to be. I am raising questions and issues as a way to find answers because I simply don’t know.

1 Like

Holy crap! I should have looked past the largest asset allocation. You scared me, so I just looked at the second, and, yes it is described as “a Portugal-based holding company primarily involved in the production of bleached paper pulp from eucalyptus.” I agree that’s weird. But the company has a market cap of 1.1 Billion euros. The concern about a bubble still doesn’t really work. It’s now about whether bleaching eucalyptus is a sound growth business. I have no idea, but, sure, I share your skepticism.

I think you have come closer to the real risk here with IMGA. The real risk is a straightforward investment quality risk. IMGA invests exclusively or primarily in publicly-traded companies listed on the Portuguese stock exchange, and the quality of those companies is naturally lower than that of companies listed on the NYSE or a lot of other big exchanges.

Unfortunately, to apply for the Golden Visa, I have to invest in Portugal. The quality of any investment in Portugal is perhaps lower than the quality of a comparable investment in the US, or the UK for example. I’ve heard that construction quality in Portugal is generally lower than that in the US. That’s a problem with real estate. The quality of the PE funds may be lower. Who knows. I’m starting from the assumption that I am applying for the Golden Visa, which means I am locked into investing in Portugal.

Among the alternatives, I like the idea of investing in Portuguese publicly traded securities. There’s more than 1 Billion Euros of other people’s money invested in each of the two companies we have discussed in this back and forth. Hopefully, some or many of those other people are smarter than I am. I am not investing in a condo in Lisbon, where I may be only one of 8 idiots who bought units in the building (or one of 1, because there are no other idiots who bought in the building at the same price I paid), and where I have obligations that will consume my time like maintenance, taxes, management, etc. And I am not investing in a closed-end PE fund where my money is locked up for 7-10 years, and I will get financial statements that hopefully tell me something about value annually, starting in about 3 or 4 years after the fund has finished it’s investment period, and when I get them they will already be about 3 months out of date.

I agree that the investment quality of IMGA is significantly lower than, for example, a mutual fund in the US that tracks a major index. But, unfortunately, I have to invest in Portugal.

2 Likes

The thing is, you can’t look at market cap, you have to look at float. A company can have a market cap of $1bn but if there’s only 10% floating, then you’re talking $100mm of actual shares, which makes it a lot easier to move. I’ve always hated market cap as a metric. A lot of unicorns have a very small float, which means the tail wags the dog and that valuation is semi-meaningless really; if the other 90% ever actually tried to sell, they’d get nowhere near the current price, and so it’s all a confidence game when they’re doing these all-stock deals. But anyway.

I’m not going to do the analysis to see what the actual float is of the IMGA index, I’m just pointing at it. Most probably 100 investors if they all go in over the course of a year won’t cause too much trouble, but certainly a point influx is likely to matter at least some. However it’s also likely to correct out in time.

Bingo. I’ve written this before up-thread. All your options are risky in one sense or another. If it weren’t then there would be no shortage of capital - especially in this easy-money environment! - and pt.gov wouldn’t need to entice people with a visa. Anyone looking for a no-risk deal needs to look elsewhere, and anyone selling it as no-risk is IMO a fraud. I think it is possible to get really good returns - the upside of a risky environment is that it can be high-return too - just you can’t assume it. (Not that you can really assume it anywhere, you can just convince yourself of it.)

In retrospect I wish I’d known about IMGA, but I probably still would have gone the way I did because in the end I think it’s a reasonable mix of boring-stable and shoot-the-moon.

I will put it this way. If a publicly traded fund such as IMGA crashes to ground. That is a sign of huge economic issue in the country. I can’t even imagine what will happen to the other “advertised” GV funds.

This is an interesting discussion and very worthwhile I think. Circling back to my original point. I never feared that IMGA would destruct and become worthless. My original query really was focused on the issue of whether a bunch of GV investors piling in all at once might push the price up 10-15% for a fund with limited growth prospects. (Not saying that is the case, just a hypothesis). Ultimately, my point was to question are we paying 10-15% too much for this fund? It’s rhetorical at this point. And if you look back, I acknowledged the same may be true in for real estate in general.

At least my motivation in investing in IMGA was protecting the downside and liquidity it provides. I am not expecting any meaningful returns from IMGA. If it appreciates I will take that as a bonus.

Why IMGA with 2% fees if you can get

BPI Portugal - Fundo de Investimento Aberto de Ações
PTYPIGLM0000:EUR

with 1,1% and almost the same allocation?

1 Like

That is a great question. If I had not been an US resident subject to FATCA/PFIC I would have definitely gone with BPI Portugal. From our initial conversation with BPI they were not FATCA/PFIC friendly. That is an excellent fund for non-US person.

Does anyone know what the situation would be if you invest in an open ended fund (eg IMGA/BPI) which closes down three years later. Do you have any kind of grace period to reinvest in something else qualifying, or are you back to square one?

Also for all of those who invest in PF\VC - make sure you read and understand all the charges
Recently I read ECS fund docs. That’s funny to notice they have Class A shares , total amount 50 shares, minimum amount to buy - 50 shares (already funny, just a one lucky guy ) and class A shares are entitled to get 35% of profits of the fund.