By Katiuska Viteri
HiExpat: Thank you very much Katiuska, it is an honor for us to have you as a guest in this edition of HiExpat Magazine. Your career in the stock market in Ecuador is possibly one of the most highly recognized. For almost 12 years as General Manager of the PLUSVALORES brokerage firm, you have been able to balance being a mother and CEO. Together with your daughter, you have both popularized the PLUSVALORES brand within this important economic sector of the country. From the perspective of a businesswoman, how do you see the current state of investments in the stock market in Ecuador?
Katiuska: Thank you very much for the interview. It is important to mention that the combination of being a mother and entrepreneur in a market primarily dominated by men has been very difficult but exciting. This wonderful adventure has allowed me to serve all kinds of clients and above all support my family. My job has given me many different experiences which has allowed me to open up new opportunities in different areas and countries.
Currently, investments in Ecuador have grown mainly because they are safe investments. These investments are in secure currency and give more attractive returns than those offered by banks, giving investors greater growth in their assets with controlled risk.
HiExpat: When dealing with the stock market one must work to build solid trust with their clients. As you work with your daughter to instill this value within your business, how do you manage the demanding workload of your clients and family time?
Katiuska: I believe that the secret lies in defining work time and family time. My work schedule has always been set from 8:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. I dedicate myself to work during those hours and afterwards is always time for my family, husband and daughters. I don’t stop answering calls during this time, but I make it clear that during these hours I will not be able to address major issues. The support of two of my daughters within the company has been very important as well. It is important to mention that in addition to my daughters, my nephews and brother have also been involved in the business. My third daughter does not work with us as she is a biologist but we are all able to maintain work relationships at work and family relationships at home.
HiExpat: Dollarization has been fundamental for the political and economic stability of the country. Do you believe there is a connection between dollarization and how the stock market performs in Ecuador?
Katiuska: I believe that dollarization has given us economic stability. Unfortunately, political stability depends on other variables that, in my opinion, have not yet been resolved.
Dollarization has generated greater confidence for clients because they are no longer affected by currency devaluations.
HiExpat: A few months ago El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as the official payment currency for transactions, and on the streets you can see local businesses and street vendors indicating that they accept bitcoin payments. In the near future, do you think it will be considered as an alternative means of payment for transactions in Ecuador? How flexible do you think the market is to adapt to cryptocurrencies?
Katiuska: I believe that the cryptocurrency market, as long as it is a regulated market, can offer good conditions for investors. At the moment, as it is a platform that is not regulated, I think it generates too much risk and uncertainty for the investor.
HiExpat: What would you recommend for our readers who are considering investing in the stock market? Especially considering that the country's financial institutions pay between 5% and 10% annual interest for time deposits.
Katiuska: When a new person interested in investing approaches us for investment advice, the first thing they ask us is, “When is the best time to invest?” What I say is that it is always a good time to invest. It is important that we overcome our fear by seeking advice that will help us to invest with good risk management criteria.
Once we overcome our fear, the stock market offers very interesting investment options.