Thoughts on the Conversion Rate

Today, I saw a clipping of a story about a recent downturn at Bovespa (Brazil’s stock exchange) and out of curiosity, I checked the Real against the Dollar and saw that it’s R$1.75 to US$1. At first thought, I said to myself that such a thing is crazy to know because I, as a foreigner, believe that I have enjoyed much higher conversion rates in the past…that is, until I made the chart below. For the month of October for the last 12 years, I’ll give the rate of conversion below (with asterisks next to years when I went to Brazil). 

1997 – 1.09*
1998 – 1.18
1999 – 1.96
2000 – 1.88
2001 – 2.70
2002 – 3.79
2003 – 2.86
2004 – 2.85
2005 – 2.25*
2006 – 2.14
2007 – 1.79*
2008 – 2.18
2009 – 1.73*

Of course, ‘enjoying’ high conversion rates really depends on how you get paid or who you are doing business with and if it’s in Reals or Dollars. A strong Real for Brazilians means more overseas vacations and better purchasing power. On the flip side, I feel like Brazil-bound foreigners worldwide are hoping for a bad Brazilian economy which I suppose is no different for Brits looking to vacation in the U.S., Brazilians headed to Argentina, or Argentines to India, etc, etc. Nonetheless, it’s a strange thing to hope for.

If you’re up for a quiz (in PT) on the Real, try your knowledge at UOL…I got 4/7, but was close to choosing 6/7 if I took my time.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Conversion Rate

  1. Well when my husband and I made our plans to move here last year with my US income and the $2+ conversion rate the picture was looking a lot better than today. At $45R per $100 transferred difference between this year and last, it really makes a difference you can feel. If we go back to the $1-ish range of the late 90s I’m going to have a heart attack! Glad I got my Brazilian work permit recently, I may have to become an English teacher after all [to get paid in Real] if things get any lower! My financial advisor brother in law says the picture doesn’t look promising for a return to $2+ anytime soon. Here’s hoping!

  2. I know the feeling! I was earning in Reals earlier this year while seeing the little savings I had from the States, dwindle quickly.

    Here’s the knocking on wood type phrase to tell your husband, “são longuinho, são longuinho, se o dólar melhorar, te dou três pulinhos”

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