Poll reveals Russians want capital preservation

Russian retail clients prioritise capital preservation and quick achievement of their financial goals, according to a poll conducted by the country’s Institute of Financial Planning.

The institute asked 81 Russian financial services clients: “Why do you need the services of a financial adviser?”

Respondents could choose from the following answers:

– To help create a financial safety net
– For competent management of my personal finances
– For clarification of tax-related questions
– For bank consultancy services (credits, deposits etc)
– For insurance related consultancy services
– To create the right investment strategy for my assets

The poll found that the most popular services for Russian clients are the creation of a financial safety net and the formation of a complex tailored financial plan.

The services that followed were banking consultancy and investment services. Insurance and tax issued interested the participants much less.

The trend for capital preservation among Russian clients has been picked up by local advisors and portfolio managers.

They say it has developed since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, when Russia’s RTS Index plummeted over 70%, causing huge losses on Russian equity investments.

Simon Fentham-Fletcher, Renaissance Asset Managers’ portfolio manager and chief of staff in Moscow, says he has had to adapt to this shift in risk appetite. If before the crisis clients were looking for riskier options with superior returns, they now seek downside protection.

Ideally, what they want is “safety, but with good returns,” comments one Switzerland-based financial advisor to Russian clients.

She tends to advise her clients to broadly diversify their investment portfolios in order to achieve maximum protection.

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