Is it worth investing, even in red?

The total number of active investors in Treasury Direct reached a record in May. Despite the enthusiasm of those who have the money to invest, this type of investment did not pay off well in the first half of this year.

Even so, according to experts interviewed by the UOL, it is worth buying government bonds, mainly because of rising inflation and interest rates. See what modalities exist and if there is a risk of losing money.

What is Direct Treasure? Created by the National Treasury (responsible for public debt management) in 2002, Tesouro Direto is an investment program that works in partnership with the Stock Exchange (B3). It allows individuals to buy federal government bonds, that is, the investor “lends” money to the government and is remunerated with interest on the day of maturity.

How many people invest in the Treasury? The total number of registered investors (not necessarily still holding the applications) was 18,953,067 — an increase of 72.4% in the last 12 months. The total number of active investors (with a balance in investments) reached 1,974,879, that is, an increase of 29.5% in the last 12 months, according to the most recent balance sheet released by the Treasury Direct website, referring to May.

Why are so many people looking for this investment? Investors are seeing that a safe asset such as government bonds is yielding well and is feeling more comfortable investing, says Maria Cândida Naegele, partner at HCI Invest. This is because, with rising inflation and interest rates, people are looking for assets with good yields, but at the same time, safe. According to the specialist, both investors who were in savings and those who opted for other investments with greater risk began to migrate to Treasury Direct.

coming out of savings The advancement of financial education has also weighed on the decision-making of investors, who have been looking for more advantageous assets than savings, according to Caio Tonet, founding partner and head of Variable Income at W1 Capital.

Rodrigo Santin, CIO of Legend, says that the growing number of new investors in Treasury Direct happens at the same time that savings have registered successive redemptions. This is explained, according to the specialist, by the difference in the expectation of remuneration: the savings account is paying 0.5% per month + TR (which equals approximately 8.8% pa net of tax). The Treasury Selic, the main competitor of savings, is remunerating above 13% pa, which gives approximately 11% pa, already deducted from costs and 15% of Income Tax (IR) on income.

What are the title options? Treasury Direct offers investors three types of securities. In the Treasury Selic, the remuneration is set daily and is close to the basic interest rate defined by the Central Bank (BC). It is the most comparable to savings, it has the smallest price fluctuation over the days, the mark-to-market, and it has been showing increasing profitability since March last year, when the BC started raising interest rates, he says.

The fixed-rate Treasury remuneration is fixed at the time of the operation – the investor knows, before closing the operation, how much he will receive if he carries the security to maturity. In the case of the IPCA Treasury, part of the remuneration is fixed in advance, and another part is adjusted for inflation for the period (real interest, above inflation, is known when the investment is held until its maturity).

That’s why interest in the Treasury is increasing. Both inflation (the Broad National Consumer Price Index, IPCA, accumulated at 11.89% in 12 months) and the basic interest rate (Selic, at 13.25% per year) are high.

Is there a risk of losing money? Investors can redeem the security at any time, but only at maturity will they pocket the yield contracted at the time of purchase. Anyone who decides to trade the security before maturity is subject to mark-to-market, that is, the price variation of a fixed income asset or investment fund quota available for purchase or sale.

Savvy investors trade their Treasuries before maturity with the aim of trying to earn a higher-than-expected return upon maturity. “That is, they use mark-to-market in their favor, but this strategy is not recommended for those who are starting in this asset”, says the head of variable income at W1 Capital.

When should I sell? It is very important to have a long-term view and wait for the best time to sell the investment. Treasury Direct offers the lowest risk in the market, but if you don’t have calm and long-term vision, investors can sell at a loss, declares the partner at HCI Invest.

The best way to manage this risk is to allocate to Fixed-rate Treasury and Inflation-linked Treasury only that money that will not be used before the maturity of each security, says the CEO of Legend

What changes the value of the title? In addition to the increase in the basic interest rate and inflation, doubts about the direction of the government’s fiscal policy and the external scenario may influence the appreciation or fall of prices, as seen in the first half of the year. Many Treasury bonds fell. This was the case of the IPCA+2045 Treasury, which shrank 9.67%, the IPCA+2035 Treasury (-2.21%) and the IPCA+ Treasury with semiannual interest of 2055 (-2.27%).

In addition to the exposure to possible losses in the event of having to trade the bonds before maturity, the risks of loss for those who adhere to Tesouro Direto are very low, says Damont Carvalho, manager of Claritas’ Macro Funds.

It can happen, for example, if inflation turns negative at some point, bringing losses to the investor who bought IPCA-linked bonds, but this is not a reality for Brazil.