Top 7 Russian stockbrokers

Top 7 Russian stockbrokers Blog

To trade on the stock market, you are to open an investment account through a broker. There are plenty of stockbrokers on the market but it’s not too easy to find the good one. Choosing the right and reliable broker could be worth a fortune. The Tactic Invest experts decided to investigate and present you with the top 7 Russian fully licensed and bonded stockbrokers.

In compiling the below list we used specific criteria that helped us to narrow them down to only the best, the most trustworthy companies. We rated them by various parameters which we also hope would assist you in making the right choice.

Typical errors while choosing a broker

Broker
Typical errors while choosing a broker

Trading in the stock market and making investment decisions require common sense, icy intelligence, and certain analytical skills. You will be able to make a profit only if you thoroughly monitor the behavior of the market and the performance of securities.

You can greatly narrow your odds of success if you choose a qualified and collaborative provider. Some entry-level users are prone to make mistakes because don’t treat that seriously enough. Meanwhile, choosing the firm which affects your returns and sometimes – even your entire financial situation – is a critical mission.

The most common mistakes are the following:

  1. Choosing a young company. It doesn’t take two eyes to figure out that a well-established company will reduce your risks and enhance the prospect of better profit. Try not to be get caught by promises of better conditions and low commissions made by young brokerage firms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to choose the broker with at least 5 years of market experience.
  2. Choosing a broker with a substandard terminal. Be careful with businesses offering a fully customized terminal, which may later appear not to be licensed, or located at a different address, or lacks some important instruments and indicators.
  3. Choosing a company that requires you to make a large initial deposit. Thoroughly investigate such a broker, because after depositing 500 or 1000 dollars through their system you may encounter withdrawal difficulties. There are some firms that require you to fulfill endless conditions, and, if you don’t satisfy the whole set, you won’t be able to get one thin dime out of them.

Good brokers, on the contrary, often allow opening a demo account, which enables you to experiment with the platform and its features and consider all pros and cons of its usage for yourself.

Stockbrokers’ Selection Criterion

Selection Criterion
Stockbrokers’ Selection Criterion

Here is the list of the most important criteria you should take into account when selecting an appropriate broker.

Commissions

Commissions represent the main source of the broker’s income. The higher the commission is, the more they prey on you. For you it all works the other way round: the more transactions you make, the more commissions you are to pay. However, many brokers provide discounts or special plans that depend on the number of dealings. In any case, your selection criteria should be based on your personal investment strategy.

Readme! The lower is the broker’s commission the higher, are your earnings.

Upper limits

A good part of stockbrokers sets up maximum limits per day and month. For small-scaled investors, these limitations are not as vital as for their large-scaled counterparts. However, clients aiming to invest large amounts should find out about the maximum limits in advance; otherwise, they may face a problem of rejection.

Broker’s terminal and apps

Good brokers have good platforms and terminals. To figure out how good is the broker’s terminal, pay attention to the availability of the following:

  • Real-time graphs
  • Trade blotters
  • Tools for financial analysis and planning

Each decent broker also provides a mobile version of its trading terminal, which includes all the tools and features represented in the desktop version, and which you will be able to use just as well on your smartphone.

Remote account opening

Modern stock brokers keep up with the times and let newcomers open their brokerage accounts without their physical presence at the office. It’s a very convenient feature, especially today, with all these pandemic restrictions. New laws introduced in many countries require brokers to provide extremely secure online identity verification and approval instruments, thus ensuring their customers the safety of their personal information.

Minimum deposit requirements

Just a few years ago all brokers required new entrants to contribute a certain amount for opening a brokerage account. However, the growing competition has led many providers to ease their entry conditions. It’s much easier these days to find a broker without deposit requirements. In Russia, this is still something for the future???

Minimum deposits vary widely, so first, it’d be better to find out what sum they ask you to contribute, and only then make a decision. All the info about the minimum deposit amount can be found through the provider’s website or by phone.

Customer support service

The quality of customer service is one of the most important features of a brokerage firm. Characteristics such as competency and availability of the consultants, or the average customer waiting time greatly impact the user opinion. Make sure to read testimonials of users about it before making your decision.

So, what are the main features of a good broker

Therefore, a good broker differs from others by the following features:

  • Transaction speed: money comes and goes in seconds, and straight onto your account
  • Variety of ways of account replenishment
  • Reduced deposit minimums
  • No commissions for replenishment and withdrawal
  • Great customer support service

Available platforms: St-Petersburg and Moscow

Transactions in Russian rubles are carried out on MOEX (Moscow stock exchange). This is a stock market where you can buy and sell the following domestic securities:

  • Shares
  • Bonds
  • Federal loan bonds
  • ETF
  • UIF

St-Petersburg’s stock exchange offers transactions in foreign currencies. Investors wishing to carry out transactions in Russian rubles, use MOEX. Those who want to do it in dollars or other currencies, choose the St. Petersburg exchange.

Selection of securities: Russian or foreign

To manage risks, investors apply a strategy of diversification. This means that instead of dealing with one single asset class, company or industry, you diversify your investments across different kinds of securities. In addition, you may diversify your funds between different companies (both foreign and domestic ones) and industry sectors.

Readme! The more you diversify your investments, the more opportunities you have.

Our rating for best Russian stockbrokers

Finam stockbroker
Finam

Let’s have a look at the lists of the most prominent Russian brokers that we preliminary evaluated by a variety of different criteria such as the number of their customers, the volume of trading, or the amount of IIAs.

  • By the number of clients

The following table shows stockbrokers trading on MOEX and classified by the quantity of their active non-corporate clients.

Broker Number of customers (mln. people)
1 Tinkoff 7.6
2 Sberbank 5.2
3 VTB 1.9
4 Alpha Investments 1.4
5 BCS Financial Group 0.8
6 Otkrytie / Investments 0.4
7 Finam Holdings 0.3
8 Alfa Capital 0.2
9 Freedom Finance 0.1
10 Septem Capital 0.08

 

  • By trading volume

The next table rates brokers by their volume of trading on the stock exchanges.

Broker Trading volume (tril. rub.)
1 Region 5.8
2 BCS Financial Group 3.8
3 Renaissance Broker 1.7
4 VTB 1.6
5 Aton 1.2
6 AO Raiffeisenbank 1.18
7 Sberbank 1.15
8 Gazprombank 1.073
9 Otkrytie FC Bank/Investments 1.072
10 Univer Capital 1.03

 

Why the above list doesn’t include large brokers like Tinkoff and some other high-profile leaders? Because our goal is to rate only firms serving individual investors but not corporate clients! Since trading volumes of Tinkoff and a few others are mostly made up of business clientele, they are not of interest to the above grading.

  • By the number of individual investment accounts (IIA)

The next chart represents firms that deserve to be the best judging by the amount of active brokerage accounts.

Broker Number of investment accounts (thsnd)
1 Sberbank 2 087
2 Tinkoff 932
3 VTB 777
4 BCS Financial Group 225
5 Otkrytie FC Bank/Investments 114
6 Alfa Capital 84
7 Finam Holdings 75
8 Credit Bank of Moscow 36
9 Alfa Investments 29
10 Septem Capital 28

 

7 best Russian brokers

Below is a list of the most outstanding Russian brokerage firms. It is based on the above tables but also takes into account some additional figures.

Tinkoff

Tinkoff
Tinkoff

Tinkoff investments is one of the leading traders in Russia. the number of its active customers is just one factor among many others, which allows the firm to top the list of the best brokers available on the Russian stock market. One of the most important goals of Tinkoff is the continuous development of its client’s database. It, for example, has a policy of rewarding its users for attracting other investors to register and trade via the platform.

Tinkoff Investments has the following three subscription plans:

  • Plan Investor offers no subscription fee and a transaction commission of 0.3%. Opening of an account, withdrawals, and deposits are not charged either. A new entrant is offered a basic list of securities available on the Tinkoff terminal. You can use a robotic assistant who helps to build a portfolio following your investment strategy. It is a pretty useful feature, which, however, doesn’t guaranty a 100% result.
  • Plan Trader suits active users who perform transactions literally every day. The commission is only 0.04% and a membership fee will be zero – in case a user has a premium card, his past period’s turnover exceeds 5 million rubles, and the portfolio amount is over 2 million rubles. If these conditions are not satisfied, an investor is to pay 290 rubles per month.
  • Plan Premium is suitable for traders wishing to enjoy advanced features such as access to a great number of global securities, personal manager service, portfolio building tools, etc. The monthly fee is free, and the amount of the base commission is 0.025%.

All investors have access to a 24/7 customer support service via chat or the phone. If you are in doubt about which plan to choose, think through your investment strategy and your financial goals. If you are, for example, ready to take some risks, you may consider a Trader or a Premium accounts. But if you are more interested in long-term and secure investments, you’d be better of following the Investor plan.

To open an investment account you should:

  • Go to the Tinkoff Investments website
  • Register with a broker
  • Choose one of the plans and subscribe

The provider allows subscribers to change their plans any time they feel like that. This can be done either through the mobile app or through the desktop. Just find a Plan Mode in the app menu and follow the pop-up instructions.

Tinkoff Investments offers two types of accounts:

  • Brokerage account. This is a standard account that provides you with all the basic tools needed for trading on a stock exchange.
  • Individual Investment Account or IIA. That is a special account with several tax benefits provided for private traders. Opening a Type A or a Type B  IIA allows you to get tax rebates after three years of an account existence.

More details about the difference between types A and B can be found on the company’s website. After signing a special brokerage agreement called W8BEN you will be eligible for certain tax deductions and a rebate of 13% or up to 52 thousand rubles per year. Keep in mind to top up your IIA annually because the closed account obliges you to return the received tax rebate to the state.

Advantages of dealing with Tinkoff Investments:

  1. The company leads the squad in the number of clients and is great by many other important parameters, which all indicates a high level of trust among its users.
  2. It offers a variety of investment strategies. There is, for example, an option to engage in eternal funds, which also allows you to buy and sell securities at no charge.
  3. Instant payouts. All orders are processed in no time, and the earned money goes straight into your account.
  4. The platform provides free reference materials useful for all kinds of investors. The feature helps learn new aspects and relationships and master the investment skills further.
  5. There is an online robotic assistance that guides you through all the processes. Your personal portfolio profile, for example, will be based on your answers to three basic questions. Different replies determine different portfolio solutions.
  6. Premium services for wealthy investors, with specific strategies, high limits, reduced taxes, and other great options.
  7. The website also features a Tinkoff Invest Index, a special tool showing the index of activity and sentiment of Russian and foreign investors and highlighting well-performing securities.
  8. An ability to use the platform not only via desktop but also via a mobile app compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems.
  9. You will have an access to Pulse, a new social media tool launched by Tinkoff to help investors to engage with the investment community and make better decisions.
  10. It allows setting up an automatic payment of taxes and other fees arising during trading, instead of doing it separately and all by yourself.
  11. The platform includes an efficient customer support utility, which experienced team is trained to give smart answers to the most comprehensive questions.

Disadvantages of dealing with the broker:

  1. Tinkoff Investments has a bit higher commissions than most of other similar firms. For example, a commission of 0.3% for the plan Investor seems to be one of the greatest ones compared with similar plans of other Russian providers.
  2. Due to a pretty subdued regional network and not too extensive infrastructure, there are not enough local offices in some districts. Thanks to that, a physical withdrawal of funds through ATMs implies a greater commission.

In general, the Tinkoff Investments’ services have positive feedback from its users and most of the independent experts. Its terminal has a smart and user-friendly interface and includes all the features you need to thrive in the investment area.

VTB

VTB
VTB

VTB Capital provides various brokerage services and investment consulting for both individual and corporate clients. VTBis an ideal choice for long-term investments. The purchase of Russian and foreign securities is available upon opening brokerage or IIA accounts through the My Investments mobile application.

You can open an account with VTB eIther physically or online.

  • To open it in a branch you are to visit the nearest VTB office and consult an operator who will determine with you the details of your investment needs. The whole process takes about 20-30 minutes. Since not all VTB branches provide investment services, you’d be better of giving them a quick call before you turn in.
  • Online registration is even easier and less time-consuming. It doesn’t involve a personal interaction, just providing a few personal details and setting up your username and a password. If you are already a VTB client, creating an investment account will take only a couple of minutes.

Trading on a platform will also require you to deposit some money into your account, which can be done in the following ways:

  • Internet banking – money comes instantly
  • Interbank transfer – payment is processed up to 3 working days
  • Via instant bank transfers and mobile payment apps
  • Through the VTB cash desk

My Investments mobile app is one of the easiest ways for depositing and withdrawal money. You just have to specify a few details, but before doing that it’s better to read all the platform terms and conditions, just to be on the safe side.

Money withdrawals are best when done by design but not by hunch. Why? Following market trading modes is always better than an immediate wish to take cash at any cost. A trading mode term refers to the settlement date of the transaction of the security.

The market features T + 1,  T + 2, and T + 3 settlement modes.

  • T + 1 means that if a transaction happens on Wednesday, the security settlement and its ownership can be done only on Thursday. This is the common case with federal loan bonds, for example.
  • T + 2 mode consequently means that your status and a transfer of money can occur only in two days after the date of placing an order. T + 2 mode is usually applicable for stocks, funds, and corporate bonds.

The same pattern works for a T + 3 mode. The desktop and online versions allow users to invest in foreign currencies. A regular commission for dealings exceeding 300 thousand rubles comes to 0.2%. However, it’s possible to avoid a commission in case of not withdrawing earnings within 15 working days.

If you have a foreign currency account and a card, you can withdraw funds in dollars, Euros, and other currencies. The multi-currency account is ideal for rational investors interested in making higher profits.

The most useful features of the VTB mobile app are as follows:

  • Placing orders with and without upper limits. The option “with” implies that the user sets up a maximum price for each certain security. The selection of another scenario leads investors to widen their range of possibilities and trade at current prices.
  • Setting up stop-losses and take-profits. Fulfillment of the selected conditions leads to the purchase or sale of a security.
  • Access to trade blotters, digital records of all trades made during a certain period of time that helps to assess supply-and-demand processes for each and every security.
  • Convenient real-time graphs and charts. Candlestick charts, for example, reflect 4 price points (open, close, high, and low) within a chosen period, which helps to track asset dynamics.

Securities transactions in Russia take place in Moscow and St-Petersburg stock exchanges. As mentioned above, traders can trade in both Russian and foreign currencies. Both stock markets also allow derivatives trading (i. e. futures and options).

Opening of IIA (Individual Investment Account) via VTB Broker doesn’t require deposit money immediately. The platform allows later replenishing, after accumulating a substantial amount of money. One of the main advantages of using VTB is that your earnings are quickly transferred directly onto your bank card.

VTB Broker offers the following subscription plans:

  • Plan My online suits regular investors with a general understanding of stock markets. It involves a transaction commission of 0.05%, which is one of the lowest among similar Russian brokers.
  • Plan Professional Standard suits active users that trade more often and have more diversified portfolios. The broker’s commission depends on the number of transactions and varies from 0.015% to 0.047%.
  • Plan My Online Privilege offers several additional opportunities for energetic investors. There is no monthly fee and an average commission of 0.01%.
  • Plan Professional Privilege is designed for experienced investors with fair knowledge of stock markets for whom a commission rate ranges from 0.014 to 0.043%.
  • Plans My Online Prime and Professional Prime belong to the Prime package, which provides an extended range of features for advanced investors. Commission of both varies between 0.012 – 0.043%.

A monthly service fee for the last two packages, Privilege, and Prime, comes to 150 rubles even if a user had only one transaction within a month.

VTB Broker advantages:

  1. Free withdrawal of money: cash-outs of up to 300 000 rubles are not charged.
  2. Opportunity to trade on margin. Using of leverage is highly risky for beginners, so margin trading is available only to advanced users.
  3. Free trading of VTB securities. Assets issued by VTB are not subject to commission.
  4. Online contracting, although by now the possibility’s been allowed only to existing customers of the bank.
  5. Hi-tech mobile application, which, according to customer reviews is rated as one of the best stock trading apps developed in Russia.
  6. A large selection of tools among which is shares, bonds, foreign currencies, options, and futures. Access to both Moscow and St-Petersburg stock exchanges.

Sberbank

Sberbank
Sberbank

Sberbank is one of the largest Russian brokers. It offers a remote opening of a brokerage account and a smart mobile application available through Android and iOS.

Investors have a choice of two tariff plans:

  • Plan Independent is designed for people who wish to enjoy the absence of monthly fees and are ready to pay 0.06% commission for transactions not exceeding 1 million rubles in total.
  • Plan Investment, which suits more advanced traders. The membership includes a monthly newsletter with the latest financial news and astute analytic ideas. The commission is 0.3% regardless of the transaction amount.

Although the second tariff plan seems to be more expensive than the first one, it is equipped with some great opportunities such as the usage of Sberbank’s model portfolios for compiling your own unique collection of financial investments.

Sberbank provides two ways of opening an investment account:

  • By way of the physical visit of your nearest Sberbank office. Consulting an operator and setting up an account will take you about 30 minutes.
  • Online registering (available only for existing customers), which is more convenient and not so time-consuming. To open it, you have to use the drop-down Sberbank’s menu, find the investment section, and fill out the account-opening form. While setting it up, keep in mind your circumstances and capacities, which will help you to choose the right plan. Your brokerage account will be available on the next business day.

Account replenishment can be done by the following means:

  • Sberbank cash desk, which requires you to physically visit the provider’s office.
  • Sberbank Online. Just a few clicks on your computer or smartphone, and in about 15-20 min. your account will be refilled
  • Via a mobile app. Just login to an app Sberbank Investor, go to the section “Other” and find in the sub-menu the “How to top up an account” option. You will be automatically connected to the deposit mode of Sberbank Online.

Apart from that, with the help of the Sberbank Investor mobile application can be easily and quickly done the following:

  • The My Accounts mode is designed for building and adjusting your investment portfolio. It shows the total amount, breakdown by each security, their rates, trends, and dynamics.
  • The Market mode allows a user to trade: i. e. place orders, buy, and sell. A user-friendly interface offers some instruments that let you earn real money in a safe and secure environment.
  • The mode Ideas shares useful tips and resources to support you in your investment endeavors. The tips are tailored for different types of investors depending on their risk appetites and time frames.
  • Orders and Transactions mode keeps records about all your purchases and sales.
  • The Other tab provides a lot of useful info and answers to the most frequent questions. It may help both registered and non-registered users. It also has an online chat facility and other handy features.

On the whole, a Sberbank mobile app is great but is not without some flaws. This is, for example, the lack of candlestick charts, trade blotters, and a couple of other instruments that can be found on the websites of Sberbank’s competitors. The platform also likes setting up minimum limits for the purchase of US dollars, so you will not be able to buy less than one thousand American dollars at once.

Benefits of using Sberbank

  1. A beautiful simplicity of opening of investment account. No need to pay a physical visit to the office, everything can be done online.
  2. You are not charged every month for having a brokerage account.
  3. An easy and intuitive interface. It doesn’t bore you with unnecessary information or intrusive advertising and follows the minimalistic approach. The design idea that “less is more” helps users to understand many comprehensive issues, let alone purchasing or selling of a security.
  4. Free replenishment and withdrawal of funds can be done online without any physical interaction.
  5. Low commissions, though only for a part of investors – those using a plan Independent and paying a 0.06% fee.
  6. Free messaging service notifying about dividend payouts, which saves a user time on trying to find it out all by yourself. The SMS indicates the dividend amount and the details of the corresponding company.
  7. Efficient customer support service. All questions asked through the online chat are answered within 10-20 minutes.
  8. An ability to gain exchange-traded funds or EFTs. Thanks to the platform, you will be able to invest in a variety of index funds traded on MOEX, such as RTS, S&P 500, and many others.
  9. A free access to a trading terminal QUIK, installment of which takes seconds. Having QUIK allows you to quickly and easily conduct transactions with exchange-traded securities.
  10. Using a platform gives you a chance to open IIA (Individual Investment Account), which helps to build a diverse portfolio and get generous tax rebates. You will also not be required to replenish your account immediately.

Sberbank’s drawbacks

  1. access only to Moscow stock exchange. If you need access to both Moscow and St-Petersburg houses, consider other Russian brokers.
  2. Limitation of your purchasing power: you will be able to gain only fixed lots computed of thousands of units.
  3. The mobile app doesn’t work as well as it’s hopped. There are some clients’ complaints about the app’s occasional bugs and glitches.
  4. There is a tendency to tout a trust management service to new entrants.

Otkrytie Investments

Otkrytie Investments
Otkrytie Investments

The investment branch of the like-named bank offers investing services that will enable you to gain a more optimistic outlook to your future.

A brokerage account can be opened in the following manners:

  • At the bank’s office. Just visit the nearest branch and discuss your investment opportunities with the concerned staff member.
  • Remotely. To do that, you are to go to the company website and complete the online registration providing some individual information needed for fast identification and authorization.

Opening an account with Otkrytie Investments does not require immediate deposits of money. The whole process is easy and quick and does not take more than 7-10 minutes. The most time-consuming part is probably the selection of the right plan that suits your needs.

The broker offers the following subscription plans:

  1. All-inclusive. This tariff plan is suitable for investors wishing to cut corners and still earn profit. It involves a commission of 0.05%, which can come to 1% in case of payment by debit or credit card. There is no charge at all if you choose to deposit funds by bank transfer. Withdrawal of funds in Russian rubles is free.
  2. Investment. The plan suits active investors with 5 million rubles or more endowments. Taking this option implies paying a 0.025% commission. However, dealing with Eurobonds causes an investor to pay 0.15%. The tariff also allows to trade on margin. You will be able to make voice commands, which, depending on their quantity, can be free or paid (three commands per day are free; each next one will cost you 59 rubles).
  3. Premium. This is a great option for better-capitalized traders desirous of earning bigger money. Its monthly fee is 150 rubles and a commission of 0.005% -0.05%. The larger the size of the investment, the lower the commission.
  4. Speculative. The challengeable plan that matches the needs of ambitious investors with large amounts of capital wishing to take risks and make sizable daily transactions (500 thousand rubles or more per day). It involves 250 rubles monthly service fee and a 0.005% -0.05% commission.

More details about each plan can be found on the Otkrytie Investments platform.

It offers the following ways of account replenishment:

  • Interbank transfer through your personal account
  • Via debit and credit cards
  • Through the Otkrytie Investments cash desk

Depending on the method, replenishment may take from one hour to 3-5 working days. The system allows you to withdraw any amount, from 10 rubles up to infinity. Withdrawals in foreign currency are subject to 0.15% fee.

Otkrytie is a tax agent which means that it may tax your earrings right away, but before ticking the option you’d be better off finding out, which security is taxable and which is not.

Readme! Otkrytie offers its prospective clients to open a demo account with which they can try on the platform and its capabilities before depositing real money on it.

The broker offers a wide range of securities starting from domestic stocks, bonds, options, and futures, and ending with foreign assets, liabilities, and currency.

Those who are not ready or want to trade on their own can get assistance in the form of a help center or a chatbot, which will not only explain every financial term or a system feature but also help in working out an individual strategy and building a decent portfolio.

The broker provides the following terminals and instruments:

  • QUIK
  • MetaTrader 5
  • Mobile application

Otkrytie Investments’ mobile version can be installed and used on both Android и iOS operating systems.

The major advantages of working with this broker are:

  1. Quick start that allows to cut some corners and begin to trade immediately after opening an account and making a small deposit.
  2. There is no minimum deposit. The recommended amount for opening an account with a broker is 50,000 rubles. However, this is an optional requirement, which doesn’t oblige an investor to anything who, therefore, may start investing even with one thousand rubles.
  3. Quick withdrawals and deposits to and from your brokerage account. It’d be even faster if you link it to your Otkrytie bank account – since everything will be done within the same bank.
  4. Transparency of charges. All commissions and fees are charged and commented on at the time of the transaction, which saves you from unexplained and unexpected withholdings of funds from your account.
  5. The straightforwardness of the process. Advanced software and a user-friendly interface that allow quickly familiarize you with the system and take to using it like a duck to water.
  6. Otkrytie Investments has something for everyone: it offers a wide range of plans designed for a vast array of different investment strategies and financial statuses.
  7. Ability to trade foreign currencies and foreign securities as well as free access to both Moscow and St-Petersburg stock exchanges.
  8. The membership allows you to trade with the help of voice commands. The feature is especially useful in circumstances without access to the platform. In this case, you call a certain tall-free number and give your command to a voice assistant.
  9. The broker provides a trust management service, which allows users, especially inexperienced ones to rely on expert opinion for making beneficial decisions.

The company’s major disadvantages are as follows:

  1. The platform doesn’t allow the withdrawing of funds straight into your bank card. You may do that only after getting it into your brokerage account.
  2. While the broker allows free withdrawals, it’s quite a different story with deposits, which are all charged with a certain commission.
  3. There are some clients’ complaints about the company’s customer support service.
  4. If there’s less than 50 thousand rubles in the portfolio, some additional fees might be imposed.
  5. The broker’s trust management service doesn’t guarantee profitability.

On the whole, Otkrytie Investments has all the necessary facilities to ensure successful trading and profit-making. It is one of the strongest and most reliable Russian brokerage companies and delivers productive financial services to its clients.

Finam

Finam
Finam

This is one of the acknowledged leaders in the domestic financial services market. The company works with both Russian and foreign stock exchanges like MOEX, ASDAQ, NYSE, and a whole lot of others. The broker pays special attention to investing in new and high-tech projects. The Finam activities are closely regulated by the Central Bank of Russia.

Dealing with Finam will provide you not only direct access to various stocks, futures, and other financial products, but also opens a door to:

  • automatic monitoring of market conditions
  • variety of options to invest or trade
  • insurance of transactions
  • an ability to trade on a spread

Finam is designed for a wide range of clients, starting from beginners with a small experience and capital, and ending with well-capitalized and seasoned investors. The latter ones will have an opportunity to trade on margin.

Depending on the investor’s preferences, the opening of an account can be done off and online.

Finam offers 3 types of brokerage accounts:

  • Uniform account. Has no minimum deposit limit and no first installment commission (but only if you make a deposit with a bank card). It allows margin trading and dealing with major global equities’ exchanges. It also includes free advice on trading.
  • Individual Investment Account or IIA. This is an account with tangible tax benefits and the reduction of several fees. No minimum deposit requirements and an upper limit of 1 million rubles. It abounds with several useful features.
  • Trust management. This is an option where your investment will be managed by the Finam experts who choose the strategy that matches your financial goals. The minimum annual fee is 5 thousand rubles, with a complete reporting and disclosure of all transactions performed on your behalf.

You have a choice of the following tariff plans:

  • Plan Strategic. This is an option with a zero monthly service fee and a decent commission. Transactions on the Moscow Exchange will cost you 0.05% each, while dealings made on foreign markets – 0.08%. Futures’ and options’ trading is charged by 0.9 ruble fee.
  • Plan Investor is designed for more ambitious investors. The monthly subscription fee is 200 rubles and the commission varies from 0.025 to 0.009%.

Your selection of a particular plan depends on your experience, individual strategy, and financial capacities. Plan Strategicsuits passive traders, and plan Investor – more active ones.

Keeping up with the competitors made the broker develop both desktop and mobile applications, so clients could use the platform from any device at hand. Both versions offer a great number of advanced features, among which the particular mention should be made on the following:

  • Filtering securities by a number of criteria
  • Sorting assets by types and other variables
  • Trade blotters
  • Technical indicators
  • Economic calendar
  • Real-time graphs
  • A content feed with latest global financial news

The replenishment of the account can be done either online or through the office cash desk. You are not charged any commission if you pay by the Finam bank card. Payments made by other banks’ cards involve a 1% fee. While withdrawals in Russian rubles are free, cashing out in foreign currency is liable to 0.07% commission.

Finam offers the following three trading terminals:

  • QUIK
  • Finam Trade
  • Trancaq

You can use them for free and without any additional obligations.

Advantages Disadvantages
More than 20 years of market experience. Has a several awards in the field of financial services May impose a few additional fees and commissions
Provides direct access to domestic and foreign securities There are some traders’ complaints about the terminal performance, especially during volatile trading
Online opening of brokerage account Having to consider risks and pitfalls while entering into trust management contract
Wide range of investment products regardless of the size of the initial capital A limited number of ways to deposit and withdraw funds
Provides a means for margin trading, though only to experienced and skilful traders An investor’s online profile could be more user-friendly
Automatic adherence monitoring service called Trade Center, which might be adjusted to follow the successful deals of other investors Closing of an account requires a physical visit to the company office
Free online guidance and learning The website sins by intrusive ads and irrelevant information inclusions

 

Professional investors have an opportunity to take part in the IPO market. Entry into the transaction starts from $ 1000. Forex trading is also available, but one should keep in mind risks related to this investment area.

BCS Financial Group

BCS Financial Group
BCS Financial Group

The company is righteously considered to be one of the greatest Russian brokers. If you decide to set up an account with them, you can do that both ways online and offline. Both methods involve identification and authorization, so have your passport, e-mail, and phone ready for the process.

Once you are done with the initial stage, you need to select one of the BCS’ plans:

  • Investor. This tariff plan is suitable for those whose monthly turn-round does not exceed 500,000 rubles. It involves a transaction commission of 0.1%. Withdrawals of funds in domestic and foreign currencies are not charged. The usage of the trading terminal will be free providing your account balance is 100,000+ rubles. If the account amount is less than that, it becomes chargeable, 200 rubles per month. Trading orders can be given by phone.
  • Trader. This option suits more active traders with large amounts of capital. Having it will cost you the same commission (0.1%), which, however, will lessen if you make more sizable transactions. The monthly service fee is 299 rubles. It is also allowed to pay zero, but only if a trader hasn’t done anything during the whole month. The terminal usage is free. Domestic proceedings could be withdrawn for free, while foreign ones – with 0.014 – 0.071% commission. It also allows 5 free phone orders per day.

Pledging money can be done through the following instruments:

  • Online via BCS platform or mobile application
  • In-person – through the broker cash desk
  • Traditional wire transfer

Online methods are the quickest, while wire transfer could take a few days – due to the usual routine of the banking system. Online installments, on the contrary, would not take you more than one day.

Withdrawal of funds can be done in the following ways:

  • BCS online
  • Mobile app My Broker
  • Terminal QUIK
  • By phone
  • At the brokers’ office

If a withdrawal request is made before 5:30 pm, money comes on the same day; if later – on the next business day. A commission is applicable only on foreign currency withdrawals.

In addition to a standard brokerage account, there is an Individual Investment Account, or IIA. It will allow you to handle not only ruble-denominated securities traded on MOEX, but also foreign ones which are traded in Russia only on St-Petersburg Stock Exchange. It is also possible to reap dividends and interest coupons on bonds into your personal account immediately.

As it was already mentioned, dealing with BCS gives you access not only to domestic markets but also foreign ones (London, Frankfurt, NYSE and NASDAQ, just to name a few).

The company provides the following trading instruments and terminals:

  • QUIK – one of the best trading terminals
  • WebQUIK – the browser version of the above
  • MetaTrader 5 and CQG – web-based multi-functional platforms for general and advanced trading
  • Mobile application My Broker

My Broker by BCS is one of the most efficient brokerage apps, which allows users to perform their transactions in a timely and safe manner. It is available on both iOS and Android and is free, quick, and easy. It supports all operational features and allows to do everything that is usually done from the desktop version, starting from regular transactions, deposits, and withdrawals and ending with robotic assistance, expert guidance, and tutorials.

BCS highlights:

  1. The company has a ramified infrastructure with numerous branches scattered throughout the country. The location of the nearest office can be found through the broker’s website or by phone.
  2. Free and easy access to domestic and foreign markets. A wide range of foreign assets, liabilities, and currencies.
  3. The broker offers a great variety of ways to make free installments and transfers. However, depositing money with other banks’ cards will be subject to a fee.
  4. Non-chargeable withdrawing of the domestic currency.
  5. Sharing of investment tips and ideas made by the company professionals. Though the investment result is not guaranteed but presumptive earnings are based on a professional approach.
  6. Competitive foreign currency exchange rates. An opportunity to trade on a minimum spread, which brings your transactions close to the current exchange rate.
  7. Variety of trading terminals, desktop, and mobile apps.
  8. A chance to open and use a demo account allowing you earnestly test out different strategies.

Drawbacks

  1. The firm’s customer support service is not as good as expected: there are clients’ complaints about long queues and not adequate competency.
  2. Some issues cannot be resolved by email or phone and require you to visit the office (i. e. personal details’ changes or getting certain documents).
  3. The mobile app My Broker doesn’t always work well. It tends to occasionally hang, especially during volatile trading or trying to use the platform at full volume.

Alpha Investments

Alpha Investments
Alpha Investments

Alpha Investments is the last but not least broker on our list. The constantly growing group of companies subdivided into two major divisions:

  • Alfa-Capital – a management company engaged in servicing mutual funds. It encourages the setting up of IIA (Individual Investment Accounts) and trust management agreements.
  • Alfa-Investments. This division enables both novice and advanced users to buy and sell securities, liabilities, and derivatives on the various stock markets, among which it’s worth paying attention to the St-Petersburg and Moscow exchanges.

Trading through Alpha Investments would be easier if you open a card with the bank belonging to the Alpha group. An account with Alpha Bank will considerably save time and money on your Alpha Investment transactions.

You can open a brokerage account via:

  • Alpha Investment office
  • On the provider website
  • In the broker mobile app

Opening of account involves a selection of one of the following plans:

  • Plan Investor would suit those who are planning to invest up to 82 thousand rubles per month. You don’t pay a monthly usage fee, but would be charged a commission of 0.3% of the transaction amount. Dealing with futures also involves a fee, which, however, might be reduced, if you spend more. Money deposits are not charged. An order made by phone will cost a subscriber 300 rubles.
  • Plan Trader will be a good option for involved traders whose daily turnover exceeds 100,000 rubles. The more transactions are made during the day, the lower the commission is. It comes to about 0.014% for the exchange market, and starts from 0.1% for the OTC market. A monthly service fee is 199 rubles. Commission for foreign currency transactions is approximately 0.02%.
  • Plan Advisor offers some additional services for well-off investors wishing to rely on professional advice. The plan price will depend on the strategy chosen and the risk entailed. The minimum fee comes to 0.5% of the investment amount. Transaction commission on the exchange market – 0.1%, on the OTC – 0.2%. The subscribers are entitled to margin trading and operations with derivatives.
  • Plan Personal Broker matches advanced investors wishing to receive personal manager assistance. There is no monthly fee and a decent commission of 0.14%. Foreign currency transactions are charged 0.011% or more.

Alpha Investments allows you to choose one of the three trading terminals:

  • Appendix A-Investments with a limited number of instruments. While it doesn’t provide any financial and analytical tools, it allows setting up stop-losses and some other parameters. You can place an order 24/7 and even may keep it (depending on the circumstances) for a month.
  • QUIK – is a Windows-based computer program, which can be downloaded from the company’s website. Once installed, the terminal opens you doors to all kinds of investment products and operations.
  • Alfa-Direct – is a desktop-based version with various trading tools and analytical indicators such as RSI, MACD, and others. The program also allows to adjust automatic monitoring of your trading activities.

The list of the broker’s means of account replenishment includes:

  • Via the company’s own terminal called Alpha Click. An excellent and free way to make your money arrive onto your account within 10-20 minutes.
  • Through the Alpha Mobile application, which is as good and as fast as its big desktop brother.
  • Instant bank transfer. Thanks to the new API technology, it is a more secure and much quicker way in comparison with a regular money transfer. As a result, money comes within one working day, although there is a small chance of paying some fee.

Withdrawal of funds can be done in exactly the same manner, i. e. via the Alpha-Investment terminal, a smartphone app, and a bank transfer.

Profits derived from investments are taxable. Being a tax agent allows Alpha Investments to pay your taxes on your behalf if you authorize it to do that.

Dealing with the provider will allow you to have free access to both domestic and foreign financial instruments such as bonds, shares, primary capital certificates, derivatives, treasury bills, foreign currencies, etc.

Margin trading may magnify the return of the investors wishing to risk, though they are to pay differently for a chance to do it on the Alpha platform.

The positives of dealing with Alpha Investments include:

  • Quick and easy withdrawals and deposits, which can be done in a great variety of ways.
  • A substantial amount of financial indicators that help to make the right decisions. Using them will allow you to easily determine the point of entry and exit, draw the graph, and add a mathematical model.
  • Powerful instruments to analyze the collection of graphs and charts with different timeframes and risk profiles.
  • An opportunity to use ready-made investment solutions such as trust management and multi-asset portfolios suitable for well-off investors with no time for a thorough analysis. A chance to invest in both domestic and foreign stocks.

Among its main negatives are:

  • There might be some bugs and quirks in the work of the system.
  • According to consumers’ testimonials, the customer engagement team could be better experienced and more efficient.
  • You cannot buy currency less or more than a lot size, which is available only in thousands of units.

Conclusion

You can ensure the maximum return on your investment in Russian stocks, if you select the best brokers which differ from others by their long experience and high quality of service. This will allow you to save and increase your investment capital and operate smoothly and securely to your own ends. Following this strategy would enable you to clinch exceptionally profitable deals and enlarge your portfolio. The brokers described in this topic have all the above qualities and offer a collaborative environment for investors of any level starting from beginners and ending with hard-boiled veterans.

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