Despite the fact that the profitability of the Collective Investment Funds (FIC) this year is in double digits due to the situation of high interest rates, andn Colombia, only 5 percent of its population has one of these options, well below the 40 percent of countries like the United States or Brazil.
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Mauricio Wandurraga, Chairman of Fiduciaria BBVAHe spoke of the opportunities offered to people with one foot by this investment mechanism, about which little is known, a debt that the financial sector has with Colombians who need these options to forge savings thinking about their future.
Is this a good year to invest?
2022 was not very good, but this year we are seeing the opposite, with great expectations for the Collective Investment Funds (CIF) and the capital market in general. There is a tremendous opportunity in short, medium and long-term fixed income, with double-digit returns. In variable income there will also be the same, although not with the same dynamics, a bit due to the deterioration that companies are going to suffer due to the current situation. One of the most important investment criteria is diversification, which is why we always recommend taking a long cross position in fixed income and a shorter one in variable income assets, whether in national or foreign stocks.
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What signals do the figures send in this regard?
With high inflation we are also seeing spectacular interest rates for investing and saving and that has been reflected in the industry. We have grown 20 percent in managed assets quarterly, we closed the first quarter with close to 6.5 trillion pesos in FIC, there is great appetite to be within these vehicles where we have close to 96,000 clients. But in addition, this has made the business as such grow quite well, the income alone from administration commissions of the resources of these funds have grown more than 33 percent annually at the end of March, in the structured trust, which is close to 50 percent of revenue, profit grows 70 percent.
How much do people invest in those there?
Our industry is indebted to the country for adequately promoting what corresponds to a vehicle of this nature and that is reflected in the numbers. Of the total Colombian population, only 5 percent have an investment there, but when one looks at countries like Chile or Mexico, that participation exceeds double digits and if we go further (United States, Brazil) we speak of 40 percent. . I believe that there is a very important task of financial education from the sector so that the funds are much better known, because the funds play a very important role because ordinary people do not have the ease or access to the capital markets that It does provide them with the community of FICs, with which they can even access international markets in a simple and easy way at the hands of expert people who do the analyzes to achieve the best returns on their resources.
How to make them understand, then, the benefits of the FIC?
We distributed to our clients returns of the order of 900,000 million pesos in January, 80 percent more than what we gave in 2022. This is to tell you that part of the work to be done as an industry is to teach people to lose their fear of investing in these vehicles when there is volatility. At any time there can be one that makes us nervous and that doesn’t let them see the opportunities that those moments bring. I think the most important point has to do with the financial education that we have to provide to the ordinary person, the small investor, to show the virtues of these vehicles from the point of view of liquidity, terms, formation of capital, that they understand them and take advantage of them in the long term for their present and future savings, regardless of their income level, because that will be their future, that is what the FICs are for.
In general terms, how is the local capital market?
The recent call made by the financial superintendent to further support the capital market is very important because institutional investors play a key role there, since the resources managed by, for example, the FICs, pension funds and insurers , they are part of the transformation of the country’s economy, they are invested in infrastructure projects, since we buy debt, bonds of many projects, for this reason the call is very appropriate for us to keep these resources in the capital market.
What do the FICs do to further diversify investments, precisely for ordinary people?
In our case, we have very strong product units and strategies both locally and globally. To date, we have released 12 FICs that are very easily accessible, even through cell phones, six Colombian fixed-income funds that differ by the duration of the portfolio, because the longer-term investments they have, they have better returns. They are sight funds and to these we have added other funds with greater exposure to risk, they are moderate, balanced funds (fixed and variable income) and we have added three more from a new family of variable and fixed income abroad, they are funds of funds that allow further diversification of risk and protect the investor against the volatility of the different instruments.
But also, they assure the person that they have an administration based on currencies, sectors, size, industries, which is very positive. We are working on a new catalog hand in hand with the global units to apply in Colombia mechanisms that have been very successful in Mexico. We will soon launch a new functionality so that any client in the financial sector that is not from BBVA can easily access this catalog of investments. It is an application (open inverter) with a very low management fee, less than 1 percent, maybe 0.7 percent per year with very attractive products.
ECONOMY AND BUSINESS