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The next richest man in the world is Brazilian

June 17, 2010
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I’m dashing off to the airport this afternoon to catch my flight to Europe… but I wanted to leave you with a few final notes about Brazil.

First, to properly set your expectations, Brazil is not poor– it’s not some third world country where everyone is grateful that foreigners have arrived to sprinkle their pocket change. A typical university graduate in Brazil, for instance, can expect to make $1,500 to $2,000 per month starting off, net of taxes.

Second, along the same lines, Brazil is not as cheap as one might expect. In fact, in many respects (retail sales, restaurants) it can be damn expensive.  I expect that there may be a downward correction in the currency (real) to offset this, but it will be short-lived as Brazil’s vast resources will always be in demand.

Third, to give you an idea of exactly how much incredible resource wealth Brazil controls, take a look this interview with Eike Batista. Batista is a Rio native whose vast oil holdings will undoubtedly make him the world’s richest man by the end of the decade by an enormous margin.

In the interview, Batista is thoughtful and well-spoken about the massive transition that Brazil has undergone since its days as a fledgling banana republic.

It’s worth watching because I think it gives a strong sense of the country’s mentality: Brazil is culturally self-contained. There is no obsession with the US economy, American movies, French fashion, German bonds, Saudi oil, or US/European politics.

With a nation of over 200 million, they have their own culture, music, movies, brands, wealth, and resources; as such, there is no deference given to the old economies of western dominance… and this level of confidence is highly unusual, even in China.

Check out the interview so that you understand what I mean… and with that, I have to run. We’ll talk again tomorrow when I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Brad

    Having lived in Brazil, I would agree that they are in many respects culturally self-contained, but make no mistake — they love American Pop Culture including music, TV, films, etc., as evidenced by the predominance of US-produced major motion pictures in their cinemas, the presence of Fox and other US-based TV programming on their cable networks and the sold-out concerts and CD sales/downloads of American recording artists. They also like many of our brands per accessories and fashion. That said, they don’t give a rat’s ass about American Football and revel in Brazilian Football… soccer… the world cup. P.S. Sorry you didn’t spend some time in Floripa Simon… maybe next trip?

  • Angelbr

    I’m Brazilian and trust me, his fortune increased 1000% or more while his dad was a minister of energy. Dispicable corruption!

  • Dan

    Floripa is the place to be in Brazil. Yet people say Brazil is so rich, go to Rio and you will find an extreme amount of people asking for money. The gap between the rich and poor is way too far apart. Also I took a trip from Floripa to Porto Alegre by rental car and i am sorry to say that i felt like i was in a third world country traveling on those awful roads. In America you will never find highways like that.

  • Albertlingbr

    hahah Dan, what did you expect? you “felt like you were in a third world country?” Brazil is third world.

    Eike won his money thu government connections, nuff said.

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