Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Place Called BOVESPA

Hi everyone! I had another very exciting day on Tuesday (April 1).

That morning Kristin and Keith took me to a place called BOVESPA (Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo). Kristin says it is Brazil's largest stock exchange.

Kristin says BOVESPA is similar to the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. But BOVESPA is for companies doing business in Brazil. Who knew?

I don't really understand how the stock market works so Keith tried to explain it to me. He says when a company wants to get bigger or needs more money, it sells small pieces of the company to people who are interested in helping the company. Those small pieces are called "shares of stock." And the people who buy the stock are called "investors." Sometimes investors decide they want to "trade" their shares to someone else. I think this is similar to trading baseball cards with my friends. Keith agreed it is similar except people use the stock exchange to trade their stocks.

We spent most of our time at BOVESPA on something Kristin called the "trading floor." It is a big room with a wooden floor and LOTS of big television monitors and BIG message boards. I couldn't understand what the boards were saying, but Kristin says they were showing the progress of today's trading.

Kristin says people used to trade their stocks on paper and that the "trading floor" we visited used to be full of men yelling as they bought and sold stocks. But today the "trading floor" is a museum. That's because the trading is now done by computers. Very interesting.

The museum has demonstrations to show how stocks are traded on the computer. Here you can see men showing the museum visitors how the process works.

When they were done, Kristin let me try to trade stock on the computer. I'm not sure I did anything but the colors and the buttons were really cool.

As we were leaving BOVESPA, Kristin pointed out this sign.

I'm not sure why she wanted me to see this sign, but she told me it was really important. Hmm...I wonder what she is up too?!

I am still not sure I understand this stock stuff but BOVESPA was a really cool place to visit.

Later that night after we got back from dinner, there was someone waiting in the hotel lobby that I knew! It was my friend Simon from Washington, DC. Kristin says he is going to work with us for the rest of the time we are in Brazil. How cool is that?

Simon is going to make TV stories so he brought along his camera person, Steve Mort. Steve lives in Florida, and he is very nice.

That's all for now. Bye!