How a miner went from $300 to $1 billion in the US

The saga of Carlos Vaz from Minas Gerais is very similar to that of thousands of Brazilians who dream of making their fortune in the United States. The difference is, he actually made it.

He left Brazil with US$300 in his pocket to do an unpaid internship in Boston, worked day and night to survive and, almost 20 years later, became an important businessman in Texas.

In September of last year, he was considered one of the 18 most admired executives by the Dallas Business Journal and his company, Conti Real Estate Investments, already has more than US$ 1 billion in assets traded in 11 years of operation.

In total, the company has 31 properties, 15 of which are acquired through investment funds – regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC, the American CVM).

The business basically consists of raising funds with the most diverse investors to buy properties for rent to the lower classes in the United States.

In times of negative interest rates in the world, the investment can yield between 7% and 11.5% a year, in dollars – numbers that have attracted Brazilians with an eye on capital diversification.

In 2016, the participation of national investors in the funding of Vaz’s company was only 10%; in 2019, it reached 30%.

The interest of Brazilians began in a course that the businessman took at Harvard University, in 2016. “I showed them the business model and they were interested; they asked me to come to Brazil to present the investment to some families”, says Vaz, who was born in Itajubá, in the south of Minas Gerais.

The Brazilian Ricardo Anhesini is one of the investors that Conti has recruited in the country. “I wanted to put my money in an investment with a pulverized income and low risk. I’m very satisfied with the feedback I’ve been getting.”

To get to that stage, however, the company required a lot of planning from Vaz. Since he was young, one of his main characteristics was to organize the next steps in his life.

When he wanted to learn German and there was no such course in Minas, he gathered some friends, created a class and won a scholarship at the language school.

In the United States, it was no different. Since he arrived, in 2001, after dropping out of law school at the Federal University of Viçosa, his goal has been to earn money and take courses at renowned colleges that would give him knowledge and a network of contacts.

Eighth child of a total of nine siblings, the businessman never fit in with the plans outlined by his father, who had an aversion to school.

For the patriarch, the children had to work from an early age to show their value – a common culture in those times in the interior of Minas.

In this environment, at the age of seven, Vaz began helping his father in the family’s butcher shop, but continued in school. The tradition was to study only until 4th grade to learn to read, write and do some math.

But he broke that routine in the family. A studious, in a short time, Vaz won a scholarship at a private school and began to envision the possibility of going to college.

At that time, the businessman started to become interested in languages, with an eye on an international relations course. He learned English on his own and then German. But he ended up entering law school in Viçosa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *