By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Friday, December 2nd, the Gringo Café in Ipanema will once again play host to the monthly “Gringo Group Therapy” Happy Hour, along with co-sponsor The American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio). The event, held on the first Friday of each month, has been steadily gaining momentum, with this week’s topic focusing on financial planning courtesy of guest speaker Howard Borsden of Looking for Dylan Financial Advisers.

The Gringo Café will host this month's Gringo Group Therapy with AmSoc Rio Happy Hour, Rio de Janeio, Brazil News
The Gringo Café will host this month's Gringo Group Therapy with AmSoc Rio, photo by Gringo Café.

In addition to their practical aspect, the Group Therapy nights provide the opportunity for socialization with like-minded individuals as well as the chance to meet new people in the community. The half-price drinks from 7-9PM are an added draw, bringing levity to some serious topics such as visa options and small scale business development in Brazil.

Gringo Café owner Sam Flowers considers such events to be extremely useful for any expatriate or traveler who may be in need of advice or commiseration.

He explains, “The meetings address a common need amongst foreigners in Brazil. There are so many ups and downs, it’s nice to know it’s not just you that is going through the various challenges. And it’s fun to share your insights and successes.”

Guest host Howard Borsden is a financial expert and CEO of Looking for Dylan, an Anglo-Brazilian company that specializes in personal wealth management for both international expatriates and Brazilians.

Borsden will offer insight into financial planning issues, regulations and risks, as well as opportunities. He is specifically keen to educate foreigners on how to recognize a reputable company from a non-reputable one, explaining, “Far too many expats are ‘sold’ inappropriate long term savings plans by so-called ‘financial advisers.’”

Gringo Café owner Sam Flowers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Gringo Café owner Sam Flowers caters to customers at a past event, photo by Gringo Café.

His advice comes at the right time, following the recent investigation of a U.S. based insurance company currently undergoing prosecution for selling life insurance policies without being legally registered in Brazil.

Although the discussion may touch on some serious topics, the venue provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere which David Huffard, 2011 President of AmSoc Rio, believes creates the perfect combination.

“These meetings are gaining popularity with time, largely because of the relaxed and informal, on-the-sidewalk type of social networking environment they promote.” Huffard describes.

This informal, information-sharing environment is exactly the kind of setting that Flowers is keen to promote, his goal having always been to make the restaurant a “home away from home” for foreigners.

In addition to the Happy Hour special, the Gringo Café will provide a full bar service along with the regular dinner and appetizer menus. To find out more about the event on December 2nd from 7-9PM, visit Gringo Group Therapy on Facebook or Gringo Group Therapy Happy Hour on AmSoc Rio’s website.

AmSoc Rio has been in Rio de Janeiro since 1917 and continues to be a strong part of the community. The Society, which is member and sponsor-funded, provides community services and charity works as well as support for new arrivals.

Gringo Café
Friday, December 2nd, 7-9PM
Rua Barao Da Torre 240
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Tel: 21-3813-3972

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