Anna Kuznetsova: “I am a very conservative investor”

Anna Kuznetsova, ex-board member, Managing Director for the Stock Market of the Moscow Exchange, on how the Russian stock market has changed for a private investor, whether he needs categorization, why the new law on taxes on income on deposits and bonds will discourage investment and how attitudes towards life in connection with the coronavirus crisis.

Anna Kuznetsova can rightfully be called a legend of the Russian stock market . Largely thanks to her, Russian issuers got exchange-traded bonds , and  private investors received tax incentives and the ability to open brokerage accounts remotely. talked with Anna Kuznetsova about how the infrastructure for a private investor will continue to develop, what is good and bad about the law on categorizing investors and what instruments she herself prefers to invest in.


✔ “Up to 75% of brokers’ clients open accounts remotely today …”

✔ “There should be new technologies for bond trading …”

✔ “In fact, there is no bridge between a private investor with access to Eurobonds and the international market …”
✔ “A certain amount of foreign securities should be available to retail investors …”

✔ “OTC services for trading between brokers’ clients will be in the industry

✔ “It is important to offer the investor those instruments, the risk of which he is ready to take on”

✔ “The law on categorization looks harsh and mechanistic …”
✔ “A private investor in the securities market invests money in the Russian economy …”

“Up to 75% of brokers’ clients open accounts remotely today”

– You came to the MICEX exchange in 2008. 12 years have passed, how much has the Russian stock market changed during this time specifically for a private investor? What was he like and what did he become? What has really changed for the better?

– I really came to the MICEX exchange in 2008, but in total in the exchange group, taking into account my work in the RTS Group, I worked for 17 years. Of course, the market has changed. Let’s start with the fact that the Exchange itself has changed a lot: before my eyes there were, one might say, three exchanges. I came to a regulated structure with a high level of bureaucracy. Then there were two difficult years of the merger with RTS: preparation for the deal and integration of businesses. And for the last seven years, it has already been a modern exchange, where it was interesting to work.

The market has changed, a lot of new trends have emerged, and today the industry is receiving the results of these changes. For example, algorithms have appeared on the market . If back in 2010 there were few of them, they were not so fast, now in the stock market a large share is accounted for by algorithmic trading . This, by the way, concerns not only Russia, but the whole world. Algorithms are different speeds, they are a different update of quotes, other capacities of exchange trading systems , Internet systems of exchange market participants.

For a private client, in my opinion, there have been two major changes. First, customer acquisition and customer service has become remote. It’s actually great that the industry has invested in this direction. In this respect, the Russian market really has something to brag about in front of a large number of other countries.

– Last year, the exchange just recorded a record inflow of private investors into the market: almost 2 million people (!) Opened accounts during the year. Such record results are largely your merit. How did you manage it?

– I believe there were three types of institutions involved in the success. Of course, the Exchange. Of course, NAUFOR. NAUFOR President Alexei Timofeev and his entire team have done a lot for the emergence of tax incentives. And finally, the industry itself. The industry went for it, it invested in technology – in online registration of a client, in integration with State services . I think this is a huge plus: up to 75% of clients open accounts remotely.

Therefore, in no way do I consider this only my personal success – this is a joint work.

And what did we do for this? All processes were automated step by step. Four years ago, for example, new clients were loaded into the Exchange’s trading system once a day after the end of trading. This is happening online now. We learned how to set up IIS so that this information is not just somewhere in the broker’s accounting system, but is available to everyone so that you can check the duplication of IIS and so on. The emergence of this kind of services has contributed to the development of digital channels along the entire customer service chain. It is worth mentioning here the automation of corporate actions by both the central securities depository and the registrars. I am very glad that there are creative participants on the Russian market who are ready to be pioneers and invest in something new. The first one always pays more.

In addition, the Moscow Exchange had several very serious marketing initiatives, which the industry then actively took up. In the early years of the IIS appearance, in 2015–2016, the Exchange carried out a number of marketing activities: radio, TV, training seminars. Together with brokers, we chose the cities in which these events were held, together we formed the budget.

On the one hand, automation and digitalization, on the other hand, popularization. Gradually, step by step, we came to this success.

– You probably summed up some results of your work on the Exchange for yourself. If you were asked to name your three main achievements that helped change the stock market for a private investor in Russia for the better, what would you say?

– Firstly, the digitalization of the client’s setup on the exchange, which I have already mentioned. Secondly, work on the investment tax reform. And the third is marketing.

If we talk not only about the private investor, but also about the industry as a whole, then the achievements here are completely different. This, undoubtedly, is the construction of the infrastructure, which today is in-line with the leading international exchanges, that is, the transfer of trading to T + n modes. The second is listing modernization. Today, the requirements and approaches are in line with the best international practices, and large Russian issuers choose the Moscow Exchange for listing . It is especially pleasant when a Russian listing is obtained by companies doing business in Russia and having passed the initial listing on the stock exchanges of other countries. I believe that this is the highest rating for the Russian exchange infrastructure.

And the third, probably, is the appearance of exchange-traded bonds . I think that you can brag about this, because in no country in the world it is impossible to issue and redeem bonds in a day, register issue documents remotely, and Russian participants and infrastructure know how to do this.

“There should be new technologies for bond trading …”

– It is interesting that in the world the bond market is predominantly over-the-counter, while in Russia, including through the efforts of the Moscow Exchange, it was the EXCHANGE bond market that was created . Why did it happen, is this our special path? And do you think this can become one of the main competitive advantages of the site, especially in light of the arrival of a large number of private investors on the market?

– The bond market is inherently slow and over-the-counter compared to the stock market. It’s great, of course, that the Moscow Exchange managed to get a large share of the exchange and, most importantly, the order book market. But, of course, we are talking primarily about large issues, liquid securities and large issuers. For example, about bonds of the Ministry of Finance or issues of corporate debt of large issuers.

I believe that in such securities a good balance has been found between the “order book” and the negotiated deals regime (the mode of negotiated deals . – Ed. ). About 40% of transactions are made in the order book, in the negotiated deals order – 60%. Therefore, in principle, the market has the features of an over-the-counter market. The Moscow Exchange managed to keep it close to itself in a large volume thanks to the registration of 85% of issues on the Exchange and not quite exchange trading technologies – I mean the above-mentioned mode of negotiated transactions.

But the final trading configuration on the Russian bond market, in my opinion, has not yet been found. For example, there were experiments related to the selection of a counterparty to conclude deals with the Central Counterparty (so that if the participants do not have limits on each other, it would be possible to make the same negotiated deals deal , but with the participation of the CCP).

I don’t think the negotiated deals regime will remain forever and will be the best technology for bond trading. Other technologies should appear; by the way, they are actively developing in the world.

Therefore, on the one hand, it is great that the exchange is able to quickly register issues, conduct placements on the exchange and settlements, this is already an established practice for the Russian market, although in the world placements are carried out on OTC (over-the-counter, over-the-counter market. – Ed. ). And it’s great that there is a certain balance between the order book and the negotiated trading technology. For large issuers in this configuration, the market looks efficient. But for small issuers and illiquid issues , in my opinion, such an effective technology has not yet been found.

At the same time, there are small trading lots for Russian securities, bonds are available for a retail investor, there are no restrictions in terms of concluding transactions, they can appear only in connection with the entry into force of a new law on the categorization of investors .

If we are talking about Eurobonds , then here in the world the regulation of qualified / unqualified investor access to them has gone not along the path of the category of securities, but along the path of the lot size. It turns out that if a client is wealthy and is ready to allocate a limit from 100 to 200 thousand dollars for one issuer, then he can purchase paper without a separate qualification. This is such an “economic” regulation of qualifications.

Today Eurobonds are an international instrument not intended for a Russian private investor. Retail participates in this market, but to a greater extent through funds that almost all large management companies have. These instruments, in my opinion, are interesting, as they give retail clients diversification by currency. Eurobonds are issued mainly by large Russian companies, so the risk for the issuer, in my opinion, is not high. And such tools should be available to private investors.

“In fact, there is no bridge between a private investor with access to Eurobonds and the international market …”

– Why, in your opinion, is the Eurobond project developing so hard at the Moscow Exchange ? Among our clients, for example, there are those who would like to buy Eurobonds on the Moscow Exchange, but the choice of securities is very small, there is no supply, and sometimes there is no demand. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Eurobond market in recent years has been the seller’s market and most of the investors hold these securities until maturity? What needs to be done to improve the situation?

– There are several problems. Indeed, many investors hold securities to maturity. This applies not only to Eurobonds, but also to the corporate ruble bond market , especially when it comes to a first-class borrower who has been placed for a long time and the investor has recorded a good yield on his securities. Moreover, we once did a study of how bonds are traded in Russia and in the world. It turned out that they are most liquid in four periods: the first three months after the placement, the next three months, and then – 1-2 months around the offer date and the coupon date .

Therefore, the liquidity during the bond circulation period is uneven. Since Eurobonds are issued mainly by first-class Russian companies and with a good risk / reward ratio, international investors are very fond of them. Foreigners are holding large packages. However, they do not trade Eurobonds on exchanges in general and on the Moscow Exchange in particular. This applies not only to Russia. They prefer the OTC market, for this reason the main supply and demand for Eurobonds of Russian companies is concentrated mainly in Bloomberg.

The Moscow Exchange made several attempts to terminate this market: they selected the most interesting ones, including those for retail, Eurobonds, and set up a market maker. As a result, the efficiency of this process for the exchange was not very high. It is necessary to support the paper: in Russia there is no easy admission of securities to the market (there is no such option as admission to trade in the regulation). Therefore, if the paper is admitted with a listing so that it is available to an unqualified investor , the exchange has to bear the costs of maintaining the disclosure of information on the issuer and accompanying corporate actions.

It is always very difficult to drag the existing liquidity. Bloomberg is an expensive system; not all Russian professional participants have it, let alone private investors.

In fact, there is no bridge between a private investor with access to Eurobonds and the international market. If this bridge appears, then liquidity, of course, will increase.

– Why not oblige banks – organizers of Eurobonds to supply liquidity to private investors? Or will it happen by itself someday?

– I do not like the word “oblige” in market projects: I am in favor of a natural, economic way of development. If we are talking about a private investor, then nothing prevents the bank from issuing bonds denominated in foreign currency on the domestic market. Then this tool would be suitable for retail. There are such issues, by the way, but there are very few of them.

– Why?

– The interests of several participants are also involved here. The interest of the issuer is to attract inexpensive money. The organizer’s interest is to earn money from the placement of bonds.

It seems to me that not a single organizer today is ready to take on its balance sheet a dollar issue of at least 0.5-1 billion, in order to then go with it at retail. Banks are the most conservative institutions that will be the last to change anything in their processes. It is much easier to find 10–20 foreign investors or Russian banks who will go to such an issue than to set up a placement for retail.

“A certain amount of foreign securities should be available to retail investors …”

– What do you think about the listing of foreign companies on Russian stock exchanges , which was recently announced by the Moscow Exchange? What is more important in this situation: the interests of investors or the state?

– Naturally, the balance between the interests of investors and the interests of the state is important.

There are two approaches in the world. One approach is “closed infrastructure” and “closed investments”. For example, as in Brazil, where more than 70 BDRs for American securities (Brazilian depositary receipts) are traded on the local exchange. Local financial institutions buy blocks of foreign shares, issue Brazilian depositary receipts for them , and it is this instrument that is traded on the Brazilian exchange and available to retail investors. This is a kind of “closed” market infrastructure for retail investors.

There is another approach – an open infrastructure, as in Russia, when the exchange has direct bridges with Euroclear , Clearstream (two largest European international central depositories – Ed. ), When money is freely convertible, securities and money move freely between borders even on instructions individuals.

I like this way more, I believe that it is more efficient and reduces the costs of all market participants and investors. If the infrastructure is open, then the investor should have access to these types of instruments. Of course, I have no illusion that McDonald’s or Apple shares can be traded on the Russian stock exchange as liquidly as on the American one. It is my deep conviction that the greatest liquidity of the instrument should be on the original exchange, where the maximum number of domestic and international investors of all types have access to the instrument. But these instruments should still be available to the Russian investor. Since Russia has abandoned depositary receipts as a kind of by-product, the Russian investor should have access toBPIF and ETF on foreign securities as a “basket”, repeating the index. But a certain amount of foreign securities should also be available to retail buyers. Therefore, I support their admission. This project is already two years old, and I am glad that the Moscow Exchange will finally bring it to launch.

There are, of course, some concerns about allowing retail investors to access foreign instruments. In other countries, investor rights are protected slightly differently. Timing and corporate actions differ from corporate actions of Russian companies, different taxation. Many processes are faster, and a Russian investor needs to gain access to this information in order to react in time. For example, when it comes to converting securities, changing the denomination, additional issues, and so on. On American exchanges, such events occur more often than in Russia, and the investor must be ready for this.

Well, in general, when an investor selects a portfolio, in my opinion, he should be guided by two main principles. The first is diversification . And second, an investor must understand that any investment is always a risk and he can lose the money he invests. That is why investments should be only a part of savings and not be “last money”. If this balance is met, then the retail investor can purchase foreign securities as well .

Not so long ago I looked at the statistics of the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange . If a year ago the most popular securities among investors were the shares of Apple and Facebook, that is, large, understandable companies, now they are among the leaders in terms of the turnover of shares of American airlines and cruise companies. When I see these figures, I involuntarily have a question: are there only these securities in the portfolios of private investors who buy such shares, or are there any other, conservative ones? Do they understand that such investments can end in unpredictable ways? There are many examples in the world when airlines went through bankruptcy proceedings.

– In your opinion, is a hypothetically active arrival of foreign private investors possible on the Russian stock market? Our rates are still very attractive for foreigners: why shouldn’t a foreign “physicist” enter the Russian market and buy Russian OFZs at 5% today ?

– As far as I know, foreign Interactive Brokers gives its clients access to the Moscow Exchange. The question is whether there are restrictions on investments abroad in those countries where foreign investors are residents.

US regulation, for example, allows private investors to invest only in foreign securities for which there is full disclosure. But of the Russian companies, only those who were listed on American stock exchanges have such disclosure. They can be counted on the fingers of both hands.

If you look at the registration of clients on the Exchange from different countries, then there were always not very many foreign “physicists”. I always had the impression that these were Russians who had emigrated.

When an investor invests in the market of another country, any state does not want to be held responsible for the risks that the investor has assumed. Therefore, in all countries, regulation tends to restrict this type of investment.

In general, the chains between the investor and the global market are indeed very much shortened, and this process will continue. The speed of movement of assets both within the country and within the interbank system, and in the world is increasing every year. And obviously, this is largely due to the shortening of the chains.

“The industry will have OTC services for trading between clients of brokers …”

– By the way, since we have touched on the topic of chains … Many brokers are now actively developing 24/7 OTC trading between clients within their infrastructure, and the exchange has also begun to develop an OTC system. Where is the infrastructure moving strategically – will brokers remain or the exchange will remain?

– In fact, both will remain. I think that exchanges will gradually lengthen trading hours: the question of which trading technology will be used after 19.00 – standard, as it is now (double counter auction), or some other technologies will appear. Therefore, the industry – both Russian and international – is moving towards the provision of financial services 24/7. Of course, it will take some time until all this works fully and becomes cost-effective for everyone. I cannot predict when the exchanges will start working around the clock.

Probably, it’s still hard for me to take off the stockbroker’s cap and support the development of trade between brokers’ clients. I believe that liquidity is well concentrated in one place – in the order book. Nevertheless , the industry will have OTC services for trading between brokers’ clients. If only because it is about new technologies and additional income.

Mosbirge took several approaches to OTC services. The latter consisted in an attempt to terminate Eurobonds and unlisted stocks and bonds (for example, commercial bonds). All securities can be admitted to the OTC system, even if they have not been listed, and corporate events can be tracked on them. Such an attempt was made, several technologies were created: indication of interest (IOI), selection of a counterparty, conclusion of a deal, forwarding this deal into a common clearing with exchange deals.

But I cannot say that today we managed to create some kind of liquidity. Either the industry is not ready, or the bidding technology is not suitable. But there will be OTC deals, especially in the bond market.

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“I am glad that the market for high-level education in Russia has appeared …”

– In recent years, the ETF and BPIF direction has been actively developing on the Russian market. What do you think of these tools? Is index investing evil or good for a private investor?

– I like these products. Probably, the first reason is historical: when I worked on the stock exchange, it was possible to invest little in what, in principle, because I was an insider. There remained mutual funds , BPIFs , ETFs , shares of the Moscow Exchange and some types of bonds.

The second reason is significant time savings. For example, I just have no time to look after 50 issuers myself. I think that the majority of private investors for a large number of securities cannot adequately assess the financial condition and current events. Therefore, I perceive this tool as one of the first steps for an investor, which allows, on the one hand, to diversify, on the other hand, to choose a strategy that is interesting to him (fixed income, equity, ruble or foreign currency), and start taking the first steps in investments … It seems to me that these products solve this problem.

By the way, I have a dream that I have not yet realized: to invest in the medical industry. This is one of those areas that will definitely be in demand on the horizon of the next hundred years. People will always worry about their health, and the current coronavirus crisis has clearly proven this. Moreover, from different points of view – longevity, treatment, the pharmaceutical industry, medical equipment and others will develop.

But this segment is very poorly represented on the Russian market. This means looking at the international market. I read one of JP Morgan’s reviews of this industry, and only 200 different ETFs from the medical industry got into it. Obviously, I do not have the competence and ability to evaluate all pharmaceutical companies that are represented on the international market. I will either use someone else’s recommendations, or I have a second option – buy ETFs as a basket of instruments, because I believe in this industry.

– There is one more instrument that has been attracting private investors more and more actively lately – high-yield bonds . In your opinion, is it worth giving access to the organized market to small companies or are the risks too high?

– The risks in this segment are really very high. At the end of 2019, we held a meeting on this topic with market participants, and I asked the question: “What do you think, what level of defaults will be in this segment in the event of a crisis?” The most pessimistic estimate was 15%.

And it seems to me that in the event of a crisis in this segment will be all 25-30%. I was surprised that the industry rates so low the level of potential HPO default .

Nevertheless, this market is and will be, and I am glad that it has appeared in Russia.

But I’m worried about investors. This is exactly the tool in which diversification should definitely be. For me, the picture would be ideal if there were some high-level funds , so that the investor had in his portfolio not one paper of a small issuer, but a whole “basket”.

– Don’t you think that small companies themselves – their infrastructure, level of corporate governance, mentality – are not yet fully prepared for such publicity?

– I totally agree. The industry is not ready, the organizers are not ready – large companies do not take on small issuers, although they could automate processes in order to reduce costs and make the public market more accessible to small issuers.

Exchange infrastructure is experimenting with this segment in one form or another, but with great difficulty. Suffice it to recall how difficult it was for the last two years to develop the customs of business turnover: which issues we place and which we do not, what is possible and what is not.

And I’m not talking about the owners of small companies themselves: even in medium-sized companies, management does not always realize that placing and entering the market is only the first step. If you made a deal, this does not mean that everything is over, it just means that everything has just begun.

And regulation in this part is imperfect: we do not have disclosure standards that would be adapted for small companies, they are not lightweight at all. The Moscow Exchange tried to make its own standards. But it also has its own limitations, for example, closed subscription.

Therefore, the infrastructure is certainly not ready, and of course it will take time, I think, about two more years before it can be said that this market has developed. In addition, this segment must go through the first crisis. I guess he is just now passing it. Let’s see how everyone gets out of it.

“It is important to offer the investor those instruments, the risk of which he is ready to take on”

– Let me return to the topic of a private investor. You have already mentioned those of them who prefer risky investments and treat this process like a casino. There are more thoughtful investors who invest in the long term. But there is also a third category – those who do not buy anything at all. Not so long ago NAUFOR published the results of a study based on a survey of the largest brokerage companies. They say that two-thirds of the brokerage accounts of Russians are simply empty. That is, the record inflow of the population to the stock market did not lead to a record growth in investments. Why do you think people don’t invest?

– I have a mixed impression of how this situation developed.

Indeed, the percentage of active clients from the total number of registered customers is low. On average for the market (I looked at the statistics for the last 12 months, from June last year to May this year), this value is at the level of 8.7% for the industry. That is, 8.7% of clients registered on the exchange with each of the participants conclude at least one transaction per month.

In principle, this figure can be treated in different ways. You can be bad because she is small. And you can be good. Maybe this is the very same long-term investor who does not make deals every day, but buys and holds them?

It is much more interesting to look at the fullness of the accounts. We know this figure exclusively from the NAUFOR survey, since the stock exchange does not see balances in the context of clients. It seems to me that the fullness of the accounts is low for several reasons.

First, banks entered this market. Perhaps they had a KPI to attract an investor, and not start making deals at all. When a bank with a large grid sets itself such a task and follows this path, we get the result that we see now. This could be one of the reasons.

There is also a second reason. At one time, we on the exchange specially tested the client paths of some professional participants. And I see that not all of them “catch up” with the client with the last two steps: transferring money and concluding a deal. All processes are geared towards opening an account. And everyone knows that what they sell is selling well. If there are no new ideas, investment products in the mobile banking application, then the client will open a deposit and stop there.

When does the bank start offering investment products? When he realizes that he needs to keep a client who is running out of deposit and who can take money and take it to another bank, with a lower rating, but with higher deposit rates, which we are now seeing.

So statistics is just a reflection of all these phenomena.

– In your opinion, which approach is more correct in working with a retail investor: is it worth offering him, after making a deposit, the whole range of investment instruments at once? Or should it be a phased acquaintance with the market: first bonds , then stocks , then futures, and so on?

– You know, I really like the approach used in European countries. Once I tested the service of a foreign bank. What did I like? I filled out a large questionnaire, in which no one asked to provide confirming certificates of the availability of property, but many questions were asked to understand if I have a place to live if I lose money? Do I have any other savings? And then there was a big block of questions regarding my attitude to risk and profitability.

After all, different people have different attitudes towards risk. I can be a very skilled investor and have a deep understanding of all the tools, but not be willing to take risks. The other person, on the other hand, is willing to take risks.

Entrepreneurs, for example, initially have a very high inclination to take risks, they are ready to take it.

Therefore, it is important to find the right balance here: to offer the investor those instruments that he is willing to risk. And they all contain risks, only of varying degrees.

If we take a private investor, then I would first of all offer him a package of bonds and stocks so that he understands the difference between deposits and these instruments. Bonds are still different from a deposit, although they have a similar nature to it. And stocks are a completely different instrument. On the one hand, they are easier to understand: the market value grows and dividends are paid. On the other hand, they have more risk and higher volatility.

“The law on categorization looks harsh and mechanistic …”

– You brought up an important topic of customer risk profiling. And the Law on the categorization of investors, which is now being discussed in the industry, is just about that. In this sense, it is about taking care of a private investor. But there is also another side. If the law is adopted in a tough version, this largely deprives the private investor of choice, and isn’t the meaning of investing in having a choice in many respects? What do you think of it?

– I have a very mixed impression of this law. It is obvious that regulation in this direction should develop and the current version of the law is much better than all the previous ones. But the new law, in my opinion, turned out to be somewhat mechanistic. I did not see in him a soft-approach aimed at understanding whether the investor brought the last money to the market, to warn him about risks or to offer instruments that he is ready to risk.

As a result, it turns out that the industry will definitely spend money on building and maintaining infrastructure, and whether the desired result will be achieved – the absence of disappointed investors – I’m not sure about that.

Of course, the current version of the law is much better than the first concept that was announced in 2016.

The fact that the topic is not easy is already clear – the discussion took 4 years.

– What approach would be more correct in your opinion?

– It would be possible to take a different path: to see which instruments are more risky, and bring them out for qualified investors.

And this law at the same time greatly tightens the requirements for qualifications, and greatly restricts the list of instruments available to investors. Making these changes at the same time is a rather drastic step. They could be carried out in two stages.

I think that only time will tell how effective this approach will be. The law looks harsh and mechanistic: anyone who wants to can still take a risk, take a test, subscribe to the “last word”, and gain access to risky tools.

“A private investor in the securities market invests money in the Russian economy …”

– From 2021, the taxation procedure for income on deposits and bonds is changing. What do you think of this innovation? Do you think the status quo has been preserved between these instruments?

– At one time it was precisely the equalization of taxation on deposits and bonds that made it possible to attract mass investors to the market. Now deposits are taxed, this is not very pleasant for clients: rates on deposits are reduced and against this background there is still a tax. The current status quo with bonds has been preserved rather than not. But on the whole, the initiative looks like a discouraging investment.

The difference in rates on deposits from different banks is much less than the yield on different bonds. I fear that the new approach to taxation may stimulate more risky investments, since now the investor will understand that his coupon yield will decrease by 13%. All other things being equal, he will choose more profitable, and therefore more risky bonds .

Individuals are used to high rates. And the Russians, in principle, are ready to take risks.

Moreover, it seems to me that individuals on the Russian market are not so financially illiterate as they sometimes say. It is clear that there are those who are not really immersed in investment issues. There are those who take advantage of their illiteracy when they lose money in order to get some kind of compensation from the broker. But in all periods, private investors behave rationally: they raised rates on deposits – there is no private money on the securities market, all the money is in deposits. Decrease rates on deposits – “physicists” are beginning to look at an alternative in the form of bonds. Volatility appears in the foreign exchange market – people start choosing foreign exchange deposits. Interest rates on foreign currency deposits are decreasing – “physicists” are beginning to look closely at Eurobonds of Russian companiesbecause the profitability is higher. A period of ruble stability is coming – investors choose ruble deposits and ruble bonds , since they have higher yields. Therefore, if you look at it as a whole, the market from this point of view looks very financially literate and financially efficient.

Summarizing the topic of taxation, I will say that I would see sense in a large number of tax incentives in the securities market for one simple reason: ultimately, a private investor in the securities market invests money in the Russian economy, in Russian stocks and bonds (investments in foreign securities will always have a smaller proportion). Moreover, this money is effectively invested in the economy, and corporations pay taxes on the income received, while creating new jobs.

– How do you yourself feel about investments? What are you investing in, what instruments do you prefer?

– I am a conservative investor. I don’t have a lot of money in the securities market, I have deposits. If I invest, then these are stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. I hardly use my shoulders. And so far I have had three most successful investments: these are Gazprom shares, Moscow Exchange shares and the FinEx ETF for the American IT sector.

– How did the situation with the coronavirus affect your life?

– I reconsidered my attitude to many things. I used to avoid online learning, but now I treat it well. The value of personal communication has increased: now I enjoy going to face-to-face meetings.

I am calm about remote work: I have had it for a long time – since the advent of the iPad. I began to cook more and walk more (in the country it is possible). Of course, there has been a reassessment of the importance of family in my life. Were rethought such things as the value of personal communication and freedom of movement at least within the boundaries of one city.

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